There’s no reason for the Blue Jackets to play with any urgency except to save face, but there’ve been a few good looks by them in the first period. It’s tough to say that one person leaving can feel like a weight’s been lifted from a team’s shoulders, but this team looks like a huge burden’s been lifted since Jeff Carter got traded to the LA Kings for Jack Johnson and a first. Johnson had nothing but nice things to say about being in Columbus, which was a pleasant difference from Carter, who didn’t want to be there and made it obvious. That kind of thing can be poison for a team.
That being said, a sharper looking Blue Jackets squad is still the Blue Jackets. The Blues have 15 shots on goal so far to Columbus’ six. One of them, this excellent and emphatic wrister by David Perron, made it past goaltender Curtis Sanford:
The Blues had three power play chances in the first period, but could not convert on any of them. Hopefully those missed chances won’t come back to bite the team later.