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No Bob, no problem for Columbus

Joe De Falco   ·   20 janvier 2020
If we go back to last summer, the hottest topics in hockey were concerning the signings of several big name players. Artemi Panarin was on the move, as were Jacob Trouba and of course, long time Sharks captain, Joe Pavelski.

But one of the biggest signings of the off season was that of Columbus’ long time netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. After seven seasons as the top tier goal tender in Columbus, Bobrovsky signed with the Florida Panthers in the offseason, to the tune of seven years, $70 million. Big money for a big time goalie.

Obviously, with that kind of money comes big expectations. Unfortunately, since donning a Panthers jersey, Bobrovsky hasn’t been able to produce like he did in Columbus.

Which former goaltender was selected by the San Diego Padres in the MLB in 1981?
Billy Smith
Grant Fuhr
John Vanbiesbrouck
Pete Peeters
Ronald Hextall
Vincent Riendeau


More than halfway through the season, Bobrovsky, who has the second largest cap hit in the league, is averaging just a .902 save average. A very different showing than what was expected at the time of his signing.

With Bobrovsky out of the picture, the Blue Jackets had to seek their netminding elsewhere. That goaltending would inevitably come from Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins, both of which have put on goaltending clinics in their own right, thus far through the season.

Korpisalo, who filled the place as starting netminder at the beginning of the year, has posted a 17-10 record on the season, while allowing 2.49 GAA. Unfortunately, the Finnish goaltender is currently out, after suffering a lower body injury during a shootout with Chicago in late December. Since his injury, Columbus has relied heavily on the newcomer Elvis Merzlikins, with whom the Blue Jackets have seemingly struck gold.

Coming off his third shutout in four games, Merzlikins has the third best save percentage in the NHL, at .928. It is absolutely worth noting that despite these numbers, the rookie goaltender had never seen NHL ice time prior to this season, yet has still managed to find his way to the NHLPA’s Player of the Week.



Even the third netminder in the depth pool, rookie Matiss Kivlenieks made his NHL debut on Sunday, and boasted 31 saves on 32 shots, lifting the Blue Jackets over the Rangers.

As a collective, the three now hold the second best 5-on-5 percentage in the league, and the third best overall save percentage as well. The most amazing part of this newly discovered goaltending depth in Columbus is undoubtedly the cost. While Columbus lost a veteran in Bobrovsky in the offseason, they ironically seem to be saving quite a bit in goalie funds, while not necessarily compromising performance.



As Bobrovsky is in Florida, underperforming to the tune of $10 million a year, three goaltenders that have yet to become household names have assembled a brick wall at the Blue Jackets net, all the while only being paid a collective of less than $3 million per year.



Not a bad deal for Columbus, who obviously paid very close attention to their depth coming into the offseason, with Bobrovsky’s future being unknown.

With the play the Jackets are getting in net, it seems they’re suited to make a playoff push, hoping to recreate and surpass their playoff run from the 18-19 season, in which they swept the Presidents Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning in amazing fashion, to advance to the second round.

Will the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs?
FEBRUARY 16, 2020
TOP 20 G A PTS
SEBASTIAN AHO
2 1 3
PATRIC HORNQVIST
2 1 3
LEON DRAISAITL
1 2 3
BRADY TKACHUK
1 2 3
JOSH ARCHIBALD
2 - 2
ADAM HENRIQUE
2 - 2
JOEY ANDERSON
1 1 2
MASON APPLETON
1 1 2
NATHAN BEAULIEU
1 1 2
SIDNEY CROSBY
1 1 2
DEREK GRANT
1 1 2
PATRICK KANE
1 1 2
JOHAN LARSSON
1 1 2
JEAN-GABRIEL PAGEAU
1 1 2
KYLE PALMIERI
1 1 2
MIRO HEISKANEN
- 2 2
DMITRY KULIKOV
- 2 2
COLIN MILLER
- 2 2
RASMUS RISTOLAINEN
- 2 2
KEVIN ROONEY
- 2 2
COMPLETE LIST  
NHL LEADERS
POINTS GP PTS
LEON DRAISAITL
59 95
DAVID PASTRNAK
60 82
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 81
NATHAN MACKINNON
57 80
ARTEMI PANARIN
57 78
BRAD MARCHAND
60 75
JACK EICHEL
58 74
PATRICK KANE
59 74
NIKITA KUCHEROV
57 72
AUSTON MATTHEWS
60 71
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
GOALS GP G
AUSTON MATTHEWS
60 42
DAVID PASTRNAK
60 42
ALEXANDER OVECHKIN
57 40
LEON DRAISAITL
59 34
JACK EICHEL
58 33
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ASSISTS GP A
LEON DRAISAITL
59 61
JOHN CARLSON
58 54
BRAD MARCHAND
60 52
CONNOR MCDAVID
55 51
ARTEMI PANARIN
57 49
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
DEFENSEMEN GP PTS
JOHN CARLSON
58 69
ROMAN JOSI
58 57
VICTOR HEDMAN
57 49
ALEX PIETRANGELO
59 47
QUINN HUGHES
58 45
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
ROOKIES GP PTS
QUINN HUGHES
58 45
CALE MAKAR
49 42
VICTOR OLOFSSON
44 38
NICK SUZUKI
61 38
DOMINIK KUBALIK
57 36
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
WINS GP W
ANDREI VASILEVSKIY
44 32
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
49 25
JORDAN BINNINGTON
42 24
FREDERIK ANDERSEN
44 24
CAREY PRICE
50 24
COMPLETE STANDINGS  
SHUTOUTS GP SO
ELVIS MERZLIKINS
28 5
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
42 4
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
49 4
JAMES REIMER
24 3
JAROSLAV HALAK
27 3
COMPLETE STANDINGS  

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