I am never a person that talks about moral victories. A loss is a loss no matter what. However, in the current state of the Columbus Blue Jackets, there needs to be growth in losses.
That's exactly what happened in Monday night's 4-3 overtime loss to the Flames in Johnny Gaudreau's return to Calgary.
For the second-straight game, the Blue Jackets were outshot by more than 10 in the first period. In Sunday's 5-3 win over the Sharks, San Jose outshot them 15-2 in the first 20 minutes. On Monday in Calgary, the Flames outshot the Blue Jackets 17-7. But the team battled back, tying the game with two power-play goals in 49 seconds in the second period.
Young players playing
Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger, and Kirill Marchenko all played at least 14 minutes in Monday night's game. They played well, too. Marchenko scored his 10th goal of the season to get the Jackets on the board not long after Johnson, who made a couple of skillful plays Monday, had a chance to score on a two-on-one rush.
Also, none of the three young players had any giveaways, per moneypuck.com. Since being a healthy scratch for two games, Cole Sillinger has looked more confident on the ice and has been playing better. Overall, it was a good night for three players who are key to this team's long-term success.
Korpisalo was great
The only reason this game was close is because of the play of Joonas Korpisalo. He made 45 saves and registered 0.68 goals saved above expected, per moneypuck.com. All a team can ask from its goalie is to keep them in the game, and Korpisalo did that, and then some, especially in the first period, when the ice was tilted in Calgary's favor. Including Monday's performance, he's posted a save percentage of at least .910 in seven of his last nine appearances. He has certainly bounced back this season, and given the fact that he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, his name may come up in trade talks if he continues this positive run of play.
The Blue Jackets have won just 14 of their 47 games this season. Even when they lose, there must be growth.