Unlike the Blue Jackets, I will actually show up tonight and recap the game for you. Or maybe I'll just give a half-hearted effort like the team.
It was a crazy day for the CBJ. First, they claimed defenseman Kevin Connauton off waivers from Dallas. He made it to Columbus but did not skate in the game. No word yet on if he is scheduled to play this weekend. After the waiver claim, the Jackets activated Matt Calvert off IR...but, Todd Richards elected not to play the energetic forward. In order to clear room for Connauton the team assigned Frederic St. Denis to Springfield. In between all that, Richards said he was going with the lineup that had won the two games over the weekend, despite two healthy forwards (Calvert and Jack Skille) who both would probably be among the best nine forwards of the current lineup.
The game started out pretty evenly, not a ton of chances but a decent enough back and forth. The Jackets were getting dominated in the faceoff dot, though, which put the CBJ a bit behind the 8-ball. Sergei Bobrovsky, making his second start since coming off IR, appeared sharp on some good scoring chances from Detroit, but he also gave up some McElhinney-esque rebounds. That would show up later.
In the middle of the period, Jonathan Ericsson fired a slap shot from the right point. It did not appear to make it through traffic, rather bouncing off of Jordan Leopold before making it to Bob. The puck spit right out into the slot and Tomas Tatar fired it into the empty net.
1-0 DET - Tomas Tatar (6) from Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith at 10:17 EV
Later in the period, Brian Lashoff would go off for tripping Alexander Wennberg. The hit appeared to be a bit "leg on leg" from my vantage point, but either way, it was the game's first power play at 16:43.
Over a minute into the power play, Boone Jenner received the puck to Jimmy Howard's right. He was pretty much uncontested and began skating in to the middle. He fired the puck at Howard and a group of players collapsed just outside the crease. It looked like Jenner may have gotten hooked, but he fought towards the rebound in the crease just to Howard's left. Boone then got checked/tackled onto his back, and in the process his skate made contact with the puck, knocking it into the goal.
1-1, right? Well, not so fast. The goal went to Toronto for review. After a couple minutes, it was waived off for, wait for it...a "distinct kicking motion." Yes, while getting knocked to the ice, Boone Jenner apparently kicked the puck into the net like he's Lionel Messi. No goal. Still 1-0 Detroit.
Just 40 seconds into the middle period, Boone Jenner took a minor penalty for tripping. Of course, the Red Wings capitalized, thanks in large part to an apathetic penalty kill from the CBJ penalty killers. After facing a flurry of shots, Bob kicked out a rebound to his left. At least three of the four PK guys on the ice assumed the "traffic cone" position during the sequence and proceeded to become mere observers on the ice. Gustav Nyquist gathered up the rebound and blew it past Bobrovsky.
2-0 DET - Gustav Nyquist (9) from Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen at 1:44 PP
The rest of the period did not generate much. Detroit really began to drive possession, won board battles, and generated some good scoring chances on Bob. The CBJ finally fought back in the last couple minutes, drew a penalty, and nearly cut the deficit in half.
Worst period of the year. Ok, maybe there was one clunker somewhere else along the way. The Jackets come out with a minute and a half left on the power play and did nothing, getting stuck in their own zone for a good chunk of time.
Let's just get these out of the way. First, Johansen went off at 4:41 for roughing, which came behind the play. Detroit capitalized 8 seconds later as Tomas Jurco roofed one from the left faceoff circle past Bob thanks in part to a screen from Darren Helm.
3-0 DET - Tomas Jurco (1) from Danny DeKeyser and Riley Sheahan at 4:49 PP
This is when the wheels really fell off. There were so many Red Wings goals, I stopped paying attention at this point. I think Sheahan gathered up some kind of rebound or bouncing back and beat Bob. I don't know, I'm trying just to forget that mess of a 3rd period, I apologize.
4-0 DET - Riley Sheahan (3) from Brendan Smith and Tomas Tatar at 6:01 EV
Upon scoring the goal, Scott Hartnell got into a scrap with (pick a Wings player. I was at the game and couldn't see who it was).
That is, he appeared to take the decision until the two separated. Smith went to the box and Foligno headed to the locker room. It wasn't his hand, but Nick was going to get some dental work done. Joy.
Oh and for good measure the Red Wings tacked on a 5th goal. I have no description of what happened because EL OH EL JACKETS I stopped watching. I just couldn't take anymore at that point.
5-0 DET - Darren Helm (2) from Tomas Jurco and Daniel Cleary at 18:59 EV
FINAL DET 5, CBJ 0
I have no idea what to say. That was a pile of crap. Outlets weren't getting completed. Simple passing plays seemed difficult. The PP looked disjointed and unorganized most of the time. The PK lacked energy and hustle, which shows in the two power play goals allowed. There was a lot of standing around. Very few guys had the legs moving. And that's completely inexcusable having two days off prior to the game. Detroit got housed Sunday night and looked like they wanted it more. In your building.
Todd Richards ended up benching Johansen for most of (if not the entire) final period after his penalty. That's a nice move coach, but NOBODY showed up tonight. I don't quite get benching your best forward because he took a bad penalty, especially when at 3-0 the game isn't entirely out of reach.
It is easy to play armchair coach on scratching Skille and Calvert given the result, but fans were scratching their heads before the game. It is a nice gesture to "reward" the 12 forwards who won you the last two games, but given the place in the standings it probably would have been wise to ice your 19 best players. You need to win games, not "reward" 4th liners. Then again, I highly doubt #10 and #11 would have been able to make much of a difference tonight.
Given this result (the first shutout of the year and a general embarrassment) you can expect some changes for Friday against Boston.
Bottom of the Barrel