All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Deja Vu

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Deja Vu

The scene.

It was Saturday Dec 15th. The Jackets were at Boston on a very cold and snowy day. Many Jackets fans (including myself courtesy of skybus -- my how I miss you but I digress) made the trip out East to watch the boys on the road.

It was a physical defensive chess match. The first goal would probably determine it. Boston gets on the board in the 3rd... the Jackets battle hard to draw even but can't solve Alex Auld (yep.. no Thomas or Fenandez in the pipes that night for the Bs)... the Bruins go on to win the game 2-0 as they added an empty netter.

Now you know where I'm going with this deja vu stuff as last night's game was the exact same except it was the Jackets who got that all important first tally and added the empty netter at the end.

What a scene in Nationwide last night though. That place was absolutely rockin. The believe train is full steam ahead and everyone is jumping on to enjoy the ride. It's friggan awesome!!

As far at the team... well what else can be said... they came to play. Mase was spectacular and everyone was competing their butts off out there. The goal came from an unlikely hero in Raffi Torres off a great feed from new addition Antoine Vermette and on the powerplay no less!!

An absolute huge two points against the league's best team. That is how you grab a playoff spot and don't let go ladies and gents!!

STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW

GREEN
* Steve Mason.. what else can be said about this guy.... he outplayed the best goalie (statistically) in the NHL. He was phenomenal and was the difference. How about that stop on Kessel in the 2nd with the score 0-0... wow.

* Was Vermette in that game or what.. A key assist but more than that he was in the faces of the B's all night long.. think there is some history there? The fact that he's faced that team 16 times that last two years I'd say that is a big "affirmative".

* Manny had a couple of brain farts (that horrible pass to Juice on that 2v1) but this guy was a beast all night.. especially defensively.. his backchecking was world class... I'm really liking his competitive level.. I know its a contract year but still its the best hockey I've ever seen him play.
* That crowd was probably the most electric I've seen it thus far this season.. and that was a Tuesday folks! Friggan fantastic.. believe you want to be a part of it if you aren't yet!!

* Jason representin! I'm told by the man himself that he is going to have something really special in store for us when Pittsburgh comes to town..

* Schun... he's a guy from Japan (see twitter) working for Honda in Marysville taking in his first professional hockey game with a couple other friends from Japan.. dude bought a jersey..was drinkin some yank beer and was just having a great ole time...!

* Raffi Torres.. only 9 mins of ice time but dude scored a BIG goal.. the game winner. Secondary scoring came through like the Jackets need it to the rest of the way.

* Jackets won 59% of their faceoffs... Vermette won 20 of 30.. Manny won 13 of 20... nice 1-2 punch eh?

* Tim Thomas was fantastic... really its a shock to me after all the stops he made that he let the Torres shot get by him but you just knew that game would be decided on a weird play like that. Just glad they blinked first.

YELLOW
* Some anxious moments in the beginning of that 2nd period.. Mase with a big save on a Kessell break-away.. then there was a hit post which I believe was also Kessell... some sloppy play but the Jackets survived..

* Boys had some bad turnovers (4 in total) but Mase held them in it. Need to tighten that up.

* I think Novotny got away with one behind the net on Thomas... nice to see some breaks go our way lately.. its starting to even out from earlier this season.

* Who else saw Commodore take a two handed whack on Chara the last shift there...? He got em good. That "Big Red" is as sly as a fox..

* Was nice to finally get an empty netter!! A well deserved one for Nash after his great play of late.. thank god it hit the net b/c we definitely needed to avoid an icing in that situation.

RED
* The folks that call Mason's success all b/c of Hitch's "system". Yes it certainly helps that the team in front of him is playing good shutdown defensively responsible hockey.. but they were doing that in front of Leclaire and Norrena earlier in the year and that didn't mean anything but losses and bad save %s for those two.

3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. Columbus crowd brought it strong
2. Steve M'ace'son
3. Torres scoring that first goal

With the two points the Jackets improve to 34-27-6 which is good for 74 points and 6th in the conference.

In their previous 7 seasons they have only topped 74 points once which was last year when they finished with a 34-36-12 record and 80 points.

With 1 more win they will break their franchise record for win.

There are 15 games left and things don't get any easier with Pittsburgh, Chicago and Detroit up next with 3 games in 4 days.

It was another great win but time to focus on Crosby and co...

..and speaking of Crosby I'll leave with this tip from a friend (BHG)... you can't spell Crosby without C-R-Y.

GO JACKETS!

-LTL

4 comments:

Rick said...

For those of you who have never experienced playoff hockey, last night was a great indicator on the ice and in the stands of what's to come. I was in Buffalo for the finals in 99 and it had the same feeling as last night. The boys are playing playoff hockey. Stay on the roll!!!

Carry The Flag!!!

Max said...

LTL, Hitch's system certainly hasn't hurt Mason, that's for sure. But the kid has great hockey sense. He'd be great anywhere.

Can I add a yellow? Fedor Tyutin. His play has been very sloppy the past couple weeks. This guy needs to get back into the swing of things real quick.

Aw that's harsh about Crosby! He's not the savior that Gary Bettman envisioned, but he's a solid player. Remember, Wayne Gretzky was also one of whiniest players in the history of the league.

LTL said...

Max,

I agree 100% about Tyutin.. he has really gotten caught up ice alot the past few weeks and making bad decisions.. maybe he's getting worn out... I'll have to check the stats but this is probably the most minutes he's ever played in his NHL career.

Yeah.. just havin some fun at Crosby's expense as we gear up for Pitt.. that's what fans do right :)

-LTL

LTL said...

I also forget to give Williams a red light for trying to pull a "Zherdev" in front of his own cage..

Liked his pass up to Vermette that led to the PP goal though.

..and of course the red light to whomever cannot take their hand off the video button and plays that crap while the fans are going nuts... I just don't get it.. let the fans cheer.

-LTL