Tuesday, November 24, 2009

10 Thoughts about Game 23: Montreal

1. The Columbus Blue Jackets lost their legs starting in the back half of the 2nd period, showing next to nothing in the 3rd against the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs won, 5-3. Here are the highlights:

2. The back-to-back games bit the CBJ in this game. The defensive lapses again plagued the Jackets with increasing frequency throughout the game.

2a. I'm wondering if conditioning is a new area of concern. These guys just fade down the stretch.

3. Mathieu Garon performed...ok...in turning aside 24 of 29 of the Habs' shots. I was only truly upset with 1 of the 5 goals:

Was it just too hard to get up? Seemed odd to me.

3a. At least his performance was mediocre/bad enough that no one's going to complain when Mase starts against the Senators on Thanksgiving.

3b. Poor Steve Mason, sitting in that little box by himself for the whole game. Looked like he was in Time Out.

4. Two goals for Antoine Vermette, giving him a strong showing in his home province. He's turned out to be quite a good player, bringing it on most every night.

5. Two assists from Captain Rick Nash, including the masterpiece below. He was a little more of a presence than against the Rangers, but he's still way too quiet on the ice.

5a. At least his +/- was zero tonight...but keeping in mind that he had two assists, that means he was on the ice for at least two goals.

6. Speaking of +/-, Jan Hejda "led" the team with a -3 on the night. For a guy who hung his hat on having a gargantuan positive +/- since coming to Columbus, a -3 makes me think he's still hurt. He's clearly not himself.

6a. Mike Commodore also is not himself. But how do you get in condition when you're wearing yourself down every night?

6b. Speaking of injuries, I think we miss Derek Dorsett.  He's a real spark plug, and his absence is noticeable.

7. Shame that the Jackets had to fade out on a night where their game was the only game played in the entire league.

7a. At least the utter humiliation was contained to one night (the Rangers game).

8. OK, the TSN highlight package at the top was a sick joke. Pierre McGuire is a doofus. His interview with Jeff Rimer after the 1st period was lunacy. What was that supposed joke about "The U"? Was it an Ohio State joke? Idiot.

8a. Side TV note: This NHL on the Fly micro-analysis of the CBJ is just painful.

9. My internal "Time for the General Manager to shuffle the deck" clock is ticking. The alarm hasn't gone off, but it sure is ticking.

9a. To quote The Bard: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

10. Despite the crappy showing the past two games, I like the CBJ playing in Eastern Conference arenas. Columbus REALLY shouldn't be in the West.  I know I've mentioned it before, but I really mean it.

NEXT UP: At Ottawa on (American) Thanksgiving Day.  Who's inviting Dorsett to their house for Turkey Day?

Photos from Yahoo NHL.


  1. As of Nov. 25, 2009, the Columbus Blue Jackets have the NHL's top-ranked power play at 26.1 percent. They are now the league's ninth-highest scoring team, averaging 3.04 goals per game. And yet, everyone seems to think the sky is falling.

  2. Problem is, we're averaging 3.52 goals against per game. And that's while holding a record of 12-8-3. We win a lot of games, granted, but when we lose, it's often in pretty spectacular style (@San Jose 6-3, @Calgary 6-3, @Edmonton 6-4, @Los Angeles 6-2, Detroit 9-1, @Rangers 7-4). That tends to raise the level of fan angst.

    In my mind, it's ok to give up 6 goals a game is you can be reasonably assured that you can score 7. That's a ridiculously high standard, though. We have scored 6 goals once all season, never reaching the 7 goal plateau. So if you can't score 7, why not work on defense?

    There are some good aspects of this team's performance to build upon. There are also at least as many negative aspects to fix.


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