The Blue Jackets in the preseason for the first time, falling 3-2 to the Blues in St. Louis Tuesday night.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Emil Bemstrom Fighting For A Roster Spot
Bemstrom, who is likely a bubble player, scored two goals Tuesday. This preseason, for him and several others, serves as an audition to make the NHL squad. Bemstrom lit up the AHL last season with 14-17--31 in 21 games, but scored just 7-15--22 in 55 NHL games in 2022-23.
Alexandre Texier, James Malatesta, and Cole Sillinger Shined
Texier scored a goal in Sunday's home win over Pittsburgh, and picked up two more assists against St. Louis, playing on a line with Sillinger and Bemstrom. He also made a couple of nice defensive plays, one at even strength and one on the penalty kill. Malatesta, who has impressed since arriving ahead of the Traverse City tournament, continued to do so, making a big hit, hitting the post, and denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity with a great defensive play. Sillinger also had a nice game, helping create and take away scoring chances on both ends of the ice. After scoring just three goals in 2022-23, this is a big year for the third-year forward.
Denton Mateychuk Impressed
When a defenseman's name isn't called often during a broadcast, that's usually a good thing. And that's what happened tonight. According to hockeystatcards.com, Mateychuk had the second-highest game score (2.62) and added an assist on Bemstrom's second goal. He looked poised throughout the game, and while he's likely going back to the WHL this season, the 19-year-old blueliner has impressed throughout this training camp.
Despite the defeat, there were several positives to take away from this game. The Blue Jackets' next game is Saturday at 3 p.m. ET against the Sabres in Buffalo.