When you team isn't playing well, there is one guy that can turn it around. A hot goaltender can carry a mediocre team through awesome stretches. Steve "Calder" Mason showed up tonight and played very well. A completely different goaltender from the last 5 or 6 games. He moved smartly, positionally strong. Not once did he look like his crease was on fire.
The Jackets shutout the Florida Panthers tonight 3-0 and they deserved it... a little bit. It wasn't a wonderful game, but it was an improvement. Lets turn this into a streak and get the excitement back in the Arena.
I thought the lines were okay tonight. I liked trying Derick Brassard with Dorse and Torres and bumping Pahlsson down to the fourth line. It makes the most sense to do this to try and get Brassard going and he finally got a goal. A skill goal too.
The major issue with the one line is still an issue. They give up numbers on the defensive end. It is our most consistent offender for odd man rushes. I'm not sure if it is an issue of our top players not busting it to get back or they are getting themselves in too deep and turnover the puck. Either way our best players can't be doing this.
Nash and Pahlsson were united in their brief PK stint tonight. It is a much better fit for Nash who likes to take risks. Im' glad coach was able to incorporate my suggestion (it might have been a line change coincidence tonight). Ideally I'd like Pahlsson - Nash, Vermette - Umberger, Murray - Chimera.
Jason Chimera keeps his magic touch going with another goal. He plays periods where you'd think he could be an All-Star, so we have to savor this.
A couple guys that I don't talk about a whole lot played really well tonight. Mark Methot and Jared Boll. Methot skated the puck out of the zone it seemed a half a dozen times. Boller really competed hard on the puck all night. During stretches it seemed we wouldn't win a puck battle, Boller hit the ice and did just that.
Mancrush: The Penalty Kill in the final 10 minutes. This could have easily sent the Nationwide Crowd to the surrounding hospitals. The kill was strong and even on the 5 on 3 limited most of the chances. If Florida scored there... I may have thrown something.
Doghouse: Mike Commodore he still looks out of shape and tentative. He takes over for Anton Stralman, who I thought played somewhat better tonight.
This game looked a lot better overall, but still is ways away from our potential. The second period was not strong and segments of the 3rd were not good.