And, once we bailed out, the Columbus Blue Jackets started scoring.
A Jackets team made up of a small handful of starters and a whole bunch of players on the bubble won, 3-2 over a Minnesota Wild team that was comprised of their NHL-level lineup as they had made most all of their cuts already. That's profound, something in which the CBJ can be pleased. Or the Wild can be downright scared. Take your pick.
|Tom Sestito's closing argument as to why he should|
make the Columbus Blue Jackets roster.
- The Blue Jackets looked really ragged, which stands to reason as the roster was assembled with green-handled scissors and scotch tape in order to accommodate all of the players sitting on the roster bubble. This was a night of forced chemistry, of proving to the coaches and management that you can perform in this new, Scott Arniel puck possession system.
- Alternatively, you can prove that you can offer other services to the team. Mike Blunden and Tom Sestito ended up taking this route, getting in fights. Blunden laid the beat down on his victim, and Sestito won in an impassioned decision. By the way, Dark Blue Toddler enjoyed cheering with the fans over the fights...not that he understood what was going on.
- There's not a lot you can tell about a team on "last chance night," so I'll keep my profound statements about the team and their adaption to this new system to a minimum.
- John Moore gets around the ice pretty darned well. He seems very comfortable out there. I would not be surprised to see him sneak into a roster spot.
- Chris Clark looked like the veteran that he is when on the ice. He stuck to his position well, moved the puck ahead when necessary and played some ad hoc defense pretty darned well. He's an expensive player, and perhaps somewhat redundant on the CBJ roster, but tonight he served as "glue" out there and held his shifts together.
- Did Ethan Moreau really play tonight? You wouldn't have known.
- Seemed like the Jackets took a lot of penalties in comparison to the Wild. I suppose it makes sense - the bubble players are pushing the limits to make the team. I sure hope it stops once the roster settles down, though.
- Tomas Kubalik was given a gift in playing on a line with Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius. While he didn't get another hat trick, he made his presence known in a Tomas Holmstrom manner. Oh - the radio guys LOVE Tomas Kubalik.
- You'd think that the Minnesota Wild would have blanketed Nikita Filatov. He only got his first NHL hat trick against the Wild, you know. Maybe they did try to stifle him, but their efforts were marginally useful at best. Filatov was pushing up the ice, pushing Wild players around, pretty much doing everything he wanted when not getting mugged. That he got a power play goal and then one of the shootout goals does not surprise me.
- I'm amazed at how many CannonFest participants that I ran into tonight. We're a serious hockey-watching bunch!
- After a slow start with only 7 shots in the first period, the Jackets took 11 shots in the second and 12 in the third. Not surprisingly, they scored in the second and third periods. This hockey thing isn't rocket science: You shoot a lot, and some of the pucks go into the net.
- We won a shootout. Quoting a Twitter line from tonight: "And I for one welcome our new shootout-winning overlords. "
- Prediction: At least two and as many as four new players beyond Ethan Moreau will make the CBJ squad out of camp.
That'll probably be my only preseason game in person, but I'll keep posting thoughts as they arise (and presuming that I can get the games online, on TV, or via Indian smoke signal.