Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Game 11/Montreal: My take

The Columbus Blue Jackets led the Montreal Canadiens wire-to-wire, eventually shutting out the Habs by a score of 3-0 at Nationwide Arena.

What I found most exciting out of the evening was not the great Rick Nash wrister over Carey Price's shoulder nor the Derick Brassard cleanup goal off of a Jake Voracek breakaway.  No, what I was most impressed by was the total control of the game that the Blue Jackets displayed over the Northeast Division-leading Canadiens.  This, by my estimation, was the finest win that the Jackets have posted this season.

The team rolled four solid lines.  The defense bent - heck, they bent all over the place in the face of the Montreal shooters - but they never broke.  And Mathieu Garon was perfect where it counted.  Garon faced 29 shots, and 29 shots did not cross the goal line.

Against the Canadiens, Mathieu Garon was perfect.
(Flickr photo by Dylan Moody)
Individually, I saw some things that were very intriguing.  Jared Boll played a hell of a game yet didn't even come close to a fight.  Anton Stralman has some incredible wheels on the breakout, a skill that I had never noticed.  Nikita Filatov was as tough on the forecheck as he was fleet with the puck in the opposition zone.  (That kid's going to break out, big-time.  It's just a matter of time.)

It was just a good night from what was, for the evening, one very good hockey team.  I'm still trying to figure out whether the Blue Jackets are good in and of themselves; whether reasonably good teams like Montreal, Chicago and Philadelphia all had bad nights against the CBJ (unlikely) or whether the Jackets just have a knack for making their opponents play poorly.  Regardless, the Blue Jackets have 14 points after 11 games and, as I type, sit in 5th place in the Western Conference.

However you look at it, let's bottle tonight up and save it for later.  The 82-game season is long, and the Columbus Blue Jackets surely could use many more of these types of games.

On a personal note, this was the first game in my six-game package.  I finally got to watch a game from my seats in the front row of section 220 and - I gotta tell you - I loved that view.  I moved up from the tenth row of section 106 and was nervous, but what I lost in the visceral appreciation for the game from being down low was more than made up for in being able to follow the game from up high.  Fabulous seats.  (And thanks to Twitter's dascalos for joining me on short notice when Mrs. DBJ was laid up with a bug.)

All in all, a good night.  More, please!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me! Last time we watched a game together it was 4-0. We'll have to keep doing this for the sake of the team.

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  2. I don't think I can agree with your assessment. For most of the first period, the Jackets were totally defensive. The game was all in Garon's end; and he was allowing the puck to rebound instead of smothering it. They were very fortunate in the first five minutes (0-4 shots-on-goal). What was worse, their passing was awful. It was shades of last season's poor fundamentals, such as not having the blade on ice to catch the puck, passing behind the skater, etc. One thing I didn't see was three players behind the goal line (thank goodness). It's a funny game... the only period they didn't score was the one they were most vicious.

    I'm glad they got the W, but expect teams to continue first period onsloughts.

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