The Jackets seemed to recognize that if you gave this team any room they were going to burn you, and played a very tight game for most of the night. Toronto made a push in the third period, but the Jackets contained them. This is not to say that there were not tense moments in Nationwide Arena tonight. That was there in abundance down the stretch. But Korpisalo kept them in the game early, and the team fought hard down the stretch, and they surpassed last year's point total finally.
With Scott Hartnell, a blog favorite, out of the line up on a day to day basis, Coach Tortorella took advantage of the presence of Oliver Bjorkstrand to do some line scrambling. The biggest questions for Bjorkstrand in the NHL game are his game away from the puck, and I thought tonight he was a heady player in the defensive zone, making sure his positioning was what it should be. Once when Seth Jones was caught up ice, making the play he should have made, Bjorkstrand was one of the two guys back covering the counter punch by the Leafs. So I view this game as a good step in his development, but still don't really see Bjorkstrand as a year long impact player until next year. At that time, someone is really going to have to show something to keep him off the team. This year he is a bit of a tweener, so the time he gets being 'the man' in Cleveland is great for his development. So I think his future looks really bright.
Awesome game tonight, well played by the CBJ when they really needed to play a good one. The Flightless Sea Birds are up next, in town for a Friday night Metro tilt. Yahoo!! That ought to be a ton of fun!