Score: Buffalo: 2, Columbus: 1
Shots: BUF-24, CBJ-23
Buffalo Goalscorers: Evan Rodrigues, Jack Eichel
Columbus Goalscorers: Oliver Bjorkstrand
Plus-1: Evan Rodrigues
Just over one month ago, it was reported that forward Evan Rodrigues requested a trade out of Buffalo. It was futile at the time, with zero goals on the season, Rodrigues had almost no value on the market. Head coach Ralph Krueger fired back, saying he’d play the people that wanted to be here and banished Rodrigues to the pressbox to get a better perspective on things. Maybe it’s coincidence, but in the five games since returning to the ice, Rodrigues has three goals, including one to open the scoring today. Six in ten would be impressive, and would certainly boost his value at the deadline. Keep it up, E-Rod.
Minus-1: Playing with the lead
Buffalo scored first, which should be a plus. Columbus scored next - technically twice, with one goal disallowed. It was important for Buffalo to take two points, but more important for the team to take two in regulation and not let the Blue Jackets garner any points from the matchup. They failed to do so, and so even winning in overtime the small victory is not much of a victory.
Plus-1: Jack Eichel
How many times will this man just literally be the difference in a game. Too often, it’s as though everyone knows Jack will score, so they float through a game waiting for it to happen. And then, like giving the lollipop to the toddler throwing a tantrum, he does score. Everyone cheers. Jeanerette goes nuts. And we wait until the next time he carries the team. Watch this goal. He holds the puck for 12 seconds. No one even challenges him because they don’t want to make a mistake. We don’t deserve him.
Plus-1: Rasmus Dahlin
At 19 years old, most of us were trying to figure out what we were going to get adjunct beers for the weekend. This kid is out here running down legendary defenders like Ray Borque, scoring points on points, and climbing the ranks of high-scoring teenage blueliners. In what is an overall bleak season, Dahlin has been a bright spot - especially since returning from his concussion earlier in the year.
Even: Carter Hutton
Hutton gets a win - something he hasn’t done frequently this season. He allows only one goal on 23 shots; again something he hasn’t done frequently. You’d like to see him fight for the shutout, but a win is a win, and one goal is one goal. Maybe this should be a plus. Good on you, Sutton.
The team got a win when they needed a win, but they also gave up a point, which they needed to avoid. But, Eichel got a goal (of course,) Dalhin got a point (of course,) and Rodrigues stays “hot.” I use quotes because...well...I don’t feel I need to explain. With Ullmark out for a while, this should be a good confidence builder for a goaltender that hasn’t had his best year, and for a team that has struggled out of the break, it should be nice to get a win against an opponent they’ll need to surpass if they have any hope of breaking into wildcard contention.