Bjorkstrand, Blue Jackets, Hit The All-Star Break With Momentum


The Blue Jackets continue to be the hottest team in the NHL. They hit all-star break the right way, rallying from one goal deficits three different times and eventually winning 4-3 over Winnipeg before a sold-out house in Nationwide Arena Wednesday night. Over the last six weeks, no team in the NHL has been better than the Jackets. After going 11-14-4 (26 points) over their first 29 games of the season, the Jackets are 16-2-4 (36 points) over their last 22. They are riding a season best 6 game winning streak, have won 10 of their last 12 and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 home games. On December 9, the Jackets had the third worst record in the league. They hit the all-star break holding the first wild card position in the East and have found their way despite a flood of injuries.

One of those injured stars was forward Oliver Bjorkstrand, who coach John Tortorella said was the teams best player, prior to suffering a rib injury December 21 in a win over New Jersey. Bjorkstrand missed 13 games but hasn't missed a beat since returning. In his first game back, Sunday against the Rangers, Bjorkstrand scored two third period goals, lifting the CBJ to a 2-1 win in New York. Wednesday was his second game back and Bjorkstrand scored twice again, including the game winner with 5:38 left. Despite his prolonged absence, Bjorkstrand's 16 goals this season lead the team. His game winner against the Jets was the result of a sensational individual effort, controlling the puck while fighting through a check against the boards and then squeezing through to fire in a wicked shot to snap a 3-3 tie. If you missed it, you can check out the highlights here as well as some post-game Jacket interviews.