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Blue Jackets Links

Blue Jackets: 2 ... Canucks: 3 (OT)

Friday, October 06, 2006
Don't let these eeeevil Canucks bloggers fool you if they try to, ladies and gentleman (I say that with the utmost intention to rib and no real malice!). Tonight's game was not an "amazing" comeback by the Canucks, regardless of their being down in a 2-0 hole as the third period started. What this was, in all honesty, was lady luck giving the Blue Jackets so many passes, combined with Pascal Leclaire pretty much carrying the whole team on his shoulders, until both gave way in the final part of the game and into a short overtime.

I'll be the first to admit the Blue Jackets didn't deserve a win tonight. All you need to do is look at the scoresheet, and you'll see the mismatch going on. The most obvious one? The shot differential. At first things were about even as the first period wrapped up, with the Blue Jackets pouring on that opening season energy and pressure with a quick power play goal just a couple minutes in, and 10 shots to counter Vancouver's 10. But from the second period onward, it was a fight in futility as nearly all of the game was played in the defensive zone for the Blue Jackets, who were unable to create anything on even strength.

The irony in the Blue Jackets failures on the power play last season should be noted, considering the two goals they got tonight were on it. Surprisingly, this means the Jackets scored on two out of five of their chances. On the other hand, they gave up a power play goal in four chances, which was the first goal they gave up as well.

In any event, the reason I said not to give the 'Nucks credit for a comeback, is that if you look beyond the score, there was no comeback. They controlled the game for all but about half of the first period, pretty much ravaging Leclaire with shot after shot after shot. 44 shots in all, and Leclaire managed to save 41 of them. Luongo, meanwhile, had a brisk 20 shots on him, being largely untested outside of power play scenarios for the Jackets.

If you want to give them credit for anything, give them credit for simply barrelling down and mercilessly hammering on a poor patchwork of a Blue Jackets' defense that is showing us all the very reason why it is the fatal flaw in the team this year.

The lack of offensive pressure didn't help, either ... but 20 shots is still in that low to average range, and not too depressing (see: Atlanta's 11 shot "bonanza" last night against Tampa Bay for a case of depressing).

So what were the positives? Well, here's a good one: we actually got a point, compared to Detroit and their getting jack diddly against the Canucks last night! Another one? I've already pretty much heaped as much praise on Leclaire as I can, and tonight's one-man show between the pipes is proof enough as to why he shouldn't be taken lightly, even if he is considered somewhat of an unknown factor for the team.

As for the experience at the game itself? A few things come to mind ...

-They added ... ice girls. Oh, no ... the "Pepsi Crew" wasn't enough, it seems. At least the Pepsi Crew is a combination of both male and female cheerleaders rallying the fans. This, however, was a bunch of girls in green Mountain Dew tanktops and skirts prancing around during commercial breaks and scraping the ice from the sides of the rink.

-Speaking of the ice girls, there was this lecherous, annoying nitwit the row down from me (I was in Aisle B, just one row away from the glass). He'd hoot, whoop, and drunkenly hollar and give a thumbs up to one of the girls in particular any time she hurried by to do her ice duties. I about wanted to break his thumb by the end of the game.

-They replaced the opening graphics on the jumbotron. Originally it was a trio of fighter jets swooping over Nationwide Arena with a "lock" on the opposing team as they dropped a puck into the arena. Now? Well, it looks like they're taking the Civil War/Union Army reference a bit further, with a sort of cavalry charge of Union soldiers rushing down a hill and "changing" into hockey players, or players changing into soldiers, and what have you. It sounds silly with me explaining it, I know, but I like it. Then again, considering this blog's name and the inspiration behind the name, I guess that's an obvious assumption on my feelings over it, huh?

With that, I go to wrap up some classwork I've been procrastinating on in large part 'cause of being at the game. G'night, folks.
  • At 5:53 AM, Blogger djl said…

    Leclaire looked great out there.

    What was really surprising to me was that Adam Foote, of all people, looked a bit out of sorts on defense. I've watched the first Sedin goal three or four times now and I'm not really sure what Foote was trying to do. Looked like Sedin pushed off to get some space, but then Adam just kind of stood there in the crease.

    Oh well, they got a point against a good team. A frustrating point, but I'll take it. If they can get two in Chicago tonight, I'll be a happy man.

  • At 8:08 AM, Blogger Michael Turner said…

    Maybe it had to do with the small injury foot got in the pre-skate? Probably not, but when I was watching the warm-ups, Foote got hit with an errant puck right to the face and got a gash across it as a result. Rushed off of the ice, but was able to return for the start of the game.

    I'm concerned about Chicago tonight, though. You'd think it'd be a hole in one, but after seeing the way the Blackhawks overpowered the favored Predators 8-6 a couple nights ago, I'm worried. But I still hope for the best!

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