Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bjorkstrand Breaks Tie with First NHL Goal

Oliver Bjorkstrand scores the game winner!
In action yesterday evening, the CBJ chased a New Jersey Devils goal tender early, let them back in to the game to a tie, and then pulled away for a 6-3 win in Nationwide Arena.  Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the game winner 34 seconds after the Devils tied the game early in the third period.  William Karlsson scored 11 seconds later to ice the win, while Bjorkstrand followed up with the second goal of his NHL career to close the scoring.

I've been watching Bjorkstrand coming up through our system for a long time.  The Jackets took their time bringing him through the system, and he repaid their patience in Juniors by exploding for 60 goals in his last year.  At the AHL level he had the setback of an injury, but has put together a solid if unspectacular year.  But speed is a premium at the NHL level, and Bjorkstrand showed it at several times last night, blasting up the wing.  He brings a dimension of skill to the Blue Jackets that is absent except for Cam Atkinson, and adds a lot to the team.

Two games does not an NHL career make, but he is on the board and will get a chance to gain some experience before going back to Lake Erie to help them in their playoff push.  Today he will get to experience what an NHL club does when you beat them, and will find out how quickly other teams will do things to stifle you.  That experience will help him continue to grow, and is an important part of his development.  This is what a clever draft pick patiently developed can do for you, and we have a few of these in our system now that will begin to emerge in a few years.

I am really excited for Oliver, and it will be interesting to see how today's game goes.  The downside of this is that Mrs. Gallos is already tired of hearing me talk like the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.  Bjork! Bjork! Bjork!


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