If you have yet to celebrate an “Arty Party” this hockey season, you most likely live outside the Ohio area. However, for those within the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ fandom, these parties are celebrated almost on the nightly these days as the addition of Artem Anisimov to Columbus’ roster is showing a big return after his part of the powerhouse trade that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers last season.
Anisimov gave Columbus fans yet another reason to party Saturday evening, as the center-man helped the Blue Jackets progress toward their postseason hopes by scoring the game-tying goal in the third period. Columbus went on to beat the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime and won two huge points in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings.
Anisimov, currently in the midst of a career-high 20-goal season, is more than paying off for the Blue Jackets while the team weathers a series of every night, do or die, game sequences for the next two weeks. Anisimov’s proven ability to read plays under pressure has made him one of the most important assets to the Blue Jackets in the later half of this season; the puck always seems to find Anisimov’s stick before hitting the back of the net during the most needed of times.
Besides his solid individual effort this season, Anisimov’s value also lies with his ability to create sparks for those on the ice around him. Saturday night in Carolina, Nathan Horton was switched to a line with Anisimov and Nick Foligno. Horton went on to have one of his best looking games in weeks, which included picking up an assist on Anisimov’s vital goal; good things happen when you join the Arty Party.