Each weekday this season, BlueJackets.com will post CBJ Today, a look at news, notes, analysis and fun stuff from around the Blue Jackets world. It's everything you need to know if you're a fan going into the day.
The Daily Buzz
The Blue Jackets got a much-needed jolt on Tuesday night, pulling away to a 4-0 lead and finishing off a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay in Nationwide Arena. The team will be back at it today with a practice session at noon in preparation for Thursday night's series finale at the downtown barn.
Some Creative Scorekeeping
Last night was a weird game in that Joonas Korpisalo took a penalty and Tortorella got an assist.
Wait, what? OK, the last one was figurative, but it played a big part in the Jackets taking a 3-0 lead in the third period on the team's fourth power play of the night.
The third one didn't go so hot, and one particular play by Max Domi left the head coach a little bit hot. When Domi returned to the bench, head coach John Tortorella delivered a message he's tried to drive home to Domi all season - on the power play, don't overcomplicate things, just shoot the puck.
Domi did just that on the next power play, ripping a shot off the near post and past goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to give Columbus the three-goal lead.
Video: TBL@CBJ: Domi rips a shot into the corner for a PPG
"The one before that I made a pretty bad play, turned it over, and Torts told me to shoot it," Domi said. "Give him the assist on that one. That's all Torts."
Tortorella's recollection of the discussion was brisk.
"I told him to shoot, that was the conversation," Tortorella said. "I said shoot the effing puck."
That power play proved to be a huge moment in the game, as did an early penalty kill for the Jackets. A unit that has turned it on over the last 10 games, killing 22 of 23 chances, kept Tampa Bay off the board after goalie Joonas Korpisalo sailed a clearing attempt over the glass and onto one of the tarped advertisements in Nationwide Arena.
That was a delay of game penalty, and Korpisalo was not happy.
"The moment I saw the puck flying over the boards, I said, 'Oh my God,'" he recalled. "Time slows down, and you're like, 'OK, we need to kill this penalty.'"
Columbus did just that, one of four completed PKs on the night against the league's third-best power play.
"The guys did a great job out there and helped me out," Korpisalo said.
If there was one negative to the Blue Jackets' performance on Tuesday night, it's that the team might be without Boone Jenner for an extended period of time.
Might remains the key word, but it would be tough to see the alternate captain go down, especially after the team found out Monday that fellow veteran Riley Nash will be out for at least a month with a knee sprain.
Jenner was where he usually is - parked in front of the net at the end of a CBJ power play - when a shot by Patrik Laine hit him in what appeared to be the left arm or hand. Jenner immediately was in pain and went straight to the bench and then the locker room.
Tortorella did not have an update on Jenner after the game, but his sense was that it wasn't good.
"That's a huge part of our team," the head coach said. "I know he's snakebitten (offensively) and sometimes it gets ugly with him, but there is no one on this team that plays harder than him. And the situation we're in here, that's the guy you want leading the charge.
"Not so sure we're going to get good news there."
Time will tell, but if Jenner has to miss extended time, it will be more than just eight goals and 17 points out of the lineup. It will be the team's best faceoff man (54.6 percent entering last night) plus someone who plays on the power play and penalty kill, not to mention someone whose effort often pushes the team.
OK, as I said earlier, I'm not gonna get into scoreboard watching until the last month of the season, but we're pretty much there now.
Columbus didn't get a ton of good news last night in the help department, but it also could have been worse. The biggest negative was Nashville's come-from-behind win over Detroit, as Mikael Granlund's power-play goal with 3:58 left got the Predators into overtime, then shootout goals by Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi gave the Preds a 3-2 victory over Detroit. Nashville went from zero points to the full two in a short span there, improving to 8-2-0 in its last 10 and staying five points ahead of Columbus for the final playoff spot in the Central with a game in hand.
Meanwhile, two other teams battling the Jackets for that last spot met in Chicago, with the Blackhawks holding on for a 3-2 win over Dallas. The good news was that it wasn't a three-point gam, and Chicago remains three points ahead of Columbus with a game in hand. Dallas, meanwhile, is two points behind Columbus with four games in hand.
The thing about division games is that everyone in the division is going to get points on a given day, and there will be a few matchups of teams battling the CBJ for positioning down the stretch.