I hate playing out the string. I've been a Blue Jackets fan since Day One, so I had the treat of watching the team play the spoiler role for the last 15 to 20 games of every season. Last year was the only exception. Other than the obvious fact that the team isn't making the playoffs, I hate playing out the string because you have games like last night.
Other than the two points that does nothing but increase the gap between 14th and 15th in the standings, the only other thing the Jackets could take from last night is that they lost Jan Hejda, likely for the rest of the season. They were lucky not to lose Jared Boll either, I know I'm not alone in cringing and holding my breath when his head hit the ice after his fight. The linesman and Theo Peckham's reactions said it all. He turned out to be OK, (we think) but it would have just made the night even more costly.
I suppose you can't forget about the offense that was shown last night. The final score was 5-3. The Oilers have a patchwork defense and a goalie who hadn't won in nine starts so the fact the Jackets showed offensive flair should be taken with a grain of salt. In his return from injury Juice had a goal and three assists, and to me it looked like he never left the ice. Vermy had a goal and two assists. The other goal scorers were Chris Clark, Jakub Voracek and Marc Methot.
- Maksim Mayorov was returned to Syracuse after the game, which likely means that Rick Nash is good to go for next game. Mayorov didn't look completely out of place, but after starting on a scoring line he made some mistakes and lost his opportunity to play with scorers, being placed on the fourth line.
- Vermette set a career high in points last night, with 55.
- Look for Nathan Paetsch to get more ice, or a defenseman to be called up from Syracuse to replace Hejda. I'd like to see Brendan Bell myself.
- The Jackets would pick 6th in the NHL draft if it went by today's standings.
Mancrush: I'm going to go with Huselius. Not only because he scored four points, but because he was all over the ice making plays. He looked good in his first game back from injury.
Doghouse: Commodore. I don't want to pile on the guy, because he's having a tough season, but man he looked slow and confused out there. What happened to Big Red from last year?