Game 14 Recap: Nail in the Coffin
The Jackets didn't even show up.
Outside of Cody Bass, the Jackets showed no life, no compete level, nothing. Sure they tacked on a couple of late goals, but only because the Flyers had backed down, a show of mercy.
This one was truly hideous, and it may be the final nail in the coffin with regards to the current regime.
Changes need to be made, that much is clear. How drastic will ownership go?
The Jackets took to the ice in their alternate sweaters, with word coming down the pipe that Kris Russell was the healthy scratch on defense, and Alexandre Giroux up front. Under a minute in, the Flyers got the first chance of the game when Jaromir Jagr took the puck up-ice, and found a streaking Scott Hartnell. Hartnell wired a shot on-net, but Steve Mason caught a piece of hit with his glove. James Wisniewski, who was questionable to play because of flu-like symptoms, hooked Hartnell as he shot, putting the Flyers up a man.
Just seven seconds into that powerplay, the Flyers committed an interference penalty, nullifying their powerplay. It didn't matter though, because with the teams playing four-on-four, James van Riemsdyk put the Flyers up by one on a feed from Erik Gustafsson behind the net. The way I saw it, Grant Clitsome was keeping van Riemsdyk in check, but left his man when Antoine Vermette gave Clitsome the signal to take Gustafsson after the latter skated towards the back of the net. When Clitsome left van Riemsdyk, Gustafsson fed him the puck for the easy one-time snap. Vermette was visibly frustrated after the goal, knowing that he was the one who signalled for Clitsome to leave his man.
1-0 Flyers- van Riemsdyk (Gustafsson, Briere)
The Jackets' first shift after the goal against was brutal. The top line carried the puck into the Flyers' zone, but ended up losing it, and Philly went the other way on a 3-on-2. It wouldn't have been an odd-man rush, but Nash was taking his time backchecking, leading to a scoring chance for the Flyers. Mason left his net and committed a tripping penalty on Max Talbot. It was troubling to see Nash skate so slowly back to help out his defenders. Scott Arniel likely agreed, as he made Nash serve Mason's penalty.
With the Flyers on the powerplay, Jagr threw the puck to the front of the net from the corner, and it redirected off Hartnell's skate and behind Mason. The play was reviewed, but Hartnell made no kicking motion. Good goal. Good grief.
2-0 Flyers - Jagr (Giroux, Timonen)
The Jackets managed to lock things down defensively for the next few minutes, but struggled to get anything going offensively. The passing was just terrible.
With 10:22 left in the period, Fedor Tyutin went off for tripping. The Flyers kept the Jackets hemmed into their zone. One thing about Philly's powerplay that differs from Columbus' is how dynamic it is. The puck simply does not stop moving, nor do the five players on the ice. Luckily for the Jackets, the Flyers didn't convert.
At 13:09, former Jacket Jake Voracek victimized the Jackets, he fired a beauty pass to Max Talbot, who streaked down the wing, getting behind the Columbus defense and beating Mason with a dandy deke.
3-0 Flyers- Talbot (Voracek)
At that point, Allen York came in to replace Mason. On the faceoff, Derek Dorsett and van Riemsdyk went off with matching minors, putting the teams at four-on-four. With the puck in the Columbus end, Tyutin was abused by Jagr, who fed the puck to Claude Giroux in the slot. Giroux didn't miss.
4-0 Flyers- Giroux (Jagr)
Scott Arniel then called his time out. The Jackets didn't really respond at all afterward. With just under three minutes left in the period, Derek Dorsett and Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves, with Simmonds getting the decision. Forty-five seconds later, Cody Bass and Zac Rinaldo threw down as well, this time score it a draw.
As Bass was escorted to the bench, he was seen screaming at his teammates, trying desperately to light a fire. It seemingly fell on deaf ears. Almost like it was scripted, Voracek wired a shot from the point past York with 35 seconds left in the period.
5-0 Flyers- Voracek (Talbot, Meszaros)
Just to add insult to injury, Sean Couturier, the player the Flyers drafted with Columbus' first rounder, acquired in the Carter trade, went in on a breakaway with just seconds left in the period. York managed to make the save.
