That was BIG!
The Jackets coming off a 0-3 trip out west had to win last night versus those damn Preds... you know the team that has pretty much moved into Nationwide and made themselves real comfortable the last two seasons.. yeah.. ownership.
This was just the Jackets 3rd win in the last 19 tries against this team.... and it couldn't have come at a better time as the Jackets desperately needed a 'W' to not only stop the bleeding but to stop what's left of this fanbase from abandoning ship.
They came through though... and it certainly wasn't easy. The Jackets outplayed the Preds for the most part but didn't have anything to show for it through two periods. The Preds relied on their strong blueline and timely goaltending and countered when they could and that strategy paid off with a wicked Martin Erat wrister that beat Mason glove side high.
At that point you think.. whelp, there is your game.. Nashville scored first in the 3rd period and we know how much the Jackets struggle when they don't score first....
4 minutes after Erat's goal Commodore strikes with a goal from.... get ready for this... a point shot!! It was just a second or two short of a PP goal but timely nonetheless...
From there Steve Mason completely took over making quality save after quality save in OT and then the shootout.
Rick Nash had a beauty and then Hitch throws the curve ball... the 3rd shooter for the Jackets was the recently struggling Jakub Voracek...a 19 year old rookie... a bold move for Hitch but as we read in the paper this morning he went with him because the kid played strong all game (which he did) and wanted to reward him.
The reward paid off when Voracek opened up Ellis' pads just enough to slide the biscuit through to the basket.... Mason then follows up with another key save and there is your game!
SPOTLIGHT GAME REVIEW
Couple of things I want to start with. 1. The Jackets battled back for the win after giving up the 1st goal in the 3rd. 2. They executed in the shootout. 3. They generated a goal from the point. All big positives to me.
Steve Mason was fantastic. Not much he or any goaltender could do on that Erat heater... that was a beautiful shot. However some of the saves he made in OT were of the "wow" variety especially when you consider the state of that game and the Jackets... he doesn't come up big there and the Jackets find themselves on a 4 game losing streak... he is really looking like a big time big game goaltender every club covets.
Jackets got some breaks. They killed off an extended 5 on 3 that involved some luck with the post. Heck when it got back to 5 on 4 I believe it was Chimera who broke a stick.. still they managed to weather the storm. We've seen a lot of games this year when those breaks did not go in our favor. Nice to see em fall the Jackets way for once.
Was great to see Commodore get his first as a Jacket... he's been playing really solid hockey for us. He also had a team high 7 shots and threw up 3 hits and 2 blocked shots. He got beat a bit by Erat's speed on his goal but certainly made up for it. Complete game for the double deuce...and if you notice that 'fro is starting grow out!
..am I the only one excited by Russell's play the past couple of games? The points are starting to come for him as well. He collected a helper which gives him 3p in his last 2 games. I really want to see Klesla paired with him when he comes off the IR.
PK did its job of killing off all 4 penalties... yeah, they needed a little luck but we are due for some.
Solid game for Voracek. He was very noticeable last night.. he had a couple of rookie mistakes early but I really liked how Hitch kept going back to him and then to give him a shot in the shootout was brilliant move I thought... one in which could really get his confidence moving in the right direction. Speaking of Voracek... did anyone watching notice how pissed he was after he didn't score in close when he went back to the bench? He was saying some "words" and slamming his stick.... can't teach that kind of fire but at the sametime you don't want him beating himself up to much.
Crazy dudes with the Swedish flags. Apparently they were friends of Huselius.
PP went 0-4 but they had some decent puck movement..especially on the last two.While we wait for the PPQB that may never come, I'd really like to see them move the puck faster with some bang bang passes and subsequent rips. Shame that Commodore's goal didn't count as a PP goal though, the PP made that one happen.... and they had a nice screen on that shot.
Nash-Umberger-Huselius line was pretty good but just couldn't pot any.. that shift by Huselius in OT where he played keep away from the entire Preds team himself was somethin.
The team dished out 29 hits last night led by Methot's 6. Game was pretty tame in the scrum/fight department though which to me played into the Jackets hands.
Modin didn't get on the scoreboard but he looks to be finally rounding into game shape. Liked him tonight again.
You'd really like to see the Jackets get on the scoreboard when they outplay a team like they did in that first period. They definitely lack that killer instinct.
Brutal night in the faceoff circle and it almost burnt them, especially in OT when the Preds didn't seem to lose an offensive draw. Jackets only won 37%.
Jared Boll with 4+ minutes. Peca with 9+.. Backman with 10+... Bad for those guys but I can't argue with giving any of those guys reduced minutes.
Gave Nashville a point.
3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. Come from behind shootout win.
2. Mike Commodore scores his first as a Jacket and played solid complete game.
3. Steve Mason was money when in counted most in OT and the Shootout.
HM: The Swedish flag dudes
Neither team was at their best but a win is a win. There have been games this year where teams came out flat like Nashville..we outplayed them...but still lost. Tonight we reversed that for a much needed win. The only bummer is that we gave a division rival a point but we got two so time to move on a focus on the Islanders on Saturday.
Speaking of the Islanders they got absolutely shelled by the Penguins last night 9-2. The Jackets will face what should be a motivated New York squad.
Its the kind of game the Jackets have to win. Nashville was a nice step now its time to take another. They must get on a roll to get back in this deal.