The Blue Jackets are a bad hockey team. I am a bad golfer.
Today was the first 70 degree day in Columbus of the year. March 8, 2016. I was not going to let such an opportunity go by, and so I played my first 9 holes of golf of the year today. I love to play the game, but I am not great. I am erratic (and that’s being generous) with my driver, and my chipping game leaves a lot to be desired.
My first round of the year today, and I shot a 50. I was not happy with my score, but a bad day on the course is better than even the best day at work. I opened with an 8, a double bogey, a triple bogey, and a double bogey. Woof.
What does this have to do with hockey? Well, what’s life without metaphors? Like my day, the Blue Jackets started this season horribly, and will probably close strong, because picking in the top 5 is for losers (and we clearly don’t need Auston Matthews, right).
So, tonight, I‘m comparing this game to my golf game (it’s probably forced- sue me).
In team news, there were no lineup changes from Saturday, just like there were no changes to my bag to start the season. No Monsters were called up despite having only 18 skaters, just as I did not call up my 5 wood to replace one of my 4 wedges (yes, 4- pitching, gap, sand, and loft). Joonas Korpisalo remained in net, despite Sergei Bobrovsky inching closer to a return.
To the highlights!
FIRST PERIOD- A BOGEY ON NUMBER 5
Your CBJ starters: Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, Seth Jones, Joonas Korpisalo
Two early shots for Columbus. Hooray!
Early penalty for the Red Wings. After a flurry of activity around the Red Wings net, Boone Jenner drew a holding penalty on Jonathan Ericsson at 2:47.
Columbus had solid offensive zone time, but were unable to capitalize.
The Red Wings killed the penalty.
End to end action through the early part of the period. Both teams came to skate tonight.
Well, except Jared Boll and David Clarkson, who ran over one another.
Scrum in front of the Red Wings net at 9:00. David Clarkson and Mike Green had words in front of Jimmy Howard. Clarkson was clearly displeased with something, hitting Green several times.
Columbus controlled the opening 10 minutes, taking seven of the first ten shots on goal.
Columbus was outskating the Red Wings early, and had all of the energy on the ice. It was a refreshing change after the debacle in Philadelphia.
Red Wings power play. At 12:13, Fedor Tyutin went off for boarding Dylan Larkin.
Excellent kill for Columbus. The Blue Jackets allowed zero shots for the Red Wings. Henrik Zetterberg did miss a rebound on the doorstep, however.
Have I mentioned the great hustle and energy? It deserves another mention. 12 shots to 4 at the 15 minute mark.
Chance for Detroit. A failed clearance, but Korpisalo made the save.
On the ensuing rush, Brandon Dubinsky was denied by Howard at 17:00.
David Clarkson made a solid defensive play (!) to break up a Red Wings chance at 17:30.
Red Wings power play. Matt Calvert went off for boarding Darren Helm at 17:45.
Penalty to Detroit. At 19:32, Nicklas Kronwall went off for holding Cam Atkinson on a shorthanded attempt, nullifying the power play.
After the Blue Jackets killed the 4 on 4, they were left with 1:47 of power play time.
The first period ended with the score tied 0-0.
So, why was this period considered a bogey on number 5? Number 5 at the course I played tonight is a 145 yard par 3. I hit a solid 8 iron that caught the wind, and carried to the back fringe. I hit a bump and run (poorly, similar to the Blue Jackets taking 2 ill-advised penalties in the period), but found my putting stroke and was able to salvage a bogey. It wasn’t the best, but it was a steadying influence after a poor performance- just like that first period after the game against Philadelphia on Saturday night.
SECOND PERIOD- I MADE A PAR PUTT
Columbus opened the second period with 1:32 of power play time (their first of the night).
5 on 3 for Columbus. Luke Glendening went off for tripping Seth Jones.
BLUE JACKETS GOAL. David Savard but the Union and Blue on the board at 0:32 on a slap shot from the blue line. Assists to Alexander Wennberg and Seth Jones.
Columbus remained on the power play for 1:30.
The Red Wings killed the penalty.
Save by Korpisalo on Darren Helm at 2:30.
Red Wings power play. Rene Bourque went off for cross checking at 3:04.
Korpisalo made a big save at 3:45.
Chance for Detroit from Mike Green went off the post at 5:00.
The Blue Jackets killed the power play.
Shots on goal at the 7 minute mark of the second period: 18-7 in favor of Columbus. Talk about a response.
Calvert saw a backhand denied at 9:20.
Red Wings goal. After a push from the Wings, Justin Abdelkader pulled the Wings even at 10:34. That goal had been coming, the ice was squarely tilted in the Wings’ favor. Assists to Gustav Nyquist and Mike Green.
Korpisalo denied Tomas Jurco at 13:00 from the slot.
