Three Things: Jiricek's Debut, Another Slow Start, More Goaltending Issues

By Dan Greene on October 28, 2022 at 9:05 pm
Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno shoots against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Jiricek during the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets were coming off a humiliating loss to the Arizona Coyotes when they hosted the Boston Bruins on Friday night at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets were looking to get back on track, but it would be difficult as the Bruins owned the best record in the NHL.

The Bruins struck first, going up 1-0 in the first period as they outshot the CBJ 14 to 12. They followed that up with another goal just four minutes into the second, and they showed why they had the best record in the league as they finished the second period up 4-0. They held on to shut out the Blue Jackets with that same score.


Jiricek's Debut

The Blue Jackets took David Jiricek with the sixth overall pick this summer. There were high expectations for the Czech defenseman as he was considered not only one of the best prospects in the draft but perhaps the most NHL-ready. That being said, it is almost unheard of for blueliners to play when they are only 18 years old. Even so, due to injuries, Columbus called up Jiricek just five games into his AHL career with the Cleveland Monsters.  

Even though he is very young, he already had quite a bit of professional experience as he skated for more than two seasons for HC Plzen of the Czech professional league. He also had played well on both ends of the ice for the monster as he showed maturity on the defensive end and racked up four assists in five games. 

He had a little extra motivation to have a successful debut as his mother and father flew all the way from Czechia to be in attendance. And despite his team playing poorly, he acquitted himself well and was rewarded with some time on the top line opposite Zach Werenski. 

Another Slow Start

For the fifth time in this young season, the Blue Jackets played from behind. They were blanked in the first two periods and went into the last period down 4-0. They keep shooting themselves in the foot as they are constantly playing from behind. It has become an even bigger issue when playing one of the best teams in the league, such as the Boston Bruins. 

The Blue Jackets were never able to get back into this one as they fell 4-0. 


More Goaltending Issues

In what seems like the theme so far this season, the Blue Jackets struggled in the net, yet again. Elvis Merzlikins let in four goals and posted a disappointing .862 SV%. He also posted -2.28 goals above expected as most of the shots he faced were classified by MoneyPuck as low-danger shots. 

For the second time in two games, Columbus benched its goalie midgame, this time it was Merzlikins being benched for Daniil Tarasov. 

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will look to bounce back on track as they go out on the road to face the New Jersey Devils on Sunday at the Prudential Center. The puck drop is at 2:00 p.m. EST.