With the way the Jackets started last night's game, I thought we were in for another laugher. Passes weren't connecting, the play in the defensive zone was sloppy, and the team was again parading to the penalty box. Prior to the game, the lines were blown up, and I'm going to chalk to the slow start up to the guys getting used to new linemates.
Patrick Sharp got things started for the Blackhawks in the first period, tipping in a sharp angle shot-pass from Jonathan Toews. For all of the talent that the Hawks have in Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, if I could acquire one Chicago forward for my team it would be Sharp.
Later in the first Derek Dorsett took a high-sticking penalty and Toews potted a goal to put Chi-town up 2-0. The Jackets were still sloppy in their own zone, and were giving up a ton of scoring chances. I am looking forward to Mike Commodore`s return to the lineup, he can help settle things down on the blueline.
The second period started out much like the first, a bit sloppy. The effort was there however, as the guys were starting to win some battles and were playing the body. One thing that was notably absent however was taking the puck to the net. Far too many offensive chances for Columbus ended up with a weak shot from the perimeter or a turnover. With about 35 seconds left in the period though, Derick Brassard cut the lead in half by scoring on a rebound kicked out by Corey Crawford. Seven seconds later the turning point of the game occurred- Hawks winger Troy Brouwer boarded Fedor Tyutin in front of the Columbus bench. He was assessed a five-minute major penalty.
The Jackets started the third period with four and a half minutes of powerplay time. It took them until the 1:33 mark to put one behind Crawford, with R.J. Umberger tipping-in a Tyutin shot.The overall pay of the Jackets improved in the third, as it looked like the new lines were becoming more cohesive. Kyle Wilson stood out to me, this time in a good way. (His first game was full of nerves and bad decisions) He was creating some offense, and showed good energy. He looks good paired with Derek MacKenzie.
About five minutes after Umby scored, Antoine Vermette tipped in a Marc Methot shot to take the lead. The Jackets hunkered down and hung on for the victory. It was a sloppy game, but the Jackets earned the victory with a strong third period.
One thing to think about though- Nikita Filatov didn`t step on the ice for the third period.
For analysis from a Chicago perspective, head over to Second City Hockey.