Well, this has been a breath of fresh air.
After 12 losses in overtime or the shootout during the 2020-'21 NHL season in just 56 games, the Blue Jackets have completely flipped the script.
Patrik Laine's game-winner on Tuesday night gave the Blue Jackets their ninth win of the season in overtime or the shootout, and they've only fallen once after 60 minutes (a shootout loss at Arizona on 11/18). Their one loss in that category leads the NHL.
The Blue Jackets' success in overtime is one of the big reasons that they're in such an impressive spot in Brad Larsen's first season as head coach. Laine has three overtime goals, Jake Bean has two, and Jakub Voracek has one.
On Tuesday night, the Blue Jackets proved that they can hang with the big boys in overtime. The Maple Leafs put out Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Morgan Rielly.
It didn't even matter. Boone Jenner won the opening faceoff against Matthews, who is winning 57.4% of his draws this year. The puck came to Voracek, who rocketed up the ice past Marner and made Rielly commit to him. Voracek found Laine in the Maple Leaf's zone, and all Laine had to do was beat Matthews and Jack Campbell. He fired a wrist shot through Matthews' legs, over Campbell's glove, and it was over 20 seconds into overtime.
It was the Blue Jackets' second win in overtime this year against an elite team like the Maple Leafs. Their first came on November 3rd when Bean gave them the win against the Colorado Avalanche.
When the Blue Jackets are unable to find the back of the net in overtime, they've still done well in shootouts, with a 3-1 mark. Gustav Nyquist is shooting 100% (2-2), Voracek is at 75% (3-4), Alexandre Texier is a 50% shooter (1-2) and Yegor Chinakhov is also at 50% (1-2). Elvis Merzlikins has stopped 10 of 15 attempts in the shootout, and Joonas Korpisalo is a perfect three for three.
As the Blue Jackets' season continues, it'll be interesting to see how their overtime results fare. As long as Laine, Voracek, and Zach Werenski can stay healthy, they'll be in good shape. That's a trio (quartet, if you count Jenner's responsibility on the opening faceoff) that can contend with any team in the NHL.
They proved it last night.