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Mmm ... shark fin soup.

Monday, October 29, 2007
Oh, gee, thanks a lot, Minnesota. I thought expansion brothers were supposed to look out for one another! But, no, you went and let Colorado beat you, and bump us down to 5th in the West as a result. Thanks so much. Seriously.

... okay, all kidding aside, let's get to Saturday's game, since I feel at least mildly refreshed after napping the afternoon away. I swear, that music quiz took more out of me than I thought it would.

Sunday's game was ... well, it was something special.

-First game of the season where the Jackets won after being behind during the course of the game. Given, they were only behind for all of about a minute and a half, but it's all about the fact that they pushed harder than ever when they realized that if they didn't act quickly, they could very well get dragged into a proverbial quagmire. And seeing how rough that game was, they really could have been pulled into a sluggish game.

-First win for Pascal Leclaire where he didn't get a shutout, as well as his first win when he started the previous game (which he also won). Although the shot count was quite low, 18 to 17 in favor of Columbus, he still made some key saves that ensured that the Jackets' would stay in the game. Beyond that, this was all about getting past mental blocks. He had yet to put together two solid, back-to-back games ... and he had yet to win without keeping the opposing team off the score sheet. Congratulations, Pazzy ... like the guys at Puck Rakers have been saying, it'll be a bloody travesty if you don't get one of the Stars of the Month from the NHL.

-The ice was just plain bad. Via a connection or two, I heard that one of the ice technicians has recently left to work for the New Jersey Devils, who played their first home game at The Prudential Center on Saturday. It looks like he left after the home game against the Blues on Thursday, no less. So don't hold it against the rest of the crew, who probably had to carry the extra workload on their own shoulders until they find someone new to take over this guy's position. There's a week before the next home game, so there's time to check things out ice-wise and also find someone new.

-The Sharks were chippy, choppy, and at times dirty. I don't deny that the Blue Jackets' play a rough and tumble style of game, especially now with Ken Hitchcock ingraining that in to the team mentality, but the Sharks took it beyond a hard-hitting game with high sticks to both David Vyborny (which was completely ignored or unnoticed by the referees, despite the blood) and Nikolai Zherdev. There was more than one questionable hit of players in to the boards beyond the one that Steve Bernier was called for in the 3rd period. And Jeremy Roenick's banging around of Leclaire after he was knocked in to the crease at the end of the game was bush league. I'm sorry you couldn't get your two goals against the "weak" Blue Jackets, but suck it up.

In other news, as was first reported in a post today by Tom Reed at Puck Rakers, both Duvie Westcott and Fredrik Modin are back in practice and depending on how well they do, could be in the lineup against Los Angeles on Wednesday, when the team tangos with the Kings at the Staples Center. I have to admit, the Nash-Peca-Modin line intrigues me. Two big guys that can cause tons of havoc in front of the net can be pretty brutal, if done right. I wonder if Mike Peca will feel any sorts of height inferiority complex standing next to those two (I kid, I kid).

There's also the fact that Nash and Modin are both considered left wingers. And besides that line, there was also a line with Sergei Fedorov, Gilbert Brule, and Jared Boll. To tell you the truth, that one confuses me more than anything, since both Brule and Fedorov are centers. And Boll, even though he has been a force to be reckoned with on the ice in terms of drawing penalties and just plain pest-ing it up, still just has two points (both goals) on the season so far. I'll wait to pass judgment, however, until I see such a line in action (if it does, indeed, stay intact for Wednesday's game).

Attendance was 400 peoples (heh ... peoples) more than Thursday's game against St. Louis, so the Jackets' are starting to draw fans back little by little. But they need to continue to play the way they have been playing. A long week away from home with two late games on the west coast could also hurt their attempts to stay within the mentality of Columbus and Ohio sports fans who are pre-occupied with the Buckeyes, and possibly a better-than-average Cleveland Browns team. And with the NBA season just around the corner, some doofus named "King James" who reigns in Cleveland might pull some attention away from the Jackets, too.

Now, I have some laundry to take care of.

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  • At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    You know, I've been worried about the attendance, but I realized I'm part of the problem. I've been to 4/6 home games this season, but for three of those games, I got my ticket from STH friends. Which means it was already counted as a ticket sold regardless of whether or not it was used. So I added nothing to the attendance figures by going to those three games. Only the Vancouver game, where I did buy my ticket at the box office, did I count for my attendance.

  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Sarah: Put me on that bench, too.

    I actually bought a pick 6, but my first games aren't until December. Every game I've been to was either a giveaway at work, or someone else dumping a ticket.

    Michael: Any comment on the fact that NHL network is pimping the LA game for us? Seems like they can't stop talking about it when I've watched their shows this week.

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    Sarah: If it's any consolation, I don't think I count as an attendance number, either. :-p

    Matt: If I had the NHL Network, I'm sure I'd understand what you are referring to. However, since Insight Communications is a piece of [expletive], and I can't get DirecTV because I can't properly align a dish due to location constraints from my landlord, I can't get it. :-/

  • At 7:02 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Michael: Aww. Sorry. :/

    Go to the R-Bar and check it out there. :D

    But, they've had the Columbus game in their ticker a lot. I suspect it's partially because it's the first live game they'll be broadcasting in the US (as opposed to the Canadian side of the network) but they seem to be doing some decent levels of pimpage.

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Name: Michael
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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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