Last night the Blue Jackets lost their first game under interim head coach (IHC?) Claude Noel. I went to the game with a friend and we were hoping to keep our perfect winning record streak together alive... but no. The first three minutes of the game saw three goals and much other excitement - the first ten minutes of that period seemed to last forever! Other notables from the first period include successfully killing off a 4 minute power play. The shifts seemed especially short and I was glad to see a whole host of players getting PK time. (The only players without time on the penalty kill were Boll, Dorsett, and Torres).
Er, but Luongo was not in net. Just ignore the announcers.
In keeping with Noel having the players choose a motivational quote, I too chose a quote after the game:
Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.- Nichiren (famous Japanese Buddhist monk)
Throughout the season, the Blue Jackets excelled at various things like giving up early goals (very early), giving up goals late in the game, getting extremely discouraged after fluky goals, etc. Hope died in Nationwide during those times. Last night was different. Nash scored 22 seconds in... the Canucks tied it up 1:46 later. Boll responded right back. Torres made it 3-1 in the second, a lead that lasted by two for all of nine seconds. A weak second period and that very fluky goal in the third period, could previously have spelled certain demise for these Blue Jackets. But after only five shots on goal in the second, the Jackets took 19 in the third. I, normally quite the pessimist, was optimistic. I believed that a goal would be scored to at least force overtime. The guys didn't let the bad stuff get them down - joy reigned! How refreshing. To be able to see and nearly feel that passion makes this loss a little less disheartening.
They were quiet the whole time in (the locker room). I really liked the fact that they sat there. It really how shows me that they care and they don't phony care. I can cut through that stuff pretty easily.- IHC Claude Noel
Remember that tremendous losing streak earlier in the year? Remember how long it took for the players to boil over, and call a players-only meeting? I know that I am not in the room and don't know their personal feelings, but their attitudes occasionally came across as apathetic. Not anymore - thank goodness.
Loser hardhat award goes to: the Brassard line. Torres, Voracek, and Brassard combined for nine shots, six hits, zero penalty minutes, +1, one goal, and two assists. If I had a fourth loser hardhat, it would go to Hejda, who took a puck to his face (or close to it) and then came right back, did a great job of keeping the puck in the zone, and finished with two hits and three blocked shots.
Have a joyful day!