1st period - Jackets outplayed but come of it with the lead 2-1
2nd period - Jackets outplay the Lightning but come out of the period tied 3-3
3rd period - Relatively even but powerplay finally comes through with a timely goal - Jackets win 5-2
It was certainly a strange game amongst two teams that have long shots at best to make the playoffs. I'm sure the team felt good about getting the following monkeys off their backs:
1. They finally won at home
2. They finally scored their first powerplay goal in 7 games
3. It was only their second regulation 5 goal game (Detroit on Feb 15th was the other) since Tuesday October 23rd!
Lit it up
Gosh, how about Rusty Klesla. He finished a +4, led team in minutes played with 25 (7+ of those shorthanded), 2 hits and 2 blocked shots. I'm tellin ya, the best thing that could have happened to Rusty was Foote doing what he did.
Lets not forget Hejda either. He finished a +3 with over 22 mins of ice time.
Secondary scoring. Whether it be b/c Tampa is in such disarray right now or b/c Mike Smith can't stick handle or just a little luck...the Jackets finally goals from someone not named Nash or Zherdev. MacKenzie, Vyborny, Peca, Chimera & Novotny. Peca and Novonty were in huge droughts so perhaps this game can jumpstart them a bit.
The guy in my section yelling at Smith to "set taser to suck".... classic..
Nash & Z. Both collected two assists a piece. I really like the way Nash was vocal to the refs after that non-high stick call. He's taking the reigns of this team folks.
Leadership. In fact I've noticed just a different presence on and off the ice from Nash, Klesla and Leclaire. I think these boys are realizing this is their team now -- its their time to lead it. Gives me goosebumps. Grab it and run with it fellas we are behind ya.
Faceoffs. Boys won 65% of em last night.
They also outhit the Lightning 21 to 14.
PK killed off all 6 PP including a double minor.
Congrats Derek MacKenzie on your first ever NHL goal!!! So that makes MacKenzie, Russell, Boll & Brassard as players who scored their first ever NHL goals this season. Am I leaving someone out? I'm pretty sure Glencross had one prior to Columbus.
Dim the light
Nice hustle by Fritsche to set up MacKenzie's goal.
Did not like the way the team gave up a 2 goal lead to Tampa but b/c they were able to rebound from it in the 3rd I won't lable it a "bust".
Poweplay with a goal! ..and a timely one at that -- whooo-hoo...
I just don't know what anyone sees in Ron Hainsey.... this guy cannot see the ice... just re-watch this game and concentrate on Dan Boyle -- that is what a powerplay QB is supposed to do. We need a temendous upgrade in that area over the summer. Please come to Cbus Brian Campbell - pretty please - we'll even overpay, give you a NTC and sell you Adam Foote's house!
Bad turnover by Russell on St. Louis goal... bad shift change that led to Lecavalier's goal between Hainsey and Klelsa... really they just got an unlucky bounce on that one..
Not much out of Lecavalier last night....dude is a lot bigger than I thought he was though....and Martin St. Louis can't be over 5'4" - the ice girls were taller than this guy.
Aaron Rome. I wanted to give this guy some props as well. Rome has been playing really solid. A friend of mine pointed something out about his game, he is extremely good at clearing out lanes to allow Leclaire to see shots. Rome finished a -1 but logged over 16 minutes of ice time including 5+ of PK time. For only his 6th ever NHL game this guy is a making a nice case for himself out there. Will be interesting to see what happens with him this offseason.
This team has got to learn how to play with a lead. Its like no matter what they have to make it a one goal game. Need to learn to finish off teams. All part of the growing process - at least that what I tell myself.
6 penalties. They got it away with it last night against the 7th best PP but that's not gonna happen most nights.
Refs. Boll for goalie interference when he didn't even touch him... Nash with a stick to the chops right in front of the ref yet nothing...
3 bright lights on the night
1. Rusty Klesla - anytime your a +4 you've had a damn good night
2. Derek MacKenzie - 1st NHL goal
3. Goalie snow sculpture in front of RBar - was a thing of beauty, will have pictures up over the next day
Really not the prettiest of wins for the Jackets but you know, they've played lights out a lot of games this year and have come up empty handed so I'll take the 2 points and move forward. Hopefully this is just the kind of kick in the pants the Jackets needed to get themsevles going at home although they must know if they play like they did last night against the good teams in the league, those games won't translate to points.
The Jackets now sit with 73 points, tied with Phoenix and Chicago, 5 points out of the nearest playoff spot. The problem is that both Phoneix & Chicago have played one less game and the team they are chasing, Vancouver, has played 2 less games.
The Jackets next game is Friday so since we can't watch the Jackets its time to start rooting for Phoenix, Vancouver, Calgary, Nashville, Chicago and Colorado (a given right? BTW did you see both Foote and Forsberg are injured - karma!) to loose and no 3 point games damn it!!