The win helped the Blue Jackets avoid what would have been their first three-game losing streak of the season.
In a game where his team was outshot by a 36-21 margin and managed just a single goal (an Alexander Wennberg tally in the second period), it would not be unfair to say that he probably stole a couple of points for his team as the Blue Jackets continue to compete with the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in both the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL.
Bobrovsky being the difference in a game is nothing new for the Blue Jackets lately because he has been a brick wall in their net for much of the season. But for as good as his performance has been overall, it is over the past few weeks where he has really started to establish himself as a Vezina Trophy front runner.
With his win on Saturday the Blue Jackets are now 9-0-2 in his past 11 starts.
Bobrovsky remains the NHL’s leader in pretty much every major goaltending category, collecting his 40th win (first in the NHL), raising his overall save percentage to .934 (also first in the NHL), his even-strength save percentage to .940 (also first in the NHL), and recording his seventh shutout (tied for second, just one behind Braden Holtby).
He has four shutouts in the month of March alone.
There are a lot of factors you can point to for the Blue Jackets’ massive turnaround this season, but none of them have been bigger at this point than the play of Bobrovsky.
He has already won the Vezina Trophy once in his career, and he is putting together a pretty convincing argument to win it again this season.
The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are locked in a fierce fight for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, and they will have one more chance to take advantage of a head-to-head matchup on Saturday night.
It will be the fifth and final meeting of the regular season between the two teams — and third in the past eight days — as the two teams enter the night separated by just a single point in the standing (Montreal has a one point lead).
Montreal won the previous two head-to-head meetings this month, topping Ottawa in a shootout on March 18 then coming back the next night with a 4-1 win.
With wins in eight of his past 11 starts, a stretch that has seen him surrender more than two goals in a game just two times, Price is once again playing at that Vezina Trophy level we have seen from him in years past. His overall numbers for the season may not be quite as dominant as we have seen over the past couple of years but right now he is one of his zones where he looks nearly unbeatable.
Anderson has been on a similar roll for the Senators in recent weeks and has only lost three of his past 12 starts … two of them came at the hands of the Canadiens.
Elsewhere on Saturday…
— It was Richard Bachman vs Darcy Kuemper in Minnesota for the Vancouver Canucks-Wild game, while Sergei Bobrovsky went against Michal Neuvirth in the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Philadelphia Flyers game.
— With Tuukka Rask out for the Boston Bruins’ huge game against the New York Islanders, Anton Khudobin will get the call. No word yet from the Islanders on who they will start after going with Jaroslav Halak on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— No word yet from the Chicago Blackhawks or Florida Panthers for their game.
— Brian Elliott is back in net for the Calgary Flames after having his personal 11-game winning streak snapped against the Washington Capitals this past week. He faces his former team, the St. Louis Blues, who will be starting Jake Allen.
— It is a rare night off for Cam Talbot in Edmonton as Lauent Brossoit will make his first start since Feb. 21 when he gets the start against the Colorado Avalanche. He has made just two relief appearances since then. It will be just his third start of the season. The Avalanche have yet to announce their starter for the game.
What a day it has turned out to be for Brock Boeser.
Just hours after signing his first NHL contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the 2015 first-round draft pick was making his NHL debut in his hometown against the Minnesota Wild.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also ended up scoring his first career goal in the second period when he pounced on a loose puck that was sitting in the goal crease to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead. You can see the entire play in the video above.
Jack Skille would add another goal for the Canucks just two minutes later to give them a 4-0 lead against a Wild team that has lost nine of its past 12 games heading into Saturday.
The Calgary Flames announced on Saturday that they have signed undrafted free agent defenseman Josh Healey to a two-year entry level contract. He will join the Stockton Heat of the AHL for the remainder of this season on an Amateur Tryout contract before his entry level deal begins next season.
Healey, 22, has spent the past four seasons playing for Ohio State and has developed a reputation for being one of the biggest hitters and most physical players at the NCAA level.
“Hits too hard for college,” is how one NHL scout described his play back in February.
That style of play has resulted in him getting himself into hot some water in the form of several ejections and suspensions over the past two seasons.
Along with his willingness to play a physical game, Healey’s offensive game took off a bit during his junior and senior seasons, including the 2016-17 season when he finished as the top scoring defenseman on the Buckeyes with 25 points (four goals, 21 assists) in 35 games.
In 133 games over four years at Ohio State he has accumulated 212 penalty minutes, leading the team by a pretty wide margin the past two years.