Looks like he's getting on one of those streaks.
Patrik Laine has goals in three straight and five points (three goals, two assists) in the last four games, coming against the Buffalo Sabres, Seattle Kraken, Ottawa Senators, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
It's the second time this season Laine has had goals in three straight games, the first such stretch since Dec. 7 through Dec. 11 when he had four goals and seven points against the Penguins, Sabres, Calgary Flames, and Los Angeles Kings. Since Feb. 14, he has 12 points (six goals, six assists).
Just last week, we talked about Laine needing to get on one of those scoring streaks because when he does, the goals can come in bunches. Having dealt with injury on a couple of occasions this season, Laine only had one point—a goal—in four October games and three points (one goal, two assists) in four November games.
Once he was back in the lineup with regularity, we started to see Laine pick up his point production with 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in December and 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in January, even though the goal total dipped by two each month from December through February.
Then there's March with three goals in three games.
On Wednesday's Hockey & Hounds with Rothman & Ice, head coach Columbus Blue Jackets Brad Larsen talked about Laine's recent surge and the production that his line with Jack Roslovic and Kent Johnson is providing at 1:49:
We've seen (Laine), he can go on these runs. I think their line, I think (Jack) Roslovic's played better. (Kent Johnson)'s been a good compliment to that line. They've been bringing out some consistent offense.
You put (Laine) in a position to score. The goal he scores last night, it's a great play from (Roslovic). Third period, he makes another good play, gets a shot, hits the pad, hits the post, he could have had another one, that could have gotten us to 5-4.
Their line was pretty dangerous and they had a lot of opportunities so I think the three of them been working well together.
Check out Laine's goal from Tuesday to bury the no-look pass from Roslovic.
Wednesday's 13:20 interview included Tuesday's heartbreaking overtime loss against the Penguins, Johnson's game continuing to evolve, Emil Bemstrom's improvement, and confidence after losing a big lead.
Currently, Laine is the Blue Jackets' team leader with 20 goals, he's third with 23 assists and second with 43 points. Not bad totals but still modest from Laine, and the team as a whole, considering Columbus only has one player (Johnny Gaudreau) above the 50-point plateau. Laine has 0.88 points per game this season while Gaudreau is at 0.89. The next closest player is Boone Jenner at 0.68.
The team needs more offensive punch from its players and Laine could certainly be more consistent in terms of point production, particularly goal-scoring next season. This season, he's had goalless droughts of nine games from Dec. 19 through Jan. 12 and seven games from Jan. 25 through Feb. 14.
Staying healthy and having consistent linemates are factors in Laine having the ability to find the scoresheet with regularity, and you see what the trio below has done in a small sample size this season.
|Johnson - Roslovic - Laine||GP||TOI||GF||GA||xGF||xGA|
|Natural Stat Trick|
Prior to Tuesday's game, Bally Sports had an exclusive with Laine on the art of the one-timer and he can certainly use more of those goals.
What makes the perfect shot? @shelleyhawk45 and @JLGP34 join Patrik Laine on the ice to learn the Art of the One-Timer. #CBJ pic.twitter.com/5hOJnjqP8A— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) March 7, 2023
Even with Laine being limited to 49 of 64 games so far, he's still among the team leaders in most offensive categories.
If he can catch some breaks with his health going forward, the team around him takes the next step in terms of talent on the roster and through the upcoming NHL Draft, and the Blue Jackets can remain relatively healthy next season, maybe we finally see Laine get back to the type of scoring numbers we saw him put up with the Winnipeg Jets when he registered individual goal totals of 36, 44, and 30 from 2016 through 2019.