Three Thoughts: Bobrovsky Shaky, First Line Produces in Debut, and Werenski's One-Timer Pays Immediate Dividends

By Dan Dukart on September 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm
Sergei Bobrovsky
Russell LaBounty - USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished off a busy weekend with a 5-3 home loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon at Nationwide Arena. For perhaps the first time this preseason, fans were given a look at a roster that may resemble how they line up on opening night.

A new-look top line got its first shot together, Pierre-Luc Dubois got another look on the wing, and a re-worked power play unit made for an intriguing game. Alexander Wennberg played his second straight game and seemed comfortable with Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson as line mates in their debut. The defense looked off, with a few mistakes and turnovers that were turned into opportunities for Nashville.

Last note: with three games in three days, expect cuts to the roster sooner rather than later. John Tortorella said post game that roster reductions will come Tuesday, both after practice and following the game vs. St. Louis.


  • Bobrovsky Just 'Meh': It's foolish to look too closely at preseason results, and it's certainly no time to panic. That said, Bobrovsky was admittedly shaky in his second preseason start, allowing four goals on 29 shots (.862 sv%). There were 2-on-1's and a couple snipes in that folder, but after a disappointing playoff performance, Bobrovsky is going to need a little more time to get into form before the start of the season. Disclaimer: Markus Nutivaara deserves equal criticism. 
  • First Line Produces: This was the second game in as many nights for Wennberg, who made his preseason debut last night in Chicago. But it was the first outing for the new No. 1 line of Wennberg, Artemi Panarin, and Cam Atkinson, who also worked together on the power play. It paid immediate dividends, scoring two goals (one on the power play). All three players posted two points each, with Atkinson and Wennberg posting a goal and an assist each and Panarin adding two assists. If today was any indication, the hype is real. They were dynamic. 
  • Werenski One-T: A seemingly innocuous suggestion by President of Hockey Operations John Davidson led to Zach Werenski spending a good chunk of his summer working on his one-timer, perhaps the one flaw in his game as a rookie. Well, message received. Though it was a bit of a knuckler, Werenski let loose his newly-refined shot and found pay-dirt in the third period. Werenski and Artemi Panarin playing 'patty-cake' on the power play setting up one-timers should be a ton of fun to watch, and will give the Blue Jackets a completely new element. 

The Blue Jackets return to preseason action on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues at Nationwide Arena. They'll conclude the exhibition slate later next week against Nashville and Pittsburgh, both road games, before the regular season begins Oct. 6.

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