Last night’s season opener for the Columbus Blue Jackets was a fight and shootout short of having everything fans go to games for. We had great goalie play accompanied by bone crushing hits from the muscle line of Josh Anderson, Brandon Dubinsky and Boooooooooooooooooone Jenner. We had speed out of the fourth line of Anthony Duclair, Riley Nash and Sonny Milano that showed the speed and skill of some organization’s first line. All around, it was great to get out of Detroit with two points to start the season with a backup goalie at the helm.
Maybe if there was a fight and shootout guaranteed, the fine people of Detroit would’ve actually come to the game. How do you call yourself Hockeytown and then have a sea of empty seats on Opening Night? Just doesn’t add up.
Oh yeah, and we had our prized Russian forward, Artemi “Bread Man” Panarin having a monster shift in overtime where he seemed like he was on the ice for 45-minutes searching for the winning goal, reminding us how much we’re gonna miss him next year when he takes a payday in a “fancier” city with a lesser hockey team.
I guess we just have to enjoy him while he’s wearing Union Blue, fellow 5th-Liners. In a perfect world, the Jackets make a cup run and he realizes how fun Columbus is and decides to stay. In a semi-perfect world, Panarin bolts the day after the Stanley Cup parade when he decides he’d rather lose in Florida and we use the cap space to pay Bobrovsky and two free agent scorers. In our own personal hell, we’re a bubble playoff team come deadline and we ship him off to Tampa for some draft picks and a prospect that needs a change of scenery.
Let’s not put the cart before the horse though. It’s only October and lot can happen. Keep in mind, we still have to look forward to the subsequent injury to a star player as soon as Seth Jones is healthy and ready to return. Because, remember: we’re not allowed to have nice things, aka a fully healthy roster.
Let’s go out and get two more points tonight, Bob.