Training camp is here, baby.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are back on the ice. The storylines that came with the beginning of camp are still here. As of right now mum is the word and no one is talking about the reported Pierre-Luc Dubois trade request after the first day.
On the docket now, reactions and thoughts after the first of two scrimmages the Blue Jackets will be putting on before their first game against the Nashville Predators.
One of the biggest takeaways from the scrimmage was the fact that a couple of mainstays looked good and were able to find the back of the net. Pierre-Luc Dubois was one of them but the other was captain Nick Foligno, a name that has been associated recently with his defensive game than his prime goal-scoring days a few years back.
"I said I'm scoring about 40 this year, so I have 37 left," Foligno said to the gathered media. "We joke around, it's a scrimmage, but it's still nice to put the puck in the net."
While Foligno may be joking, getting Foligno to pot some goals at a high pace, would be a major boon for the team. They need someone to step up offensively. They're looking at the younger players on the team to contribute but a pleasant surprise may be getting an older forward bouncing back in a big way.
Peeke Behind The Curtain
With a goal and a couple of assists, defenseman Andrew Peeke showed his stuff in the high scoring game. More importantly, he looked comfortable with his partner for the evening Dean Kukan. Seeing the two getting acclimated, fans should be excited by a mobile and offensively gifted third pairing.
"Healthy competition's always great," said Peeke. "Pushing each other to be a better player yourself. For me, I took a lot in from last year, my first year pro and coming into this camp I worked all summer. I want to win that job to be in the lineup consistently and play every night."
Peeke has his head in the right place and it is a good sign for him that he is seeing time with Kukan who may have solidified his spot on the bottom pairing going into this season.
While it was made abundantly clear by head coach John Tortorella that you shouldn't take too much out of this scrimmage but one comment he made about forward Liam Foudy sticks out.
Tortorella was asked about the usage of Foudy on the penalty kill and whether that is a one-off or a plan for the season.
"We wanna look at him (Foudy), as a penalty killer," said Tortorella. "I think with that type of speed we all felt in the bubble in the short time we've been with him that he has the intelligence to do it."
A weapon like Foudy on the penalty kill would be a nice ace in the hole to have for the Blue Jackets. Whether or not he earns it or sees the ice enough is going to be up to the coaching staff and the player itself. Weaponizing him there should be a boon.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery