Even if it’s just a preseason game, the Columbus Blue Jackets were happy to get back into the win column last night – just ask center Alexander Wennberg.
Still in the midst of coach John Tortorella’s notoriously strenuous training camp and battling understandably heavy legs, the Blue Jackets took down the visiting Chicago Blackhawks by a final of 4-1. Wennberg led the charge with two points (a goal and an assist) while playing alongside two other lineup mainstays in Cam Atkinson and captain Nick Foligno.
"It was good, it wasn’t the best game but it takes a little bit of getting into,” said Wennberg. “[We did] a lot of good things and it’s always fun to start with a win."
While training camp lines are typically temporary – and this one’s no exception – Wennberg relished the opportunity to play with two of his longtime teammates. The three had their hands in a power play that looked far smoother than the one that came up flat in the postseason series loss at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 19, 2018
"Obviously, with the power play, it’s nice to get that going as well, even though it’s just the beginning of something,” said Wennberg.
Wennberg’s role on the power play last night was different than it has been in the past – perhaps an indication of the team wanting him to shoot more and pass less.
Could be preseason (probably, just hang with me here) but Wennberg's been a little nearer the dots on the power play tonight and as a result, his curled into a shooting position a few times. Slightly different but it's been effective. #CBJ
— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) September 19, 2018
For the renowned playmaker, though, shooting more isn’t the main focus this time through camp – although he’s happy to do so if it’s his role. But, for now, his focus on is getting back to the form that saw him put up 59 points in 2016-17.
“My focus is to play my game,” he said after the game. “Today, I got that spot in the power play, and in that position you’ve got to shoot the puck, so that’s what I was trying to do.”
Still, if he remains in that spot, his career high of 13 goals could be a distant memory come April.
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