Three Things: Back To Reality, Foudy's Debut, Burn The Tape

By Will Chase on January 15, 2022 at 7:36 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke skates with the puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas in the first period at FLA Live Arena.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, the fun was great while it lasted.

The Columbus Blue Jackets had to be feeling pretty good about themselves after the way they disposed of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday by a 6-0 score.

On Saturday, the Florida Panthers brought everyone back to reality.

Four first period goals, including two in 2:07, tell you all you needed to know about this one. Elvis Merzlikins started the game making 11 stops on 15 chances. Sergei Bobrovsky picked up his 19th win stopping 28 of 30 shots.

Back To Reality

Thursday was really fun, showing the promising potential of a young hockey team. Saturday was the bitter reality of what can happen for young teams against elite teams.

The idea, in theory, was to duplicate Thursday's effort against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 6-0 score wouldn't be realistic to expect but channel that energy from the start and carry that through for 60 minutes.

The Panthers, however, had other ideas jumping out to a 2-0 lead just over two minutes into this one. Carter Verhaeghe scored twice including the first goal 44 seconds into the game. Merzlikins was down in the crease after a barrage of activity and had no chance to make a save.

Seconds into the first power play of the game, Anthony Duclair scored his 16th of the season. 

The Panthers added to their first period total on a short-handed goal by Mackenzie Wagner and that was all for Merzlikins as Joonas Korpisalo came in. Korpisalo allowed five goals on 36 shots.

Liam Foudy's Debut

With the news before the game that Cole Sillinger would miss the contest due to being placed in COVID protocol, that meant Liam Foudy got to make his season debut.

Foudy had 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 24 games for the Cleveland Monsters prior to being placed on the Blue Jackets taxi squad. For the game, he had one shot in 11:51.

With the game getting out of hand from the start, why not and see what the players like Foudy can do anyway.

Burn The Tape

Just two days after their most impressive game and victory of the season, the Blue Jackets had their absolute worse game of the year.

So it feels.

The only thing that you can take from Saturday's game was anything from a player development standpoint. Anything else, chalk up to a tough game against the No. 1 team in the league, which the Panthers are with 55 points in the standings entering the day.

Among the small victories for the night (including if you're a Bengals fan) was the fact the Panthers fans didn't get their wish of 10 goals after chanting "we want ten" throughout the game.

Columbus also broke Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout bid in the third period when Gus Nyquist converted on his first power play goal and ninth goal of the season. Boone Jenner scored his team-leading 15th.

After beating the Dallas Stars 7-1 on Friday night, the Panthers have outscored opponents 16-3 on consecutive nights. The nine goals are the most allowed this season by the Blue Jackets, as are 51 shots on goal.

The Panthers had 12 players with points, and 10 with more than one point on the night, including Mackenzie Weegar with one goal and three assists. Since Dec. 29, the Panthers have scored at least four goals in nine consecutive games over that stretch.

Take the lumps, learn from it, and get ready for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Brotherly Love

The Blue Jackets play the Flyers on Thursday at 7:00 pm ET at Wells Fargo Center. It could be Jake Voracek's first crack against his former team, and ditto for Cam Atkinson. The Flyers fell to the New York Rangers 3-2.

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