Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Thoughts about Game 34: Minnesota*

1. Despite only the crowd in the arena actually watching the game (with the rest of us proles listening on radio, hence the asterisk next to this game), the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild appeared to play an NHL-regulation hockey game.  Minnesota won, 2-1.

1a. The loss drops the CBJ to 14-14-6, still at 34 points and now in 13th place in the Western Conference.  That's 5 points below playoff contention and 3 points above the conference cellar.  Not a lot of room for error.

1b. Here are your highlights....oh, no video.  Hmmm.  In it's place, let's pause and review some of the basic rules of hockey:

2. The fact that this game was not televised - at all - by either Columbus or Minneapolis outlets is totally unforgiveable.

2a. First and foremost, it is because Versus sucks.

2b. We cannot overlook the fact that the National Hockey League allowed this provision to go into their contract with Versus.

2c. We cannot overlook the fact that the National Hockey League could have set up the league schedule to ensure that this game and the other game that was blacked out - Lightning-Predators - were able to be seen while allowing Versus their space.

2d. Steve Lepore of Puck the Media knocked my socks off with this Twitter message:
@DarkBlueJacket Ya' know, the Wild could've scheduled this game for 9pm and aired it legally...
2e. As a result, I nominate the Minnesota Wild for Stupid NHL Franchise of the Month.

3. Back to the game. Because we at Dark Blue Jacket Central have special connections in Minnesota, we were able to obtain game footage. You see, it helps to speak the native dialect:

4. After the obligatory early game lull where the two teams check each other out, Rick Nash broke the 0-0 deadlock with a highlight reel goal:

4a. Oh, wait, we have an actual photo from the game:

4b. Seriously, the radio guys said that the 1-0 CBJ lead at the time was the first CBJ lead in 203 minutes of hockey. Ouch.

5. Minnesota's Guillaume Latendresse tied it up with an impressive goal of his own...

6. No scoring would take place until the third period, but that didn't mean there wasn't meaningful game action. Fedor Tyutin apparently broke one of the giant glass panes that surround the ice:

6a. Fedor's skate apparently broke the glass. He went off for a little while, probably to get checked out, but returned to the game.

7. With 44 seconds left in the game, the score tied and his men tired, Ken Hitchcock called a timeout to rally the troops.  He used everything in his toolkit, evidence of the dire straits that in which the Jackets find themselves these days:

7a. The Hitch pep talk didn't have the desired effect.  5 seconds after the ensuing faceoff, the Wild scored the game-winning goal and madness broke out on the ice:

8. OK, I'll admit it. I have next to no idea what happened in the game. Apparently it was a track meet type of game that Hitch hates, and Mason - while not getting peppered with shots - held up fairly well.

9. Hats off to George Matthews, Bob McElligott and the CD101 Blue Jackets radio crew for being our eyes and ears during the game. I've said it before and will say it again: They call a consistently more entertaining game than the TV crew. Anyone who doesn't get excited by listening to George Matthews' play-by-play doesn't have a pulse.

9a. The problem for me was that I had too many home-based distractions to be able to follow the game well. No reflection on George and Bob's performance.

9b. Bob had the quote of the night in reading a listener email that asked whether the television blackout had something to do with Versus. Bob's reply: "The television situation has EVERYTHING to do with Versus." Testify!

10. I still remain convinced that the game did not take place, and that George and Bob were really doing play-by-play of Rick Nash and Steve Mason playing NHL2K10 at Rick's place. In fact, I have another photo from the game:

10a. I can't let this game recap go without one more awesome goal by one of the little guys:

10b. Thanks to the wonderful community of CBJ Twitterers for making such a goofy situation so much fun!

NEXT UP: Thursday night against the 19-12-2 (40 pts.) Phoenix Coyotes. Or is that the Saskatoon Coyotes? Considering that the Coyotes are in the seventh seed in the West after all the crap that they've gone through, playing in front of home crowds smaller than the assembled at my Thanksgiving dinner, with a salary cap hit of only $41.671 million (Financial Acuity Index score is a league high +21), I hope that they have a good season. At the same time, I don't want them to have a good season at Columbus' expense. The Jackets need the win. BADLY.


  1. Classic...Snark. Period. And awesome, as always.

  2. Absolutely love this article! Job well done!

  3. This was brilliantly put together I would have loved either just the miracle or slapshot speech put on for the hitch's speech but Ill take it.

  4. Excellent analysis of a game that may or may not have happened. Thanks for the Slapshot clip. Reminds me that I haven't seen that movie in a couple of years. Should have watched it last night in lieu of listening to the "phantom Jackets game".


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