Ramblings: Blue Jackets Bounce Back, Pastrnak Out, Tkachuk Leaves Game (Aug 14)

Ian Gooding

2020-08-14

Before diving into game action, we'll start with a few news items. Claude Julien was hospitalized with chest pains on Wednesday night. Kirk Muller is expected to serve as the Canadiens head coach for the remainder of the series against Philly. Let's hope for a speedy recovery.

Nicklas Backstrom is expected to miss Game 2 against the Islanders on Friday. He is currently in concussion protocol after taking a high hit from Anders Lee in what was a physical Game 1. I'd expect there to be more fireworks between these two Metropolitan Division rivals in Game 2 and possibly beyond.

Dan Hamhuis announced his retirement on Thursday. The steady defensive-minded defenseman usually didn't generate a ton of buzz in fantasy leagues. However, I wonder if the Canucks' fortunes in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final had been different had Hamhuis not been injured early in that series. All the best to him in his retirement, which includes being a part owner of the WHL's Prince George Cougars.

Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1 (series tied 1-1)

You kind of wonder about the psyche of a team that goes through five overtime periods but has nothing to show for it afterward. Yet if you didn't know already, John Tortorella's Blue Jackets are a resilient bunch. Already missing Cam Atkinson for Game 2, the Jackets were able to tie the series with a 3-1 win, with goals coming from Ryan Murray, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Alexander Wennberg.

As a result of Atkinson missing the game, Emil Benstrom entered the Blue Jackets lineup. He was held without a point and played just seven minutes total.

After playing over an entire game in Game 1 (65:06!), Seth Jones logged "just" 28:31 in Game 2. The hockey world is currently witnessing what an outstanding defenseman he is and how integral he is to the Blue Jackets game plan. Maybe a future Norris Trophy candidate?

I'm getting lots of mileage on my Pierre-Luc Dubois pick in my hockey pool, where he is at the time of writing my leading scorer (eight points in seven games). A total of eight Leafs were picked ahead of him in this particular playoff pool, which tells you which team most thought would win that play-in series. Dubois is really demonstrating his value as a possible top-line ce