directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: A renewed hope

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A renewed hope

"You must unlearn what you have learned...."

Jacket fans have learned a lot about this squad over the past 7 years... that is to say they've learned a lot about losing... That has all changed this year and it has understandably taken a fanbase that has been so conditioned on the bottom falling out a while to change that mind set and trust that things have changed for the positive.

This year's Jackets team took another step in gaining that trust last night as as they slayed Vader and in doing so restored order to an anxious CBJ galaxy.

Off the strength of yet another Raffi Torres game winner the Jackets came from behind and pulled out a 2-1 regulation victory. The win enabled the Jackets to hang onto the 6th position and gives them a 4 point cushion between themselves and 7th spot and 5 points over 9th placed St. Louis.

It was a helluva an effort by everyone in union blue. There wasn't one player (not even Backman who actually played pretty well) that had a bad game. Yes, some were stronger than others, but overall this was a full 60 minute effort and a team win.


* The right team won this game. The Jackets carried the majority of the play all night and refused to lose. Everyone was buckled in for this one.. sacrafices were made (13 blocked shots), dirty goals were scored, hits were made and taken, the team was disciplined and they got it done in regulation.

* Kris Russell played, IMO, his best game as a Blue Jackets.. that is what a puck moving d-man looks like folks.. the only downer was that he didn't score as he had some glorious opporutinitues.
* Jared Boll was another guy who really played a solid north/south game. He grabbed a helper but was really good in the corners.. he battled hard all night long.

* I guess Jake Voracek didn't like the idea of being demoted to the 4th line... it woke him up though... while he made a couple of "oh sh**" passes that was the best game I've seen from him in a while.. he was really good carrying and protecting that puck, especially down low in the o-zone.

* How is that Torres for Brule trade lookin now? Torres was the hero again.. yet another game winner and his 12th of the season (Brule has 2 goals in 11 NHL games this year)... this guy has an uncanny ability to score timely goals -- especially down the stretch.

* Secondary scoring. On a night when the Nash line was quite the other lines picked up the slack. They were all fantastic...and that is what good teams do... they get contributions from more than just one line.

* Umberger-Vermette-Williams line buzzed just about every shift. Umberger's goal late in the 1st after a period dominated by the Jackets was the exact type of goal that it was going to take to beat Rinne and it came right at the exact time needed.

* Great to see Mase bounce back from that Blues game with a solid outting. Where he beat Rinne and ultimately the Preds was his ability to control rebounds.

* Jackets played the way they needed to beat this squad.. they were strong on the puck... had a lot of o-zone pressure... no major mistakes or turnovers... it all added up to 2 points.

* Those that did come out for the game were loud and passionate.

* Nice work by "Jason" behind the Preds bench... I haven't gotten the complete story yet but from the bits and pieces I did get, he definitely got Tootoo's attention.

* The win gurantees at least a .500 record against Nashville for the season.. and I believe it's the first time ever (somebody correct me if I'm wrong here).

* Jackets did a great job staying out of the box... they played very disciplined hockey...and when they did get in trouble with that 5 on 3 the PK answered

* Jacket fan's anxiety relieved... at least til Saturday!

* The Nash-Manny-Huselius line was quite. There were a couple of moments like Nash driving the net early... and the near heart attack Juice gave me on his turnover that thankfully he was able to recover from..... but other than that not a whole lot going on when this group was out there.. A lot of neutral zone play.

* The D was a little shakey on their outlet passes... they seemed to get better as the game wore on.

* Attendance... just 14+? Are you kidding Columbus? That's the best we can do? Quite frankly I was shocked at the number of empty seats considering all that was on the line in this game. Very dissapointing showing for a team that is finally giving us a winner. Perhaps this city isn't rallying around their hockey team like we all hoped it would. I'll have post addressing this later today.

* I'll admit it, I thought the Jackets were toast when they gave up that first goal. Shame on me.

* Novotny got away with one and I'm glad Dumont is okay.. but could the refs have been any more obvious with the make up calls? Geesh.

* How many posts can one team hit?

1. Jackets got over that Nashville hump and secured the win.. and in regulation no less.
2. 60 minutes effort from the goaltender on out.
3. Torres brings it home with another game winner.

