Game No. 67: Cover the new guy

Who’s that dude?

It was without much fanfare that the Columbus Blue Jackets called up Matt Calvert on January 30.

The first-year pro, who posted very strong numbers in just one of his his three years with the Brandon Wheat Kings, had gotten into nine NHL games over the previous month, scoring just two goals and an assist. He was then sent back down to Springfield of the AHL for a few days toward the end of the month.

Little did anyone know that he was about to become arguably the best forward on the Blue Jackets over the next month. He scored a goal in his return engagement, a loss to Chicago, and added an assist three days later. He didn’t do anything of note in the next four games.

Then things went bananas.

First he scored on February 13 in a win over Dallas. Two games later, he had a goal and an assist in a win over Chicago. Then another goal in a win over Nashville. He followed that up with a natural hat trick and an assist to defeat the previously red-hot Coyotes.

Columbus has lost its last three games, but he had a goal in two of them.

Since he was recalled, he’s scored nine goals and added three assists in 13 games. But ince he got over his four-game scoring slump, it’s 8-2-10 in eight.

Now, you might be saying that his shooting percentage is unsustainable, and at eight goals on 23 shots in his last eight games, you are absolutely right. No one can keep shooting 34.7 percent. But who knows if that stops tonight? Who knows if it stops the rest of the season? Hell, Lee Stempniak of all people ended last year with 12 goals on 48 shots in his final 18 games, and that number also proved unsustainable. Stempniak’s run started, ironically, on March 4.

So I guess what I’m basically trying to tell you is that while the 21-year-old fifth-round pick scoring a goal a game with like 13 minutes of ice time can’t keep that going until the end of time, you sure don’t wanna find out the hard way that the streak won’t end tonight.