The Jackets showed up to play tonight. Unfortunately, they lost a key player on the blueline, and were unable to tie the game with a late powerplay after a dangerous hit on Cam Atkinson.
Playing without their minute muncher in Jack Johnson for most of the game due to injury, the Jackets dealt with dirty hits, anemic offense and a poorly-timed hip check en route to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Blues.
First Period Notes:
- Columbus started Sergei Bobrovsky in net, while the Blues gave the start to Jaroslav Halak.
- The Blues came into the game, losers of five in a row (0-4-1). They had a chip on their shoulder, and the first period was typical of Columbus/St. Louis matchups- chippy, chippy, chippy. (Said in your best Phil Robertson voice)
- The first half of the game was high-paced, with lots of end-to-end play. At one point, Derek Dorsett pulled off a beauty move to get around a sprawling Blues defender, but couldn't beat Halak. You have to wonder, if the Jackets had a star forward or two getting those sorts of opportunities would the Jackets have a few more wins under their belt? No disrespect to Dorse, but when guys like Nick Foligno, Matt Calvert and Dorse are getting the best looks each game, the offense is not what it should be.
- Notice the guys I just mentioned in the last point? The fact that these guys are among the hardest workers on the team isn't lost on me. It's no shocker they are getting the chances.
- The latter half of the period did not feature the speed and flow of the first ten minutes. The Jackets were on their heels, and received bad news when Jack Johnson took a hit along the boards, and came out favoring his shoulder. He went to the dressing room, returning for a couple of shifts in the second period. He took another big hit, and returned to the dressing room, out for the rest of the game.
- Took a pair of big hits, he did, Danno.
- Bob has been guilty of giving up a softie early in games. You can argue that tonight was an extension of that pattern, as Chris Stewart was able to beat him with a slapper from the blueline. Bob had a clear look at the shot, and it wasn't deflected.
- Score after the first: 1-0 Blues.
Second Period Notes:
- The first half of the second period was brutal, man. Slow, chip and chase hockey. Lots of icing and offsides whistles. Brutal.
- MIdway through the period, the intensity ramped up, and with it, so did the physicality. After getting checked at the Blues' blueline, Jared Boll and Stewart got into into it, receiving matching roughing minors. While four-on-four, the teams took turns going on the attack, with Bob the busier of the two goalies. He was very sharp in the middle frame. He is very good at locking shit down after letting the first goal in.
- There was a near-scary moment later in the period when Roman Polak checked Dorse from behind into the boards. It looked bad, but luckily Dorse got to his feet shortly after. Naturally, a scrum ensued, with Umby at the
centrecenter (remember, Mike. American target audience...) of it all. Polak got the boarding call, while Umby and Stewart received matching roughing penalties. The Jackets weren't able to beat Halak while up a man.
- James Wisniewski was snakebit this period, clanking the post twice. He was visibly frustrated after the second dinger. That was, until...
- ...rookie and all around good guy Sean Collins was whistled for high-sticking Andy MacDonald. Near the end of the Blues' man advantage, Wiz gathered the puck inside of his blueline. He saw Calvert streaking near center ice, and fed him with a perfectly placed stretch pass. Calvert cruised in on Halak, beating him with a whoopsie deke. Great vision by Wiz to find Matty C.
- Score after the second: 1-1
Third Period Notes:
- With 19.6 seconds left in the second period, the Jackets earned a powerplay when the Blues were called for having far too much man on the ice at a given time, trying to pull a fast one by placing a decoy skater on the ice. Ballsy? Sure. Busted by the striped fuzz, though.
- The Blues were able to go ahead by a goal later in the period. Tim Erixon showed us all what happens when a hip check doesn't connect, sticking out the bum a bit too early, allowing David Backes to sneak by and feeding David Perron in the slot. Perron wired the puck past Bob.
- The Jackets tried like hell to tie it up, but they couldn't get things set up. This is where the lack of offensive talent comes into play. Effort only goes so far. The Jackets have effort in spades, but no finishing ability.
- After getting away with a near-disaster when Dorse was boarded in the second period, an even scarier moment occured late in the third. While racing for an iced puck in the St.Louis end, Cam Atkinson beat Barret Jackman to the puck, but Jackman gave him an extra shot, sending Cam crashing into the endboards. It was a stupid, dangerous, dumbass move by Jackman. These kind of hits end careers. They give guys permanent damage. Luckily, Cam was able to get up. Jackman, the #&$@ that he is, even had the gall to sit on top of Cam after the hit. Even better, he had his arms up in disbelief while in the penalty box.
- The Jackets pulled Bob while on the man advantage. There was a late flurry, including a pop fly that Halak was able to track into his glove, but the Jackets couldn't tie 'er up.
Final Score: 2-1 Blues
1) Matt Calvert was awesome tonight. He was all over the ice, making plays, forechecking, backchecking, and best of all he potted a shortie.
2) Umby continues to get better every game. Not surprising, considering he wasn't playing during the lockout.
3) Cam and Dorse. The fact that these guys were able to get up after being on the receiving end of dangerous checks has to be looked at as a positive.
Bottom of the Barrel:
1) Jack Johnson was out for most of the game with what looked like a shoulder injury. Advanced stats fans be damned, if he's out for any length of time this is a bad thing.
2) Jackman- Your Calder trophy is a sham. Everybody knows that you were the once in a millenium pity pick as a non-scorer. Stop being careless and disrespectful out there. You were beat before you hit the goal line. Back off.
3) The Jackets' offense. It's not going to happen this year, but between the draft and continued development of The Johan, I'm hopeful that in the near future the Jackets can boast a high-scoring offensive threat or two.
Back at it tomorrow against the 'Hawks. Let's be the ones that break the streak!