John Tortorella Names Joonas Korpisalo As the Blue Jackets' Opening Night Starter vs. Toronto

By Rob Mixer on October 2, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo looks on during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A year ago at this time, John Tortorella was naming Joonas Korpisalo as his season-opening starter for a game in Detroit – a decision that raised more than a few eyebrows, especially considering the (at the time) uncertain future of Sergei Bobrovsky.

This time around, it's a little less surprising but also indicative of Korpisalo's strong performance in training camp. During his weekly radio appearance with Anthony Rothman and Bobby Carpenter on 97.1 The Fan, Tortorella said Korpisalo would start the Blue Jackets' season opener against Toronto. 

“(Korpisalo) played better in camp," Tortorella said. "He's going to be our starting goalie in our opening night game.”

Well, that settles that.

Beyond Friday, though, the situation is less clear. Elvis Merzlikins isn't likely to sit and watch for long, and Tortorella said similar things about Korpisalo last season as he wanted him to play more games behind Bobrovsky (likely, in part, to prepare for a situation like they're in now). It's quite possible that Merzlikins makes his NHL debut Saturday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.

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