If it wasn’t clear before, Sunday made it obvious: dismiss the Columbus Blue Jackets at your own peril.
The scrappy bunch won yet another game by a slim margin – and in dramatic fashion – as they held off a San Jose Sharks surge to prevail 4-3 on Sunday.
Columbus has won six of its last seven games (including four of five in a six-game road trip that seemed to have “doom” written all over it). The Blue Jackets last three victories came when it seemed like they’d settle for a loss or at least need to go to extra time.
April 15 (4-3 OT win at Colorado): They tied the game with about a minute and a half left in the third period and then won it with less than 30 seconds left in OT.
April 17: (3-2 OT win at Anaheim): They scored another third period game-tying goal before scoring in overtime.
April 18: Loss at Los Angeles.
Sunday night: Ryan Johansen scored the game-winner with a little more than 90 seconds remaining in the third:
This win strengthens the Blue Jackets’ hold on the eighth seed in the West with 51 points and two games remaining. They’ll still need to work some more magic to complete this Cinderella run to the postseason, but at this point, would you bet against them?
Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.
Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:
Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).
The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.