Thomas and I swapped nights so you've got me for the big Saturday recap. Strap yourselves in because last night was a doozy!
The Boston Bruins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in the afternoon game. Typical Bruins performance. They outshot the Blue Jackets 35-27, failed on all of their power play attempts, spread their scoring across nine different players and got a great game out of Tuukka Rask. This is as reliable a team as you'll find in any sport.
Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla each got their first points as Bruins. Personally, I have never liked this destination for Eriksson from a fantasy perspective. He has demonstrated he can score 70 points in the right situation but in Boston they spread the minutes around too evenly for anyone to be a big time scorer. He's a lock for 60 points though so it's not a huge hit.
Iginla, on the other hand, could arguably benefit from being in Boston where he won't be relied upon to be "the guy" like he was in Calgary. Those days are obviously behind him. However, Iginla is still getting big minutes for Boston skating 17:30 alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Most importantly, Iginla is seeing 3:30 per game on the Bruins' top power play unit. That power play unit stinks but it's still important he get those minutes since even a terrible power play is successful enough to boost a player's numbers. It will be interesting to see how long he can maintain these minutes both because his old body could wear down and also because the Bruins might be best giving someone else a shot on that top power play unit.
Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch as Matt Bartkowski drew into the lineup for the Bruins. This is just one of those typical hiccups that a young player must endure as he finds his way in the NHL. Hamilton will be back though I'm not counting on him to be productive this season.
It was a vintage Jack Johnson performance for Columbus on Saturday as he scored a power play goal and went minus-three for the game. I shouldn't joke because Johnson has come a long way since arriving in Columbus. Johnson is still by no means a net-positive player and certainly grades as one of the worst possession players on the Blue Jackets but at least part of that is because of how many tough minutes he is asked to play.
Let's also give credit where credit is due, Johnson's net plus/minus since arriving in Columbus is even, which is amazing considering he is a minus-90 on his career. I don't think he will ever be the top player that his physical skills and draft pedigree hint at but he is still only 26 (which is young for an NHL defenseman) and has become a passable player at even strength, while still being an excellent power play defenseman.