It's a damn shame there weren't more folks to see the Jackets turn in what I think was their most impressive pressure packed performance to date. It was a tremendous effort by a team coming off a dissapointing weekend that keeps them right in that playoff pack.

As a fan you can't ask for much more than that.

Great bounce back win boys. Now let's go up to Nashville Saturday and lock this thing up!!



Beau said...

Not a lot of fans, but a passionate and loud group. I can deal with the empty seats as long as it is loud. A full house that is quiet is the worst.

DP@WFNY said...

Solid win. Torres truly is a game-changer. For whatever reason, his focus lapses from time to time (even he himself admits it, and says he's basically worthless out there when it does), but when he's on, he's on.

I thought Peca played his best game in a long while. He seems to click with Torres and Boll. JB had a solid game as well.

And, as much a I like the prospect of Voracek's skills on the #2 line, they seem to click with Williams just so much better. It remains uncanny to me how seamlessly RJ and AV have meshed since the trade. It's like they've been linemates for two or three years. That play in the last minute of the first was just awesome.

Here's hoping the three days of rest get the boys ready to seal the deal in the House of Horrors on Saturday. Is it really possible that they've only won 4 times there in 25 games??

DP @ Waiting For Next Year
WFNY Recap Here

LTL said...

Re: Is it really possible that they've only won 4 times there in 25 games??

Yikes.. you nailed it with your "house of horrors" line.

The Jackets have surprised us a lot this season.. here's to hoping they have a couple more of those up their sleeves.


Max said...

There weren't many errors. My dad scored some sweet tickets from work so we were able to view the game from a perfect position. My notes:

The goal stemmed from a poor decision by Tyutin. He pinched. He shouldn't have. Boll made a nice effort by hustling back but it was obvious he had no idea what he was doing back there. He let up at the end and then the goal was scored.

Kris Russel was oozing confidence all night. I think I caught some, actually.

Umberger Vermette Williams was a tight line. That's a keeper.

Pekka Rinne is a very good goalie. He deserves some Calder talk, but he's 26. This isn't his first rodeo.

Boll has been playing with a ton of heart. That shot he took off the foot hurt. Bad. As he was trying to get up, he managed to poke check the Nashville rush. Great job, Jared.

The first line looked out of sync. Nobody had a particularly bad game, but they didn't look like they were ever really on the same page. Malhotra was mad after his semi-breakaway. Tried to break his stick across his knee. Little did he know those things only break at the WORST possible time.

Officiating was not that great tonight. A lot of missed calls (on both sides). Koharski needs to step it up.

I think Steve Sullivan did something against the rules. After the goalie interference penalty, he came out of the box instead of the guy who interfered with Mason. Sullivan should have still been serving his roughing minor.

Torres is getting hot at the right time. He looked great tonight.

Peca was a mad man. You think he loves the playoffs?

LTL said...

Oh man Max.. can't believe I left out Tyutin's bad pinch. Thanks for bringing that up - that was a bad decision on his part.

Peca was another guy I should have pointed out... I think we are strating to see that Torres/Peca chemistry re-emerge from their Edmonton run.

Also didn't catch the Sully slip. Love your attention to detail..!

Thanks for the comments per usual all.


Patrick said...

ALSO a green from last night - your Blue Jacket! I saw you at the RBar before the game and would have said something but you were busy. That thing is cool!


Paul said...

Even if, the Hockey Gods forbid, the Jackets miss the play-offs, this year, it's games like this one, and the entire season, which gives us fans real hope for the future of this team. It's been a fantastic season and I would love to personally thank each and every player and coach and Scot Howsom for delivering the one thing that has been missing from Blue Jackets hockey for 7 years. Real promise of a bright future for this team.

LTL said...

Haha. Thanks Patrick. I put the wife to work on that bad boy....she is obviously a very understanding CBJ man crush thanks her hourly!

Well said Paul!!


LTL said...

Another red light I completley forgot to metion... the dude during one of the intermissions who was blind-folded and did a loopty lou into the bench... that was hilaroius but had to be painful.

Sports bloopers here we come!