18,614 packed into Nationwide Arena Thursday night in an electrifying season opener.
COLUMBUS, OHIO --- The Blue Jackets opened up their season on Thursday night in front of a sold-out Nationwide Arena.
The Jackets started out their season rather sloppy, allowing Sean Couturier and Joel Farabee to go on a 2-on-0 as a result of a bad line change by Andrew Peeke, 3:33 into the game. Elvis couldn't do much, and Joel Farabee capitalized for the first of the game.
The Blue Jackets' Jake Bean netted the first goal of the season for the Jackets, giving Adam Fantilli his first NHL point.
12:43 in, Philadelphia took the lead once again. This time, it was Travis Konecny.
14:22 into a chippy second period, Garnet Hathaway stuck his leg out on a hit given to Zach Werenski. Given Werenski's history of battling injuries, Nationwide Arena collectively held its breath as he hit the ice. Coach Pavel Vincent assured that it was just a Charlie horse (the official term that was given was "quad contusion") and that it would not be a long-term situation.
Gudbranson chimed in on the hit by Hathaway. "F----n dirty hit. F----n stupid. I don't know what else to say".
Erik Gudbranson also acknowledged his prior history with Garnet Hathaway. Back in 2019, Hathaway spit on the defenseman, who at the time was a member of the Ducks.
Familiar foe Cam Atkinson scored an empty net goal for the Flyers with 1:29 remaining in the game. With a half-empty arena, Patrik Laine scored his first of the season off of a ridiculous snipe that would have been beneficial had it been a minute or two prior.
Travis Konecny scored his second of the night on an empty net 19:59 into the third period. Jackets lose, 4-2
-Elvis looked great. 35/37 on shots, and he ended up with a .943 save percentage. No complaints there. He definitely played with some confidence that he lacked last season.
-Fantilli brought some much-needed energy to the lineup and played "excellent," according to coach Pavel Vincent.
-Provorov appeared to struggle against his former team, and Peeke's performance also fell well short of expectations.
-Not so much a "key" takeaway, but Torts denied that the Hathaway kneeing was a penalty. "Old time hockey", I guess.
-Patrik Laine looked good tonight at center. He was reading plays well on both sides of the ice.
-Johnny hockey looked just a tad invisible tonight. He finished with -3.
-The 5th line has sold out Nationwide Arena in nine of its last 10 games, dating back to February 25th.
The Jackets host the Rangers on Saturday at 7 p.m. Unfortunately, I will not be there to cover that matchup.
You can catch the game on Bally Sports Ohio and 97.1 The Fan.
Ian Phillips (@ianphillips9) for Yamo Media