Boom. (Repeat seven more times.)
I'm man enough to admit it: This game had me scared. I honestly thought that that CBJ were going to come out and, like so many times before, melt in the face of the challenge of a big game. And make no doubt about it, this was a big game. St. Louis was 9-1-2, riding a seven-game winning streak, sitting alone atop the Western Conference and apparently somewhat full of themselves.
What followed on the ice, though, was a ritual dismantling of the Blues:
- 1st period: Jackets score 3 goals. Voracek undresses All-World goaltender Jaroslav Halak on a breakaway, Boll screws up a centering pass that lands in the back of the net (I kid!) and Nash cleans up the kids' garbage. Cue the "chili" music at 17 minutes in. Wow.
- 2nd period: Voracek again undresses the wounded (metaphorically-speaking) Halak and runs him off to the dressing room. St. Louis gets some wierd goal where Mason got pulled way out of the crease. Clark finally gets a goal. Umberger gets a goal. Blues have to be seething by this point.
- 3rd period: Who cares...Jackets keep scoring and St. Louis finally Gets its Goon On as they are wont to do. 82 PIMs in the period alone. Cam Janssen plays the idiot card. Blues run Umberger, who smiles like a cheshire cat. Voracek butt-checks Oshie, who breaks his ankle in the fall (oops). Everyone fights everyone. CBJ are playing euchre in the box. Refs threaten to call the game at roughly 8 minutes out due to excessive goonery (Seriously, that one happened.). Never one to let a blowout win get in the way of a good scrap, Dorsett throws 'em down with 15.9 seconds to go. No, seriously, let's run down the scorecard:
Amazing. I always wondered what 82 PIMs in a period looked like. Which leads us to:
(The irony of the "Halak dominating shooters" article on this page is rich, don't you think?)
Anyhoo, we can't overlook that Steve Mason stopped 29 of 30 shots. That's really good. And I need to see what the heck happened on that one goal. It was like he was out in Upper Arlington when it went in.
Let's wrap it up with a sense of the complete level of domination tonight.
- Only one CBJ player had a plus/minus rating lower than 1. (Dorsett - zero)
- Anton Stralman was +4 on the night to lead the team.
- Only four CBJ players did NOT get at least one point tonight, goalie excluded. (Stralman, Russell, Hejda, Tyutin)
- R.J. Umberger had 8 shots tonight. Do ya think he was fired up?
So let's live it up. As I type, the CBJ are back into the 5th playoff slot at 9-5-0. This is a talented team that, when/if their heads are in the game, can tear it up like few I've seen in the NHL. Honestly, you can't expect many games like this one...but wasn't it nice to happen, tonight, against the top team in the division and conference in front of the home crowd?
Next up: Colorado on Friday, 7PM at Nationwide. It doesn't take SeatGeek to tell you to get your tickets now for that one...the prices are going to start rising when the rest of the world realizes what this team is capable of!