Three Things: A Shaky Start, Korpisalo Shines in His Debut, and the Blue Jackets' Offense Can't Get Going

By Will Chase on October 19, 2021 at 11:18 pm
Jonas Korpisalo vs Detroit Red Wings
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

That one could have gone better.

The 4-1 score is a bit of a misnomer, as this one wasn't all that close (despite a few stretches early on). Joonas Korpisalo was a stud, keeping his mates in it all night. Though two empty-net goals sealed this one for the Red Wings, Boone Jenner's power-play goal at 12:51 of the third period made it just a one-goal deficit at that time.

But to be honest, this game never felt as close as the scoreboard suggested most of the way. Detroit outshot Columbus 45-23 and the Blue Jackets were dealt their first loss of the season. So much for the first-ever 3-0-0 start.

While the offense struggled, the goaltending did shine bright. Here are three things from Little Caesars Arena.

Slow Start

It's a small sample size, but the Blue Jackets' 8-2 win on opening night was probably more of a mirage rather than an expectation. While their 2-1 overtime win against Seattle was hard-fought, it was more of that theme against the Red Wings Tuesday night from Little Caesars Arena – just a far different outcome.

Columbus was outshot 7-0 in the first half of the opening period before starting to fight back with eight of its own. Luckily for the Blue Jackets, Korpisalo was up for the task as the 27-year-old made his season debut, keeping the most important number at zero on the scoreboard and stopping all 13 first-period shots.


You might've felt pretty comfortable about the Blue Jackets tandem in net to start the season. At least so far in this early juncture, Elvis Merzlikins and Korpisalo have been great. That was apparent tonight with the Red Wings outshooting Columbus 2-to-1 in the game, yet Korpisalo stood his ground. 

Without him, this could have been ugly.

The penalty kill was perfect, wiping out 1:17 of a two-man advantage in the second period. The Blue Jackets also had a 2-on-1 shorthanded, showing their Power Kill prowess of recent years. When your netminder has 31 saves through 40 minutes of play (let alone on the road), the least the offense can do is pick him up. And maybe buy him a nice steak dinner. 

Offense Disappears

Korpisalo was, by definition, the hard-luck loser.

At the other end, Thomas Greiss was hardly tested as Columbus only fired 23 shots his way. Jenner and Zach Werenski co-led the team with four shots on net, and no one else had more than two shots. Rookie Yegor Chinakhov made his NHL debut getting two shots at Greiss and skating 12:00, including a great chance on a 2-on-1 in the first period. Cole Sillinger only played 9:46 and wasn't seen much in the second half of the game.

One positive is Jenner's power-play goal, which gives the team three power-play goals on seven chances. Jakub Voracek and Patrik Laine picked up assists, giving them each three so far. 

Can we go back in time and bank some of those goals against the Coyotes?

First Road Test

Tuesday was the Blue Jackets' first road test of the young season, and now they'll head back to Nationwide Arena for three consecutive home games against the Islanders, Hurricanes, and Stars.

They'll need a better effort Thursday night against Barry Trotz's team, which picked up its first win of the season on Tuesday, a 4-1 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks. 

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