COLUMBUS, Ohio —
One. Here’s a phrase to start getting used to: Zach Werenski power play goal.
The 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman, who quarterbacks the Blue Jackets’ top power play unit, scored the first goal of his NHL career in his second game with a seeing-eye shot from the point. Werenski earned the top-unit honors with his patience, poise and vision exhibited during the Calder Cup-winning Cleveland (Lake Erie) Monsters in postseason play and his solid preseason, and further proved tonight why he deserves to be there as a rookie.
San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones fired the puck to the Blue Jackets bench, ensuring Werenski had a souvenir to remember it by.
Two. Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t receive much help from his teammates tonight, as he faced 30 shots on goal in the game’s first 40 minutes and made 35 total saves. Despite a 2-0 deficit, Bobrovsky’s performance kept the game within reach.
That’s great news for the Blue Jackets, since the injury-prone goaltender looks to be in top form, but he needs his defense to step up and prevent that many pucks from getting through.
Three. For the Blue Jackets, who ultimately lost 3-2, tonight looked more like Game 84 than Game 2 of the 2016-17 season. They were a step behind the Sharks, who read almost every play, intercepted several passes and out-skated the Blue Jackets for most of the game.
Though the latter half of the third period was a step in the right direction, the Blue Jackets need to play the full 60 minutes if they want to survive the rest of this month’s tough schedule, which includes a west coast road trip.