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Saturday, October 06, 2007
It took until the third goal at 7:58 of the 3rd period for me to finally exhale last night. Having remembered the collapse during last season's home opener against the Vancouver Canucks, could you blame me for being more frightened than enthusiastic over a 2-0 lead heading in to the 3rd?

But here I am the morning after, finding out that this dominant win over the Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks was not a dream. I mean, who would have thought that the result would be a 4-0 blowout, let alone in such a dominant fashion?

Before I get in to the game, though, let me just say that it's a real shame that this game wasn't a sellout. Shy by somewhere around 500 seats or so, this is one of those games that you wish had the arena packed to capacity and then some, just because of how perfect it would have been for fans who are currently feeling disenchanted or otherwise frustrated by the Jackets' past season woes. But still, this team does need to convince the people of Columbus that they deserve better attendance, and after one game, so far so good.

Also, the cannon? A thing of frikken' beauty! You couldn't have asked for a better way to kick the game off, let alone celebrate each and every goal. Show of hands, readers: how many of you expected that baby to be fired a total of seven times in the very first game of the season (start of game, goal, goal, goal, goal, two for winning)? That's one Helluva way to break that baby in, I know that much. And if that trumpeter who was standing next to the cannon is there for every game, too? That just makes it even more awesome. When he started blasting his bugle in the 3rd period, the 17,700+ in the arena started to rock that place.

Now, as for the game ...

-Rick Nash is on pace for 328 points (164 goals, 164 assists). Come on, you know he's going to get that many.

-Pascal Leclaire played great when he had to, especially during the flurries the Ducks had around him at key points. I'll admit, there were points where it seemed like he was a little iffy on some rebounds, which was tough to watch. But at the same time, the majority of his rebounds did seem to me as though they were intentionally directed elsewhere to ensure they'd be difficult for the Ducks to take advantage of. This is also Leclaire's second career shutout, which means he's already matched his season record for shutouts (1) from last season.

-The hit that Jared Boll landed on Travis Moen seemed to me less in the vein of something that was dirty, and more in the vein of something that a rookie does when they're too damn enthusiastic. It's clear in the replays that he left his skates, which is a big no-no. However he did not use his elbow, only using his shoulder for the hit. However the hit was also high and to the head, as was evident by the video of a bloodied Moen on the bench.

If he's suspended for a couple of games, I won't be too upset. Any more than two games would be a bit much, however.

-Jason Chimera looked like a hell hound with the way in which he zipped all over the ice. And I lost track of the opportunities that Fredrik Modin had to bury one in the back of the net, only to be rebuffed by some great goaltending by the Duck's Ilya Bryzgalov.

-How about the energy that Nikolai Zherdev played with, too? A far cry from the seemingly unenthusiastic slogging through the pre-season done by Z, he was bold enough to stand up Ducks' players in the neutral zone, was aggressive on both the backcheck and the forecheck, and whether you'll believe it or not, his bag of tricks -- which does indeed include his trademark toe drag -- were actually working. Perhaps the problem isn't so much whether Z overuses things such as the toe drag, but whether or not he personally believes that he can pull it off. Something that's more mental than anything else.

I could go on and on, really, with the players who deserve to be mentioned for their great games. But honestly, you get the idea. I'll wrap things up by saying that last night's effort by the Jackets was simply great. They were methodical, ruthless, relentless, and with the exception of a gruelingly long 2nd period in large part due to the 5 minute major the Jackets' had assessed near the end of it, they never really slowed down.

Now, let's see if they can keep it up tonight in Minnesota.

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  • At 1:11 PM, Blogger Skye-chan said…

    Here's to crossing my fingers and praying to God they keep this us.

    I burst into tears at one point last night, I was so happy.

    Also? I love our cannon.

  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger Skye-chan said…

    Keep this up, rather. Haha, I can type, honest.

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