Hunter S. Thompson once wrote about the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop.
"Make the bastard chase you. He will follow."
As a strategy to win a hockey game, this is dangerous but sometimes workable advice. In the afternoon matinee between the Blue Jackets and Kings, Scott Arniel seems to have embraced the tactic, ending up with a team that generally allowed the Kings to come to them all day - a plan that relies on the goaltender to be razor sharp if you hope for a win.
Fortunately, Curtis Sanford was poised, polished, and perfect on the day.
Even strength stats are a mess since so much of this game was spent on special teams, but you'll at least get something of an idea.
Best E/S Forward: Antoine Vermette / R.J. Umberger / Ryan Russell (0)
Worst E/S Forward: Jared Boll (-4)
Best E/S D-man: Fedor Tyutin (0)
Worst E/S D-man: Marc Methot (-4)
Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20601
|CBJ||2||8:35||Clitsome - GOAL||14||16||18||30||50||58||2||10||13||22||32||33||5v5|
Both teams clearly made minimizing chances a priority, and it worked. The Jackets got very lucky, but at the same time, consider how much rubber Curtis Sanford stopped, and how little of it really came from "dangerous" areas.
The problem I see is that the Jackets put so little pressure of their own out there - especially in a game where they had six power play opportunities. Even facing a stellar PK (which they did), the lack of success is confusing.
A few things stand out here:
- While Scott Arniel was clearly trying not to overwork his forwards, and I'll even agree with his call to take Ryan Johansen off the ice when he was clearly struggling at even strength, I think #19 should have seen some power play time.
- Not a good night for John Moore, who was likewise stapled to the bench.
- Not a bad NHL debut for Ryan Russell, including an impressive amount of PK time.
- Since I'm not sure anyone else has pointed it out, congratulations to David Savard for hitting NHL game #10.
- I've heard a few people complain about Jeff Carter's performance today, but let's note that he was on the ice for all four of the Jackets PP chances, and directly contributed to two of them.
- Jared Boll had 6 minutes of ice time, 1 of which was spent in a fight, and managed to have the worst even strength performance on the squad. That says many things. Few of them are complimentary.
- Seriously, LA had an empty net for almost two minutes in which the Jackets were legally allowed to ice the puck yet they couldn't get an insurance goal? No wonder this team gives me the shitting fear in close games. Practice this week should involve PK clears and 140 foot shots on open nets.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Head To Head:
No typo in the forward fields - LA's late scratch of Dustin Penner due to back trouble left them with no time to get a replacement, so they only used 17 skaters. (11 Forwards, 6 D)