What a battle. I don't know what it is about these two teams but whenever they play it's like two trains colliding. I can't imagine what a 7 game playoff series would be like.
There were just so many good things about last night's win over Calgary that I'm sure I missed a bunch. Let's dive into it.
STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW
Score: Jackets 2 Flames 1
* Right handed shot.. WE HAVE A RIGHT HANDED SHOT!! Awesome 1 time slapper by Stralman in a critical part of the game with the Jackets up by 2 men... Imagine if we could have converted on 5 on 3 like that last season... I digress.
* I bitched and moaned all last year about the PP not cashing in when the team needed it most... well, the PP did just that tonight! In fact for the most part the PP looked good.. solid entries... good puck movement... some good rubber on net from the points...
* Ladies and gentlemen we have REPLAYS!!! Lots of beautiful REPLAYS!! They showed the goals scored of course but also good scoring chances and penalty calls... and the crowd's energy absolutely fed off them...! Last year they would have never shown the Vermette waive off and the energy from the crowd wouldn't have been anything like it was in this game. Please keep it goin game ops as it makes a HUGE difference in the atmosphere!
* Jan Hejda was just a monster again in his own end... he won so many battles that I lost track.. looks like he may have tweaked his leg late in the 3rd - hopefully it's nothing. I've read that some people started calling this guy "bacon" -- as in everything tastes better with bacon.... Love it! Oh and guess who was a +1 on the night?
UPDATE: Hedja indeed tweaked his knee according to the Dispatch. That one is gonna hurt. Hopefully Commodore isn't too far away.
* The way this team competed was just outstanding... once again everyone was on board the bus doing their part to win this game....
* Umberger-Vermette-Voracek line was excellent... I particularly liked Voracek's jump and hustle.
* Umberger won a huge faceoff on that 5 on 3 in the offensive zone that led directly to the Stralman goal... a big play that won't show up on the stat sheet. He also had a big play when he screened Kipper on that same Stralman goal.
* Boll did a great job playing his role... he connected on a lot of "heavy" checks. He was credited with a team high 7 of em... Hitch said in the post game that Boll is back to playing like he did the first year... that they have turned him loose and they made a mistake trying to make him something he's not.
* The Jackets as a whole came to play this one physically.. they had 40 checks with guys like Chimera (5), Torres (4) and Chimera (4) all playing the body.
* Jackets hung in there after going down 1-0... the hung in there after Vermette's non-goal... they hung right in there the entire 3rd period and unlike Phoenix, actually took it to Calgary on many occasions...
* I think it's safe to say Mase bounced back... couple of scary rebounds that he needs to tighten up but overall the kid had a solid outing... he made the saves he should and I really liked the way he played the puck.
* Rick "the playmaker" Nash was an engaged player. Oh so close on that empty netter. Sweet dish to Juice on his goal.
* Regardless of Stralman's goal which was awesome.. I was really impressed with this soft hands, his skating the puck out of trouble and his outlet passes... very strong game for him and we definitely saw the flashes of what he could be for the Jackets.
* Chimera was skating well... even got into a little scrap. That line of Chimera-Pahlsson-Dorsett was really competitive.
* Brass started a little slow but came on as the game went on. Was it me or did he look winded early? Nash mentioned in his post game that he's still getting into game shape after having so much time off last season. Good to see him get another helper. He also rang one off the post off a sweet pass by Russell.
* Lady with the Russell Medicine Hat Tigers jersey on who sat a few seats down from me... nice touch!
* Jackets only took one minor penalty against.... of which the #1 PK in the league killed off.
* Great call by Hitch on the TO during that 5 on 3.
* Matt the Mask representin like a champ at club level!
* Some crisp passing and breakouts by this Jackets bunch... everybody trusts everybody out there..
* I have to say that listening to the new entrance song sober it's really not too bad. Like it better than woman.
* Ironic that both Jackets goal scorers (Stralman & Juice) were Flames at one point and that the Flames goal scorer (Glencross) was formerly a Jacket.
* RDS rockin the R Bar.
* Detroit 2-3 and at the bottom of the Central.... that's almost as nice as the Jackets being on top...almost.
* It happened so early in the game but we can't forget the Methot goal that could-have-been... very unlucky to have that Boll fight start as that shot from Methot was wired to the upper corner.
* Juice had a goal but had some unforced turnovers as well.
* The attendance wasn't nearly good enough (13k+) but for those that did come they were loud and really into it.
* Glad Dorsett didn't drop them with McGratton.... no need for him to do that. Dorsett had some great jump.
* The waive off on Vermette's goal was obviously a horrendous call. I give the ref credit for owning up to his mistake though - you don't see that very often in pro sports.
* That pass Russell made up the middle of the ice late in the game was heart stopping. Got to be smarter than that. Russ also needs to work on finishing off plays... he had some good reads to jump up into the play but then couldn't finish them off with good passes or shots on net.
* Frog Bear & Wild Boar advertising that they are the #1 hockey bar in Columbus... you're a little late to that party guys... some of us haven't forgotten the days before the R Bar when we'd walk into that place and not only wasn't there any hockey memorabilia anywhere to be found -- you had to ask to turn on the Jackets game...
* Doug MacLean's glasses on the Sportsnet intermission... I don' think a chainsaw could dent those suckers. He didn't miss his chance to take credit for Nash, Mase or Brass though.
3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
* Physical and engaged Jackets team rattles off 4th win
* Right handed shot scores key goal!
* Game ops is gettin it!!
4-1.... I'm just gonna sit back and stare at the standings for a while and enjoy it.