2. Many, many apologies for the delay in getting these 10 Thoughts out. I've been crunched with family obligations related to Thanksgiving, the end of the quarter at school and now a death in the family which is going to require some unplanned travel. Things might be a little spotty in the not-too-distant future, so please bear with me.
2a. The Thanksgiving nature of the game has prompted me to share that for which I am thankful related to the game, the CBJ and things hockey-related. Enjoy!
2b. I'm especially thankful that I got a chance to watch the Ottawa game with my Friendly Pens Fan. She's and Mrs. DBJ joined me to make one heck of a peanut gallery.
3. I'm thankful that the Jackets have Rick Nash. The Captain was really pushing it against the Sens, registering 6 shots and plenty of effort on the ice. He did everything outside of showing up on the scoresheet.
4. I'm thankful that Steve Mason has the ability to bury his memories of his poorer games and rebound with a solid game like Thursday night. He turned aside 34 of 36, with one of the two goals coming on a power play. That's not bad. Not at all.
4a. I'm also thankful that Mase is mature enough to look critically at his game and work on his deficiencies. Taking an extra practice just to work on his reaction to plays that develop from behind the net reflect the character of a guy who's trying hard to be better, who knows he's not perfect. He's young and will get more consistent with time as long as he keeps that attitude.
5. I'm thankful for Anton Stralman and his wonderful shot from the point. It's just a thing of beauty, even if it doesn't go in.
6. I'm thankful that Derek Dorsett finally is coming around after the James Neal-inflicted concussion. Sounds like the headaches are going away.
7. I'm a thankful that the CBJ are off to the best start of the franchise's history, but a little less so with what I'm seeing at the end of games. The Ottawa game was no different. Right around the first half of the third period, the Jackets get called for a penalty or two that starts wearing them down. They then get in this vicious cycle of penalty - fatigue - sloppiness - penalty - etc. I'm guessing that at least 3 games were lost due to this. Is it fatigue that causes the penalties? Is it lack of discipline? Regardless, I'll be VERY thankful when I can stop referring to the Jackets as "the 50 minute men."
8. I'm thankful that Mike Commodore and Jan Hejda are back on the ice on a consistent basis and pray that they both get into game shape by...oh, I dunno...yesterday. Might help Fedor Tyutin, who's been carrying way too much of the load this year.
9. I'm thankful that the Jackets have the steady leadership of Scott Howson and Ken Hitchcock. I'd be pressing the panic button more often than I have Nikita Filatov fighting in NHL 10 (stress relief, if you know what I mean). These guys have a plan, and they're sticking to it. At least for now. It's frustrating to watch a very young NHL team grow before your eyes, making the surehandedness of both Howson and Hitchcock all the more valuable.
10. I'm thankful that this crap-tastic road trip finally ended. 1-3-1 (only 3 points out of a possible 10) is just not good enough. Let's hope that a night or two in their own beds will help the CBJ build upon the promising play in Ottawa and get back in the saddle.
NEXT UP: Calgary comes to Nationwide on Saturday night. Should be a doozy. I gather that the game will be a highlighted game on the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. (Big stuff for NHL teams...)
[Due to time constraints, I'm going to pass on adding graphics. Need to move on to the next game!]