The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the worst teams in the NHL. They had the third overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and now they are staring down another top-five pick.
On Friday night, however, they had a good night in Columbus. They defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in overtime.
The Maple Leafs had a 3-1 lead, a 4-2 lead, and a 5-4 lead. The Jackets kept finding a way to get it tied though and Johnny Gaudreau scored the overtime winner.
Gaudreau had two assists in the game as well. One of them was on Adam Fantilli's third-period goal that tied the game. It is essential to see these two play well as much of the future is invested in them. Kent Johnson, who the Blue Jackets also have a lot of stock in, scored a goal as well.
Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares all scored for Toronto and they were still defeated by Columbus. That is something to be proud of as they overcame an onslaught from one of the best teams in the league.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a very interesting NHL team right now.
Zach Werenski injury update
Zach Werenski left Wednesday night's game against the New Jersey Devils with a lower-body injury and he did not return. He was tangled up with Ondrej Palat and couldn't put any weight on his left leg afterward.
Werenski is going to be week to week now following the injury. This is a very bad break for both the player and the team. He has not played a whole lot over the last two seasons because of tough injury luck.
This is a very good defenseman and the league is better when he is playing. We can only hope that he returns in a couple of weeks and avoids the injury bug for a long time. As for the Blue Jackets, they are missing their best defenseman for that stretch which will make winning even harder for them.
Columbus will now play the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. This is going to be a battle between two teams that believe that they should be playing better.
Buffalo, like Columbus, is very young. Guys like Owen Power, Rasmus Dahlin, Zach Benson, Dylan Cozens, and Jack Quinn will be buzzing around looking to make plays.
Hopefully, guys like Fantilli and Johnson continue to develop their game as forwards for the Blue Jackets. Both of them are capable of scoring tons of goals. A young team like Buffalo may allow them to have big nights again. There will be a lot of youth involved.
In addition to them, a youngster on the blue line like David Jiricek needs to develop as well. Games like this are very important for him.
Buffalo will present a good challenge for them but they are also very beatable. Coming off a big win over Toronto, they should be entering this game with a ton of confidence.