Ramblings: Hischier back – kind of; Compher’s new role; lucky starts – October 25

Michael Clifford

2019-10-25

 

Maybe this vote of confidence is a kiss of death, but John Tortorella said officially that Joonas Korpisalo has solidified himself as the go-to starter for the Blue Jackets. I think Columbus has showed well here early in the season, the problem with wins will come from goal scoring, because they still haven’t figured out their power play and the even strength scoring won’t be elite. This is a year where Korpisalo could have solid peripheral stats but not the wins to match because of that anemic power play.

*

In New Jersey practice yesterday, Nico Hischier was skating regularly with the team, but what on is effectively the third line with Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev. Jack Hughes is on the top line with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri.

Initially, I was repulsed by these line combinations, but they make sense. Hall and Palmieri can carry Hughes, and it gives Hughes top-end players from whom to learn. Hischier is rounding into an elite two-way centre, and that would work well with someone like Gusev in a lesser role. Let’s see how this goes.

Also, considering how I was talking about P.K. Subban and the New Jersey PP yesterday, it’s probably worth mentioning that Will Butcher was on the second PP unit in practice as well.

*

Remember yesterday, when Joonas Donskoi was on the top line for the Avs? Well, in practice on Thursday,