Jimmy Howard denied Rene Bourque at 14:45.
HOLY GOD, CLARKSON SCORED. David Clarkson scored on a tip in/ redirection at 16:36. I think I just saw a unicorn. Clearly we won the Nathan Horton trade. Assists to Matt Calvert and William Karlsson. This earned a "Woo!" from Erin, another bar patron. I was told that I need to insert the arms raised emoji here, but I have no idea how to do that. Let's all pretend it's here anyway.
I just can’t.
The second period ended with Columbus leading 2-1 on a David Clarkson shot. This is a sentence I just wrote.
This period was clearly my only par of the day- on number 7. A 460 yard par 5 that doglegs right, I have hated this hole for years because of the sheer number of trees. Today, however, I played the hole well. A hybrid off of the tee, and another hybrid had me to within 20 yards of the hole. I pulled out my 64 degree wedge, and dropped it to within 10 feet. I missed the birdie putt because of course I did, but buried the par putt. Much like David Clarkson’s first 40 minutes, this was the best sequence I’d put together in ages.
THIRD PERIOD- A BOGEY ON EIGHT
BLUE JACKETS GOAL. Boone Jenner was waiting on the doorstep to put in a Brandon Dubinsky wraparound attempt at 0:26. Stellar work. Assists to Dubinsky and Atkinson.
Jimmy Howard made a save on David Clarkson, who nearly potted his second of the night. What is happening.
End to end action to open the third period.
FIGHT. Matt Calvert and Andreas Athanasiou at 4:25. All Matt Calvert.
Columbus owned the faceoff circle in the second and in the first part of the third period, to an average of 64% for the two through the 7 minute mark.
Has Columbus outskated a team for 60 straight minutes this season? Because, well, they’re on their way right now.
Blue Jackets power play. Nyquist off for tipping at 7:46.
Blue Jackets power play. Glendening went off for hooking Jones at 8:11.
BLUE JACKETS POWER PLAY GOAL. Cam Atkinson scored to put the Jackets 4-1. Assists to Alexander Wennberg and Seth Jones at 9:14.
The Wings killed the remaining power play.
Per Aaron Portzline: Prout and Korpisalo abused Abdelkader after contact with the goalie. Tortorella has given his players carte blanche "in the blue."
Red Wings power play. Dalton Prout went off for roughing as a result.
The Blue Jackets killed the penalty.
A Red Wings fan got ejected during the power play, left flashing the double birds. That’s fun. Apparently he punched a cop.
Red Wings power play. Fedor Tyutin went off.
The Red Wings pulled Jimmy Howard at the 15:00 mark to try to get back into the game.
SAVES KORPISALO AT 15:40.
Red Wings goal. Tatar scored at 15:44 through a screen on Korpisalo. Assists to Mike Green and Pavel Datsyuk.
The Wings left Howard out of the net following the goal.
Red Wings goal. Welp. Mike Green snapped a shot on net that was deflected in by Andreas Athanasiou at 16:30.
Are you kidding me.
The Wings hit the post. Dear lord.
The Wings pulled Howard again with 2:30 to go.
Nick Foligno went off for roughing, as did Darren Helm with 1:28 to go.
Save Korpisalo at 19:00. Nervy moments.
EMPTY NET GOAL. Cam Atkinson iced the game with 20 seconds to go.
FINAL: Columbus Blue Jackets 5 Detroit Red Wings 3
This was my bogey on number 8. My only goal- keep my score under 50 today. It looked iffy after 6 holes. I’d shot a 36, with 3 tough holes to go. A par left me at 41, with a par 3 and a par 4 to go. I hit a towering 7 iron, but it landed in the rough right of the green, even with the pin. I flubbed my chip, and had a 20 footer for par to keep myself on track and give myself room for error. Nope. I came up six inches short, and bogeyed the hole after my tap in. I had no room for error, needing par on number 9 to make a 49. I failed, and shot 50.
Columbus blew a 3 goal lead, nearly letting Detroit tie the game, but for a lucky post after a redirection went through Korpisalo’s 5 hole. Unlike me, the team was able to find their groove and eke out the win.
The early energy from the team was great to see. This team, clearly motivated after Philadelphia, came out and took the game to the Red Wings. Excellent response from the boys after the disgraceful performance on the weekend. The Blue Jackets had 61.29% CORSI in the first, which is just what you want to see (meaning they took 61.29% of all even strength shot attempts- those that were on net, missed, and blocked alike).
DAVEY CLARKMAN. David Clarkson scored a goal. Yay! Good for him.
The energy and effort were there. I wish they had responded better to the Red Wings push in the second period, however.
Blowing that lead? Seriously? That’s so Jackets.
I am awful at golf.
The Blue Jackets take the ice again Friday vs. the Penguins at home. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST. Penguins delenda est.