In the first game after the all star break, the Jackets came out flat, looking almost disinterested at times. Steve Mason was kicking rebounds all over the rink, and the game ended like a scene from Slap Shot.
It was a terrible game, and for the Jackets the life they showed in the third was far too little, too late.
If you feel so inclined, I've recapped the fun after the jump.First Period
The first twenty seconds of the period was an indicator of how the rest of the game was going to unfold. Steve Mason was fighting the puck on a pair of shots, the Sharks kept the Jackets hemmed in their zone, and Jared Boll was sent to the box for elbowing Joe Thornton in the head. The Sharks were unable to score.
The Jackets` had their first decent scoring chance just over three minutes in, when Ryan Johansen wired a puck on net that Antti Niemi was able to eat up. I`m hopeful that Johansen can use his all star appearance as motivation to finish the season strong, and if the house is cleaned at the deadline he should have plenty of opportunity.
The Jackets showed a bit of life in the Shark`s zone, but time and time again the puck would leave the zone and the Columbus defense struggled to get the forwards the puck back. This has been a problem all season- the gaps between the defense and forwards, and the defense and goaltender are too large.
At 12:07, the Sharks struck. After stopping a wrister from the point, Steve Mason kicked a rebound in front of him, but was unable to smother it. The puck slid to the left side of the net, where Patrick Marleau was able to flick it in for the lead.
Right off the ensuing faceoff, Jared Boll had to answer for his elbow on Thornton. Jim Vandermeer challenged Boll, and after each player got a few shots in, the linesmen stepped it. We`ll call it a draw.
Just a few minutes later, the Sharks got another one. Fedor Tyutin was skating with the puck out of the corner, and attempted to pass the puck up-ice. He placed the puck right on Thornton`s stick, who wristed a shot on net. Mason made the save, but Thornton got his own rebound, took the puck wide, and fired it behind Mason.
2-0 Sharks: Joe Thornton (Unassisted)
Ryan Russell almost broke the shutout moments later, but Niemi was able to go post-to-post to make a huge save. Russell has been a good addition to the team, but find him similar to Matt Calvert in terms of energy and playing style. Is there a need for both players on the roster?
The remaining minutes of the period lacked excitement, to say the least. Aside from a linesman spill and some scrums, the period ended on a lacklustre note.
End of the first period, 2-0 Sharks.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time recapping this period. The play was back-and-forth at times, but otherwise uneventful. There was one penalty taken- an interference call on Derick Brassard. Naturally the Sharks scored while on the powerplay.
3-0 Sharks: Joe Pavelski (Logan Couture, Joe Thornton)
After a stretch of painfully boring hockey, the Sharks were at it again. At 16:55, Jamie McGinn crashed the net after a faceoff, putting a shot on Mason. The puck bounced off Mason's pads, and McGinn flipped the puck behind the goaltender. Mason's body language after the goal said it all- he looked to the sky, and slowly slid backwards. I do feel for Mase. He's in a tough spot. On this night, he looked like anything by an NHL goaltender.
End of the second period, 4-0 Jackets.
The final period can be summarized as follows:
- The Sharks were able to score two more goals, one by Michal Handzus and another by Joe Thornton.
- There were 15 total penalties called in the period, for a total of 78 minutes in penalties.
- At the 2:27 mark, Boll and Vandermeer fought again. Vandermeer checked Grant Clitsome face-first into the boards, and Boll immediatly went to bat for his teammate. Vandermeer picked up a boarding penalty. I'll say this much- Vandermeer can't keep giggling like a girl during fights, somebody's going to catch him in the chops just right one of these days, leaving him nothing to giggle about whatsoever.
The Jackets couldn't score on the powerplay, but Johansen and Derick Brassard looked dangerous at times.
- Brett Lebda looked pretty good in the offensive zone. Willing to take chances. It was very refreshing.
- The Jackets' fourth line was the most noticeable this period, both with and without the puck.
- Phase one of where the game took a turn for the stupid took place at the 15:54 mark. Dan Boyle boarded Brassard behind the Sharks net, and the two began chirping. The gloves came off, and the two threw down. Boylw fed Brass punches as he held his jersey around his head. After the linesmen broke it up, Rick Nash skated over and had choice words for Boyle as he was escorted out. Boyle was given a game misconduct.
- Phase three is when things got completely out of hand. Derek Dorsett checked Colin White, and gave him an extra shot, looking for a scrap. As he and White dropped the gloves, McGinn grabbed Dorsett from behind. If two guys are fighting, you don't grab one of them, McGinn. This isn't WWE. White is a big boy. Concurrently, Tyutin and Justin Braun dropped the mitts, with Tyutin hitting the ice hard at the end of the fight. The four fighters went to the dressing rooms, and Dorsett picked up a cross checking penalty.
Final Score: 6-0 Sharks.
- Joe Thornton had a great game for the Sharks tonight.
- Derek Dorsett, Jared Boll and Derek MacKenzie were the best players for the Jackets tonight. Hmm.
- The beef and broccoli the chick was eating behind Richards during the first looked pretty tasty.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- Where do I start?
- One thing stood out- did Brass get all the backup he should have got?