Three Things: Blue Jackets Struggle in Overtime, Elvis Merzlikins Stays Hot, and Max Domi Impresses

By Jacob Nitzberg on May 1, 2021 at 10:04 pm
May 1, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Max Domi (16) is congratulated by center Boone Jenner (38) and left wing Eric Robinson (50) after scoring a first period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

That's a tough one.

The Blue Jackets played well against a Carolina team that certainly has more talent than them. Well enough to earn a point.

When overtime came around, though, it was clear which team was going to win. Eventually, after several odd-man rushes, Dougie Hamilton received a fantastic pass from Alex Nedeljkovic (yes, him) and beat Elvis Merzlikins to secure the Hurricanes an extra point.

Let's get into tonight's three things.

OT Shambles

To put it nicely, the Blue Jackets were a mess in overtime tonight. Skill matters in 3v3, and it's something that the Blue Jackets don't have a whole lot of right now. Tonight's extra period saw Jack Roslovic and Cam Atkinson run into each other and create a free breakaway for Sebastian Aho. Luckily, Merzlikins stopped it.

From the time the puck dropped, it felt like when, not if, Carolina would score. Eventually, Nedeljkovic sprung Hamilton, who beat Merzlikins and won the game for the Hurricanes.

Elvis Solid, Despite Loss

Yes, the Blue Jackets lost tonight. However, they wouldn't have even made it to overtime without the strong play of Merzlikins, who continued his good run of form after shutting out Detroit on Tuesday night.

The Latvian netminder stopped 31 of the 33 shots that he faced tonight. With Joonas Korpisalo out for the rest of the season, Merzlikins is getting the opportunity to prove that he can be the full-time starter. He's certainly doing it so far.

Domi Impresses, Garners 19 Minutes of Ice Time

It's no secret that John Tortorella has been disappointed with Max Domi's play this season. Tonight, the narrative was flipped. Domi scored the Blue Jackets' opening goal, and played 19:34, the second-most among all Blue Jacket forwards.

He also notched three shots on goal. Through 49 games, Domi has notched a disappointing 7-14-21 line. It's been a tough year for just about every member of the Blue Jackets, and Domi is no exception.