Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Game 80/St. Louis: My take
Not that I would have been able to to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets - or whatever shreds are left of the roster - go down in overtime, 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues due to the wicked thunderstorms that rolled through Central Ohio and left my satellite dish "searching for signal" all night long. But still, I can't believe that the game was not televised at all.
I understand that the reason that the game wasn't on TV was due to the blackout imposed by the Versus NHL "Game of the Week" contract. I don't begrudge the NHL for dangling an exclusive time period out there to make the contract that much more lucrative. I also don't begrudge Versus for extracting every bit of value out of that contract.
I DO, however, begrudge the NHL schedulers for letting games be played in time slots where they can't be televised. At all. By anyone. I mean, the Fox Sports Ohio team couldn't broadcast. Darren Pang, one of my favorite NHL color guys, couldn't broadcast. And the few diehard fans who've stuck with this frustrating season of Blue Jacket hockey couldn't see their Columbus-Syracuse hybrid team put up yet another valiant fight.
As for the game that I couldn't see, I have to rely upon stat sheets for my insights.
The two big thoughts are: 1) The Umberger-Brassard-Voracek line is humming, with 12 shots, and 2) The Nash-Vermette-Huselius line is totally lost out there with the Captain missing. Vermette had one shot, Huselius had two and Tomas Kana (!) had 1.
Nash has a stiff neck and Andrew Murray has a sore face courtesy of Keith Tkakchuk.
The Jackets picked up the loser point, giving them 78 points and placing them squarely in 24th place in the league. If the CBJ are to get to the draft lottery (not sure that's an admirable goal), they need to drop both of the last two games against Detroit and see the likes of the Islanders, Hurricanes, Lightning and/or the Panthers get on a roll to close out the season.