Game 25 Recap: NUMBER ONE COP

Kirk Irwin

The Blue Jackets win the season series against Detroit for the first time in franchise history thanks to aggressive forechecking, clutch scoring, and the first ever NHL shutout from the Top Cop on the Force.

"Нравится вам или нет, но история на нашей стороне. Мы вас закопаем!"
-N. Krushchev

Despite Artem Anisimov being out of the lineup due to injury, the Blue Jackets loaded up a motivated lineup to face the Red Wings in today's matinee game. With the prospect of continuing the recent winning streak and taking the season series against the Wings for the first time in franchise history on the line, the club went onto the attack from the drop of the puck.

It's appropriate the club was asked if they could wear their road uniforms today, because Todd Richards had the team managing the play just like a road game - short shifts, aggressive pursuit, and relentless forecheck.

Detroit would earn the first power play of the game after Adrian Aucoin got tangled up with Jordin Tootoo, but the PK continued their strong performance, while Detroit's road woes continued. (The Wings are now 0 for 36 on the season in recent road games - approaching the 0 for 44 record set by the Wild in the 2000-2001 season.) The Jackets would dominate much of the play at even strength after the PK, though Bob had to stand tall on a scary breakaway by Pavel Datsyuk, and the effort would pay off in the latter half of the first period. Matt Calvert continued his recent hustle streak by undressing Jonathan Ericcson, then darting behind the net to pick off a Nicholas Kronwall pass. Sliding around the net, he handed off to Cam Atkinson, and the puck slid past Jonas Gustavsson to get the Jackets up 1-0.

Despite a bad clear from R.J. Umberger putting the club on the PK to end the period, the Jackets rose to the occasion, then put themselves into overdrive for the second period. Killing the penalty and dominating play, Pavel Datsyuk would take the next penalty, and the Jackets PK would make Detroit pay. R.J. Umberger led the play into the zone, then dished to Derick Brassard, who slid to the slot before dishing back to Jack Johnson for a bullet of a shot and the 2-0 lead, but they weren't done.

At even strength less than a minute later, Ryan Johansen went meast yet again, continuing his streak of strong play. Pulling the puck away from Brian Lashoff behind the Detroit net, he set the puck up for a wide open Nick Foligno, who hammered it home for the 3-0 lead.

Things started to get chippy at that point, and the laundry list of penalties through the second and third period says it all. Detroit would get their opportunities, but Sergei Bobrovsky was having none of it. He trapped pucks, he smothered shots, he took away the angles. Nothing was getting past the #1 Cop tonight, and though Gustavsson shut the door for the remainder of the game, the Jackets had all the scoring they needed, a point that Vinny Prospal demonstrated quite clearly on his way out the door. They didn't slow down, they didn't ease up, and they didn't let Detroit back in the game.

First NHL shutout for Bob, the first ever season series win for Columbus against Detroit, and since Chicago lost last night, Columbus' 4 game win streak is the current active winning streak leader in the NHL.

I should think about the draft pick. I should look to the long term. But today? Today, it is glorious, and I am so damn proud of this team. Play us out, Mr. Onrait.


Final Score: Jackets 3 - Detroit 0

Standard Bearers:

  • Sergei Bobrovsky - Seriously, I mean, who else could it be? We have our #1 goalie, and he made a statement today.
  • The #3 - Third goal on the year from Cam, JMFJ, and Foligno. Fantastic coincidence, no?
  • Never Outworked - Not only the awesome new Skraut video, but the perfect description of this game.
  • Vinny - Because even if it got him kicked from the game, it's about damn time we have a little swagger around here.
Bottom of the Barrel:
  • Power Play - I love the snipe we got, but with 6 opportunities, we could have REALLY made the Wings bleed today. If you're being offered opportunities, don't waste them.
  • Officials - Seriously, a game misconduct for the scoreboard point? Lame.
  • Jordin Tootoo - Go back to fantasy camp. Another game of weak shots and refusal to answer for borderline play.
The Jackets pack their gear, grab their coats, and head up to Detroit for round two tomorrow evening. We've already put the lid on their coffins for this season's series. Now let's nail it shut.

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