The Jackets showed absolutely no life that period. They were lucky to not be down by more than five goals at that point.
End of the first, 5-0 Flyers.
Goaltender Steve Mason returned to the ice to start the period.
The Jackets showed more life for the few three-plus minutes, with the team getting their best chance of the game on a shot by James Wisniewski, with the rebound shot forcing Bryzgalov to make a glove save.
Just over six minutes into the period, the Jackets went to the powerplay. It was pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. The Flyers carried the play, even though they were a man down. The Flyers took advantage of a Columbus line change and went in on Mason three-on-one. They scored, when Couturier beat Mason with a low shot. Yes, Couturier. While Carter is god-knows-where rehabbing, the two guys traded for him are part of the sickening beatdown being put on the Jackets.
6-0 Flyers- Couturier (Coburn, Wellwood)
With 10:30 left in the period, the Flyers went up a man when Matt Calvert went off for hooking. While they didn't register a shot, they kept the puck in the Jackets' zone for nearly the entire two minutes. The Jackets were like lifeless zombies out there.
Nash went off for goalie interference a few minutes later. The NHL's hottest line- the Hartnell/Giroux/Jagr grouping, was toying with the Jackets, but they didn't convert. As Nash exited the box, he took the puck on a partial break, but he was stymied by Braydon Coburn.
With 4:10 left, the Flyers scored again. van Riemsdyk fed Simmonds in front of the net, where he was all alone.
7-0 Flyers- Simmonds (van Riemsdyk, Briere)
Off the faceoff, Matt Carle skated with the puck, beat whatever defense the Jackets attempted to throw at the Flyers, and beat Mason with a backhand.
8-0 Flyers - Carle (van Riemsdyk, Briere)
Wisniewski showed his frustation by throwing down with Harry Zsdfoishdfcyaskdf (Scrabble).
With 8 seconds left, with Aaron Johnson taking a slapper on net, Rinaldo skated from behind Johnson and threw himself at Johnson's head, mid-shot. Rinaldo was sent off for charging, and rightfully so. You know the NHL will be in-touch with him on this one.
End of the second, 8-0 Flyers.
The third period started with the Jackets on the powerplay. They had a couple of chances, but couldn't pot one. Rick Nash attempted to beat three Flyers skaters at one point, with the result you'd expect.
The Jackets showed more life in the third, but I'm not going to sit here and applaud them for simply keeping things even. Heck, it looked to me like the Flyers let up, to avoid embarrassing the Jackets any more than they already have.
At 13:13, Dorsett wired one past Bryzgalov to break the shutout. The goal was scored off an odd-man rush.
8-1 Flyers- Dorsett (Nash, Vermette)
The Jackets were buzzing late in the period, with Calvert and Atkinson doing what it takes in front of the net. They both took a beating but it led to a great scoring chance, forcing Bryzgalov to make a huge glove save.
The Flyers made it 9-0 with 3:33 left in the game on a redirect from Jake.
9-1 Flyers- Couturier (Voracek, Zolnerjhbskjdhf)
The Jackets got another one shortly after, when Clitsome drifted a puck on net.
9-2 Flyers- Clitsome (Prospal, Johnson)
Final Score- 9-2 Flyers.
- Nothing from a Columbus perspective, that's for sure.
- Erik Gustafsson was a +6 on the night for the Flyers. Matt Carle was a +5.
- The two players acquired for Jeff Carter, Voracek and Couturier, were a combined 3-2-5.
- The hottest line in the NHL, featuring Hartnell, Giroux and Jagr, put up another four points combined.
Bottom of the Barrel:
- I think we may have seen the last of coach Scott Arniel. As much as it's the players on the ice, you can't fire 23 guys.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets players, minus Cody Bass. Bass was the only player to show anything resembling heart tonight. Zero compete from the rest of the team.
- Zac Rinaldo- cheap shot on Johnson. Shana-ban to folloiw?
Tonight was a bloodbath. If it wasn't the nail in Scott Arniel's coffin, I don't know what is. The team just isn't playing to win. They aren't competing. Stay tuned, as I'm sure this will be a busy week ahead.