With his overtime game-winning goal against Buffalo, Alexandre Texier scored the most important goal of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ season so far. But in his post-game comments, you could hardly tell he had done anything as spectacular.
“We just tried to play defense first...we played as a team,” said Texier on the Jackets' first victory of the season.
But the young Frenchman knows the NHL season is long. Texier stressed the importance in preparing for the Blue Jackets' next contest, and not getting too far ahead of themselves.
“I’m happy right now and you have to be ready for the next game, (and) forget about this one,” he said. “(There are) 80 games left. Don’t be too high or too low."
Texier’s maturity and stoic demeanor don’t give an accurate impression of the left winger’s meteoric rise through the Blue Jackets’ organization. Just one year ago, he was playing in Finland.
While he had a good season for KalPa in Liiga, the Finnish pro league, Texier capitalized on his end-of-the-season call-up to the Cleveland Monsters, scoring five goals in seven games. Once he joined the Blue Jackets for their Stanley Cup Playoffs run, Texier solidified his place in the lineup by tallying three goals in 10 regular and post-season games.
Even with this early success, Texier appears to be taking the experience with humility. And though he is still a “rookie,” his comments liken him to a mature NHL-regular.
While boasting a veteran attitude about the win, Texier couldn’t help but beam when talking about his overtime performance. “All fun. I got the puck and enjoy,” he said through a huge grin. “I can’t describe,” expressed Texier about the celebration that followed.
With an increased role this year, many Blue Jackets faithful believe Texier can compete for this season’s Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best rookie. It would be an appropriate trajectory given the player’s impressive emergence so far.