On this episode of Columbus Blue Jackets hockey we saw the first 60 minute episode. A full team effort... all game long. In the face of adversity after losing two goals because of unlucky whistles, we played the full game. I give this the official Cannon stamp of approval on this one. Hitch might even crack a smile.... nah, probably not.
The Flames are a great hockey team and will likely be one of the top 3 in the conference. They were coming off a back to back, but they were bouncing back from an embarrassment. We limited their scoring chances the entire game and outplayed them for long stretches. If we play like this against the top teams in the league, that is a great sign. I hate to use the term, but I feel like we "dominated" the Flames tonight. Much more than a 2-1 score would indicate.
This game was physical. Hits on every shift and after every whistle. The Controversial Filatov Scratching was the absolute right call tonight. For the first time this year we were able to roll 4 lines. The 3rd and 4th lines were physical and effective all night. The Pahlsson line was again our best line. Chimmer and Dorsett look like some nice pieces from my point of view.
Filatov may need to wait for an injury to get decent PT. I'd like to see them try the Filatov-Vermette-Voracek line again at home, but with the way the 3rd line is going right now, I'm not sure I'd break it up. Umberger will NOT be on the fourth line.
The powerplay was solid tonight and I expect to see similar stuff all season. The Stralman goal was the type I've been stressing for a couple season. To have a right shot on the top of the left circle pays so many dividends. Stralman has a rocket that takes a quarter of a second to get off. This will be a nice unit. I was not crazy about Brassard and Russell out there together though. Especially when Russ decided to go down low. I got plenty of nervous on those.
Nash has been a great playmaker this year. He will easily eclipse his career high in assists with the supporting cast this year. The pass to Juice was real nice. Hitch would count it as a PP goal.
Steve Mason was great when he had to be tonight. He had no chance on the goal he gave up tonight. He single handedly shut down the final minute of the game with his clears.
Who else loved our final period tonight? Attacking until the end. That's how you close out a game.
Mancrush of the Night: I am picking Anton Stralman tonight. He was smooth, smooth, smooth on the blueline. He has puck poise that reminds me of Skoula from yesteryear. His passes are sharp, everything is calm. He reminds me of Tyutin's style to be honest. A little less physical play, a little more offense. He will be a top 4 guy and I'm really excited (it may end up being the best transaction of the Howson era; that's saying something). Has anyone missed Commodore yet?
The Whipping Boys tonight have to be the stripes. I think we got some generous offsides and waived off icings down the stretch, but the second whistle was really bad. It actually wasn't blown until after the puck hit the twine. Vermette made a nice strong play to the net. The first one whistle is really Boller's fault. It was not a good time to pick a fight. I put him in the whipping boy category for that decision. Otherwise it was the best Jared Boll game in over a year.
In some of the crowd shots it looked like we had some low attendance, perhaps someone from the game can fill us in on that. We need to get out and support this team. We will have a playoff team for the next 8 years. Hopefully this city will discover this is more enjoyable than watching Terrelle Pryor fall over himself against terrible competition.
4-1. Does it feel good yet? Hit the Comments. Fire Away