That Just Happened: Breaking Down One Of The Wildest Games in Blue Jackets History

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 11, 2021 at 11:22 pm
Feb 11, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Kevin Stenlund (11) celebrates his game winning goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at United Center.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

What a rollercoaster.

Tonight in Chicago, the Blue Jackets came back from two two-goal deficits to win 6-5. They got goals from Jack Roslovic (2), Cam Atkinson, Kevin Stenlund, Michael Del Zotto, and Boone Jenner.

Let's try to unpack the craziness that occurred at the United Center.

Four-Point Night For Cam

Atkinson tallied 1-3-4. His one tally came shorthanded, and it was his 15th shorthanded goal with the Blue Jackets, which gave him the franchise record.

"It's a find a way league...a lot of guys stepped up in crucial situations and got on the scoreboard," said Atkinson. "The last five or six games, especially, I've been playing good hockey and getting opportunities..instead of shying away from it, I'm going toward the puck."

Roslovic Continues to Dominate

The Columbus kid has come to play. He wasn't necessarily an afterthought of the trade between Winnipeg and Columbus, but most of the focus was on Patrik Laine.

Well, Roslovic's been the star so far. With two goals tonight, he's tallied 4-5-9 in his first eight games with the Blue Jackets.

"We did a good job creating our own [energy]," said Roslovic. "If you let in five, you gotta score six."

John Tortorella has had nothing but praise for the 24-year-old's play. Roslovic's playing with unbridled confidence right now, and it's great to see.

"He has shown a tremendous swagger with the puck...I didn't realize how good of a skater he was," said Tortorella.

Stenlund Gets His Chance, Scores Game-Winner

With the news of Mikko Koivu's retirement, there was an opening at center. Stenlund got his chance to play in the top six tonight with Max Domi and Oliver Bjorkstrand, and he certainly took advantage of it, burying the game-winning goal with 1:14 remaining.

"He's been on the outside waiting for his opportunity," Tortorella acknowledged. The Swede has tallied 2-3-5 in four games this season, and with tonight's huge goal, he'll likely continue to get more top-six opportunities.

MDZ Scores His First

Del Zotto has been the most consistent defenseman for the Blue Jackets this season, and he finally found the back of the net in a huge way tonight. With the Blue Jackets desperately needing a goal, a rebound from Atkinson made its way to Del Zotto's stick, and the rest is history.

Tortorella was excited to bring Del Zotto into the fold. 

"The thing I love about him is his swagger," said the Blue Jackets head coach. "He learned to play on that right line of confidence and swagger. His first pass is really a big weapon for him." 

Tonight, his shot was a big weapon for the Blue Jackets.

Two Rookie D-Men Get Their First NHL Goals

Early in the second period, the Blackhawks defensive corps made their presence known. 21 seconds into the middle frame, Ian Mitchell tallied his first NHL goal to tie the game at 1-1. Just 56 (!!) seconds later, Nicolas Beaudin also notched his first NHL goal to make it a 2-1 game in favor of the Blackhawks.