Columbus Blue Jackets down New York Rangers: 3 observations

Three Key Takeaways from the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Victory over the New York Rangers

On Saturday night at Nationwide Arena, the Columbus Blue Jackets secured a much-needed win against the New York Rangers, despite being outplayed throughout the game. Boone Jenner led the team with an impressive hat trick, while rookie David Jiricek scored his first NHL goal. The victory was pivotal for the Blue Jackets, who were eager to bounce back after a disappointing loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener. Here are three key observations from the game:

Jenner’s Leadership Shines in Blue Jackets’ Win

One issue the Blue Jackets faced during the preseason and in their first game was the lack of bodies around the opposing net. Coach Pascal Vincent emphasized this point, and Boone Jenner demonstrated its importance against the Rangers. Four out of the five goals scored by the Jackets were net-front goals, including all three of Jenner’s goals in his second career hat trick. His ability to position himself effectively and tip the puck into the net proved instrumental in securing the win. Vincent praised Jenner’s consistency and leadership, highlighting his crucial role in the team’s success.

Jiricek’s Memorable First NHL Goal

Although David Jiricek and his defensive partner Ivan Provorov struggled in their first regular-season game together, their performance was salvaged by Jiricek’s highlight reel-worthy wrist shot in the second period. In a game dominated by the Rangers, Jiricek’s goal provided a much-needed moment of brilliance. Despite the challenges they faced against the Rangers, Jiricek and Provorov showed promise and will likely improve as the season progresses.

Martin’s Heroic Performance in Relief

Elvis Merzlikins had a strong performance in goal for the Blue Jackets, but was forced to leave the game after two periods due to illness. Backup goalie Spencer Martin stepped in and displayed admirable resilience against intense pressure from the Rangers. Although he allowed two goals, Martin faced 17 shots in the final period and played a crucial role in preserving the team’s victory. His performance highlights the importance of reliable backup goaltending.

Possession Woes for the Blue Jackets

While the final score favored the Blue Jackets, a closer look at the game statistics reveals significant deficiencies in puck possession. The Rangers dominated in all aspects, including shot attempts, shots on goal, scoring chances, and high-danger scoring chances. Unless the Blue Jackets improve their puck possession and play more aggressively, they will struggle to find success throughout the season.

Overall, the Blue Jackets’ win against the Rangers provided some much-needed optimism for the team. However, there are areas that require significant improvement for them to compete at a higher level.


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