Most improved player, most underrated player, x factor, you name it.
Josh Anderson has been that important for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season.
While he may not be the best, the most valuable or the most skilled player on the team, what he continues to bring to the club night in and night out has been absolutely crucial.
Whether it's the thundering hits, his blistering speed down the right-wing wall to beat a defensemen or a quick wrist shot to beat a goaltender far side, Anderson is putting the league on notice of why a power forward like himself can still find a way in the modern NHL.
And you better believe his coach is taking notice, too:
"I get to see him every day - how much he continues to improve," said Head Coach John Tortorella on Monday. "The thing with Andy that I see is, I think, he thinks, he can be dominant."
And that dominance is certainly beginning to show, more and more every outing for Anderson. In his past six games, he's racked up four goals and five assists, including a +9 rating. In fact, his newer line consisting himself, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel has not been scored on while all three are on the ice.
"He's believing it. Whenever we talk about Andy, it's always the consistency, as far as preparation," said Tortorella. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as far as how he continues to try and work at his game, stay ready."
Anderson has been one of the more consistent players for Columbus over the course of the year, in a season where inconsistency has seemed to define the team. Aside from a couple stretches of games in the fall and early winter where he had small scoring droughts, Anderson has been a point-every-other-game player for the Blue Jackets.
"I think, he thinks, he can be dominant."– Blue Jackets' Head Coach John Tortorella on Josh ANderson
To top it all off, he's also shattered his recent career high in points of 30 with 45 and counting - including 26 goals and 19 assists, also career highs. Anderson also leads the team in hits, +/-, and is fourth in offensive point shares.
In the highs and low of this Columbus Blue Jackets' season, Josh Anderson has been a consistent force and is helping keep the club afloat in a time where many of the top players have gone cold. If the Blue Jackets can make the playoffs, it'll certainly be enjoyable to watch Anderson play out his improved play under the bigger lights.
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