Game #36 Recap: Failure Cascade
For a short time, if you can believe it, the Blue Jackets had a lead in this game. That didn't last long.
Once upon a time, I headlined a recap of a 8-1 Jackets loss to the Red Wings with a picture of dog feces, because it really seemed to capture the ambiance of the game.
I'm not being quite that mean tonight, but at the same time, I think it could be justified.
Instead, let me thrill you with the many uses of another Coyote byproduct:
Coyote urine is a surprisingly versatile substance for anyone who works a farm, wishes to protect land, or intends to freak the hell out of their neighbors' pets. (That last one may be considered an "off label" use.)
The most common use of this stuff is to keep animals away from gardens or crops by spraying it periodically around the perimeter. By establishing that "barrier", most prey animals who would normally be feasting on ma's prize tomaters will avoid it out of survival instincts, while other predators (including other coyotes!) will avoid it because they believe they would be attacked for violating someone else's territory. (If you somehow managed to buy a bottle of "product" from the coyote pack who happen to be in your area, I guess you're SOL. But it's a small risk, right?)
Interestingly, another major use of Coyote Urine is to "fence in" a predator so that it will be easier to contain, trap, and transport it away from the area.
If you watched tonight's game, you're probably starting to wonder if Shane Doan and Keith Yandle dropped trou in the pre-game to "baptize" the rink, because "contained, trapped, and transported away" is a pretty good description of what happened to the Columbus Blue Jackets for most of this game. Worse, the team was without Brandon Dubinsky (injury) and Scott Hartnell (ejected) for a significant portion of the night - though thankfully the team says Dubi was just out as a precaution, and he is likely to draw back in tomorrow.
I freely admit that I am writing about this game by NOT writing about this game, but on the other hand, look at the editorial direction I received:
So. Sugar Coating...sugar coating...
I think it's fair to say that the entire team would really like this one back - Sergei Bobrovsky didn't get any help in front of him (nor did Curtis McElhinney when he came on in relief), and neither goaltender had their best game. We've seen Bob keep this team alive on off nights - but tonight, it wasn't going to happen.
The good news is that they can put this behind them, get on the plane, and move on. They don't play Arizona again at home this year (where the Coyotes are, I will admit, quite impressive), and I suspect that the Jackets will be able to tilt the ice back in their favor when they regroup. The Jackets will play Colorado tomorrow, and have the chance to fix things up by shaking off the stomping they received tonight by stomping someone else in return.
The team still owns the top power play in the NHL tonight, with James Wisniewski cashing in a 2nd period PP goal to give the team their lone lead of the game, and Fedor Tyutin finally netted his first of the year early in that same period to tie things up.
Unfortunately, after that, the wheels fell off, particularly on the penalty kill, where no less than three goals were surrendered - two of them to Sam Gagner, who hadn't tickled the twine since December 23rd. I suppose we can call those his late Christmas gifts.
Ryan Johansen would net one more goal to cut the deficit to three with just under a minute left in regulation, so at least we have proof that our forwards CAN score while a goaltender is in the net, but it's not much to hang your hat on.
Anyone who watched the postgame or listened to the radio show heard the phrase "they need to forget this game" quite a bit. Perhaps that's the best advice I can give you as well.
Oh - and one last upside - at least Pittsburgh, Boston, and Philly all lost tonight, too.
The Jackets are already on their way to Colorado as I write this. With three games left in their trip, they'll do their best to move on.
We must endeavor to do the same.