With a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets ran their points streak to 11 games. While most of the attention during their current run has focused on the goaltending of Sergei Bobrovsky, there is one veteran player having a huge impact at the offensive end of the ice who is doing just as much to help keep the streak alive. Vinny Prospal didn’t score a goal against the Predators (he actually didn’t even have a shot on goal) but had three assists, helping him reach a career milestone few other players have.
Prospal’s three helpers Tuesday night gave him 501 for his career, making him one of only 17 active players who has reached the 500 mark. He continues to lead the way for the Blue Jackets offense this season with nine goals and 18 points, despite being the second-oldest player (defenseman Adrian Aucoin is older) on the team. Since the Rick Nash trade over the summer, Columbus has few offensive weapons, and Prospal stepping up this season has helped in a big way. Four of his goals and six of his points have come on the power play, which has been a boost for a Blue Jackets team that ranks 27th in the league in converting with the man-advantage.
The Blue Jackets sit just one win away from being in the playoff picture, and if they were to make the postseason the experience a player like Prospal brings would be invaluable. Prospal has played in 65 playoff games in his career and has 10 postseason goals while playing for the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators.
The Blue Jackets will try to keep their streak alive Friday when they host a Calgary Flames team that has lost four of its last six contests.