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)
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!