Sep 16, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT
The Blue Jackets won their preseason opener 5-4 against Pittsburgh on Sunday night, but the result might’ve been secondary to Columbus’ brass.
In discussing a huge third-period scrap between Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski and Pens forward Joe Vitale, Columbus head coach Todd Richards and president John Davidson were full of praise for Wisniewski.
“I loved it,” Richards told the Columbus Dispatch.
“If you’ve got to fight, you may as well win,” Davidson explained. “And did you see the way the team reacted?”
Here’s the fight in question:
Vitale left for observation following the tilt, the seventh he’s had at the NHL level.
It’s easy to understand why the Jackets were so hyped over Wisniewski’s performance (he also chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Gordie Howe hat trick). The team hasn’t received much from the 29-year-old after giving him a six-year, $33 million deal two years ago.
Now, the Jackets are looking at him to be a leader as they chase their second playoff berth in franchise history.
“When I think of James Wisniewski, I think of what has made him the player he is,” Richards explained. “It’s the edge, and playing on that edge with intensity.
“He showed me a lot tonight.”
- Holtby outduels Lundqvist as Caps take series lead 43
- WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Capitals 3
- Red Wings’ Devellano calls Mantha ‘very, very, very disappointing’ 59
- End of an era in New Jersey as Shero replaces Lamoriello as GM 26
- Once again, Rick Nash isn’t scoring in the playoffs 25
- Video: U.S. stays unbeaten at Worlds with win over defending champs Russia 9
- Andersen shuts out Flames as Ducks stay perfect in playoffs 6
- Wild can’t contain ‘Hawks star forwards in Game 2 44
- Prust blasts referee Watson after getting tossed from Game 2 29
- Stamkos, power play comes alive as Lightning take 2-0 series lead vs. Habs 29
- Niklas Kronwall suspended for Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay (116)
- Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits (103)
- Lightning’s Bishop silences Red Wings in hard fought Game 7 (81)
- ‘You can’t win,’ ex-NHL ref Fraser says of Prust incident (80)
- Babcock won’t discuss future yet, but sees challenges ahead for Wings (78)