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Monday, December 11, 2006

Maybe if I was a little better at Photoshop, I could put Hitchcock's head atop Joshua Chamberlain's in that picture. But, hey, it still works! Now I feel like watching Gettysburg sometime today, though, thanks to the image.

But, what a game! I could prattle on forever about the awesome things that happened as I watched from dead center in the upper bowl! Five power play goals (making the Blue Jackets jump from 21st in the league to 15th on the power play) on 11 chances, two goals by Nash, two goals by Fritsche, the first Shelley fight in an eternity, an amazing triple save in the first period by Pascal Leclaire that should be on TSN's top plays, and so on and so forth.

This game was chippy; and I mean extremely chippy. Even disregarding the disgusting checking from behind major penalty (and game misconduct) by the Senator's Andrej Meszaros, both teams went at each other's throats from start to finish. One person that I definitely want to thank from the Sen's is Antoin Vermette, who had a whopping 4 of the 12 penalties that the Senators picked up.

There was scrums throughout the game at many points, as the teams banged and beat each other up, tossing one another into the boards and down on to their asses like rag dolls.

It almost makes me sad that the Blue Jackets would only ever see the Senators again this season if both teams made it to the Finals (hah! Wishful thinking). This is the kind of wild and high-energy game you just love to see, and you can tell that if these two teams met any more this season, it'd be downright venomous. Oh, and winning by a 6-2 margin helps that hatred out as well.

There's a few things of concern that need to be mentioned, however, all pertaining to the injury department: first one is Adam Foote, who left early in the game with a "lower body injury". At the moment the prognosis isn't bad, from what I gathered at last night's post-game radio show at the Bud Light Arena Pub, but there's still nothing concrete concerning whether he'll be ready by Tuesday for the game against the Dallas Stars.

Other injuries included Anson Carter and Alexandre Picard. Carter left after a collision on the ice later in the game, but feels fine and was only kept out since it was, well, 5-0 at that time in the third period. Picard, meanwhile, left the game after the vicious hit by Meszaros, but also looks to be fine and ready to play.

The biggest concern, sadly, comes from the injury Pascal Leclaire suffered with just several minutes left in the second period. Even before he hunched over on the ice after stretching from post to post for his last save, Pazzy was really hurting, and looked to be really trying to keep up with the game for at least a little while longer before he just couldn't take it. An MRI looks to be scheduled for today, and all you can do is hope for the best.

Steady Freddie came in to take over, and gave up two goals in the third period. Even though it was only on 16 shots in all, you got to give him a pass on the below .900 save percentage. The man, who has been a workhorse the previous three games, was called in to duty in a game he truly didn't expect to be playing. Even disregarding the save percentage, he still did a great job keeping things stable in net.

While at the post-game, I have to admit I laughed at what Bill Davidge and George Matthews relayed what Hitchcock said in response to this question: "If Norrena had gone down, what would you have done next?"

While not verbatim, he said: "I'd put myself in net. I'd definitely have the advantage in covering it up post to post."

Ahh, self-deprecation. Hithcock, you're the epitome of awesome.

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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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