Yes, the Maple Leaf’s tied up the series by winning game 2, handing the Columbus Blue Jackets a shutout of their own. The Blue Jackets unable to find the net lost 3 – 0 with 2 goals in the game and an empty-netter in the last minutes of game 2.
The toughest part of the game was an unfortunate injury to a Maple Leaf player, but I feel the need to give recognition in such a situation. Jake Muzzin was checked as is typical, he went to save the puck from CBJ’s Oliver Bjorkstrand, and in the process fell, colliding his head with Bjorkstrand’s shin pad. Muzzin went to get up but realized it was best for him to remain on the ice as a precaution.
Both the Maple Leaf’s and Blue Jacket’s medical teams assisted in deciding on what actions to take, and after a handful of agonizing minutes waiting, he was taken off the ice on a stretcher. It is important to note we saw him move his legs, arms, and he remained awake the entire time; it was a scary time and we wish him all the best. As with our medical team assisting and our players pounding their sticks in support as he left the ice; when it comes to an injured player, it is humanity that triumphs over the competition, even in the playoffs.
That being said let’s now turn to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the game they played tonight. Tonight I could again pick my 3-star players of the game, and again it would be easy, sadly not for the reason it was for game 1 though! As I said, tonight was a scoreless game, so again my 1. Would be Joonas Korpisalo. I know what you’re thinking, we lost in a shutout, why him? Nearly 40 shots were taken on Korpisalo tonight and given the high amount of penalties racked up by our players, he held his own very well. Remember also, only 2 of those goals were scored on him as the third was an empty-netter.
My 2 and 3 stars of the game should come as no surprise as well, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski. Both of these men feed off each other in the defense, and I strongly believe the score would have been much higher than 3 if these two hadn’t been on their a-game tonight. Tonight’s loss could have been prevented or at least less severe if good plays weren’t broken up, the team hadn’t received so many penalties, and hadn’t relied on their goalie or veratrin players as much.
After tonight it is time to regroup before Game 3 on Thursday, August 6, they are even with a game each and this qualifier is far from over. However, their main drive must now hinge on the fact if they lose another game, they are only one more away from going home. The Maple Leaf’s have found a way in, but we must seal that up with a win on Thursday to fully gain back control of our team, and this playoff series.