Game 36 Open Thread: Winning's Good Too
Sorry about the snafu with yesterday's game folks. We're back in action now, just in time for the Jackets to host the Minnesota Wild.
The Jackets were outclassed last night. The effort was there, but they ran out of gas long before the 'Hawks did. The key to winning tonight will be to maintain full effort over 60 minutes, and to shut down the Wild offensive threats.
Steve Mason gets his first start since the 16th of December, and I expect nothing less than a fantastic game out of him. He's been working with the coaches in practice and behind the scenes, and he has had some time out of the cage to regain his focus. The Wild aren't an offensive powerhouse, but they play tough.
The Jacket blueliners have collectively struggled of late. The pucks aren't getting to the forwards consistently and often the defensive zone is chaotic. It will be interesting to see if they can hunker down and get things settled as a group. Even Rusty Klesla, who was the NHL's +/- leader for the first third of the season, has seen his play (and icetime) diminish.
Derick Brassard was on the fourth line last night and scored a goal. I only heard the game on XM, so I can't get a full feel for the goal, but maybe it happened because he had the space to work due to the muckers on his line making room out there. Who knows. I wonder if he will start on the fourth line again?
We'll have to wait and see.