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Blue Jackets Links

I don't know what happened, but I'm sure not complaining!

Saturday, January 06, 2007
So I got home late last night, sometime around the mid-point of the 2nd period with the Blue Jackets playing the Ducks. Honestly, it had been a long night already, having worked since 2 PM at the arena to set up for Monster Jam, then grab the very last bus out of the Arena District to get back to the apartment. I more or less arrived just minutes before Travis Moen scored the second goal of the game after the CBJ managed to hold the Ducks at bay for a prolonged penalty kill due to a double minor levied against Adam Foote for high sticking.

I'd pretty much resigned myself that this was going to be a loss. And not just because it was a road game, either; but because it was against the Ducks! I mean, come on ... a team near the very bottom of the league in the rankings, against the #1 team? Even considering that the Ducks had lost three in a row coming in to last night, and even factoring in the truck load of injuries to J.S. Giguere, Todd Marchant, Francois Beauchemin, and Chris Pronger, they are still the top team in the league for a reason.

So even though I thought I knew the inevitable outcome after Moen's goal, I still kept the TV on in the background as I trudged my way through the quicksand of class projects that I had to work on, just listening and not really watching. By the time the Ducks had made the game 3-0 with a nasty slapshot by Teemu Selanne (who had just celebrated his 1,000th NHL game and 500 NHL goals earlier on in a pre-game ceremony), I just about drowned things out.

Good thing I at least didn't just go to sleep like one fellow blogger, right? :D

So Rusty Klesla scores a goal just shy of the 10:00 mark with a blinding slapshot from near the blue line, and I mean blinding. The puck goes squirting out from a plethora of players near the net, and practically comes wrapped up in bows and ribbons for Klesla to just smoke past Bryzgalov. At this point, I'm just happy to see the Blue Jackets are not going to get shut out for the third straight road game. But even with that sense of relief, the score is still 3-1, and I'm still more or less focused on playing The Sims 2 while I procrastinate my classwork. I mean, feeding my virtual golden retriever was more fun than watching the Jackets at this point.

A little over six and a half minutes later, though, Klesla again scores a goal with another lightning fast slapshot. Alex Svitov, who has come in to his own lately (and had three assists on the night) had managed to win a face-off in the Ducks zone, and once again the puck just glided back casually to Klesla, who ripped it as hard as he could. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the netting could've split in twain with the way the biscuit was fired in to it.

Now, 3-2 is great ... and by this time, I've finally gotten my interest peaked in watching again. I'm still rather pessimistic, though ... I was playing out this scenario in my head where the Jackets almost score a goal several times in the final 3:14 left in the game, only to be sucker punched with an empty netter in the last minute. That's just how it seems to go, after all.

Before I can even start thinking more depressing thoughts, suddenly they've tied it up! 3-fricken'-3! It took all of 33 seconds for the Jackets to get the puck in to the zone, cycle it a bit, and then with a backhand pass by David Vyborny, Fredrik Modin is able to wrist it right past a stunned Bryzgalov from the left face-off circle! I'm practically laughing in delusional merriment now, just totally in awe of what has happened. It's like last season's Detroit v. Columbus game all over again, where the Jackets stormed back from a 3-goal deficit and somehow won it in a shootout.

The Ducks look stunned at this point. Their fans looked even more shell shocked, and the boos are starting to rain down all over the place. After some pressure on the Jackets and Freddy Norrena for all of a few moments, the puck was once again back in the Ducks' zone. Ric Jackman, who is getting all but ripped apart it seems by Ducks' bloggers, practically gave the puck to Manny Malhotra. He cycles, he passes back to Zherdev -- who already has an assist on the night to snap a two game pointless streak -- who then fires off a shot while under pressure from Andy McDonald. Bryzgalov isn't able to control the rebound, and what happens next?

Un-freakin'-believable. Malhotra comes swooping in like a vulture and pokes the puck home. The Jackets' bench is going crazy, the Jackets on the ice are all but throwing themselves at each other in goal celebratory embraces, and I'm pretty much literally falling out of my chair.

So now they're up 4-3, there's only 1:20 to go in the game, and I'm pretty much biting my finger nails clean off as I watch with horror as the Ducks starting coming back full force. They pull Bryzgalov, and even though the Jackets manage to clear the zone during one offensive assault, they're unable to stop another. The puck somehow gets by Norrena after a great move by Corey Perry, and players are scrambling. Svitov is on the ice with the puck slowly trickling towards the net, and in a last second decision puts his hand on the puck and throws it out of the crease. Whistle blows, and the Ducks are awarded a penalty shot with just a little over 20 seconds left.

It's only fitting that the Ducks pick Selanne, who is most likely riding a high from the earlier ceremony and from scoring the last goal. "Finnish Flash" goes streaking in a little to the left of the crease, makes a fake move in hopes of catching Norrena off guard, then glides in with an attempted wrist shot towards the right. Norrena makes the save, and the rest is history.

No more than 11 hours later, I'm still stunned. I'm wondering if I'm going to wake up and I'll realize that this was all some wild and crazy dream.

In any event, it's now time for me to grudgingly go to work. Even more Monster Jam stuff to do. But at least I'll be more upbeat thanks to last night!

Labels: , ,

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger Tyler said…

    I'm glad you got to see it live... I had written them off and had the tv in the background too. The game was definitely a shot in the arm for our road-ailing team. Next up: San Jose.

  • At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    great recap of the game, thanks!

    any word on who is net tonight? i've seen conflicting reports.

  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Drew said…

    Ah... but I changed my mind and didn't go to sleep.

    I ended up watching something I'd recorded on DVR. When my show was over, I saw the Jackets up 4-3 with 28 seconds left. So I quickly went back to watch the previous four minutes (twice) and enjoyed the win before actually turning in.


  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    Argh! Curse you and your DVR! If only I had the money to have something like that ... it'd make things so much easier than dealing with late, late night games. :-(

  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger xdarkxlovex said…

    That was such an amazing game. I was so happy when my mom told me she taped it! And the fact that Rostislav scored those first two goals made me just want to jump the guy and... Well, never mind about that. I was the happiest girl in the world that they won... I was home alone, and probably disturbing my neighbors with the shrieks of joy from each goal and the win. I was jumping up and down and dropped my phone 3 or 4 times while trying to call my mom.
    We are very fortunate to have Norrena as our primary goalie with LeClaire out. It also was a huge help that Norrena and Teemu used to play together, so I honestly believe that it was a mistake for the Ducks to put in Teemu for the shot, considering Norrena knows how he plays. Of course, I didn't know that at the time and thought, shit! He's going to miss it... Okay, I'm done with my long winded comment... Sorry!! This game just excited and still excites me when I talk about it!!

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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
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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