|the hat of victory - a new trend?|
Fortunately, the CBJ did not rely on that type of claptrap for the result of this game. They tried playing Colorado's game, which resulted in an early 1 - 0 lead in favor of Colorado. Then for inexplicable reasons (?perhaps related to my taunts from the upper bowl regarding their captain?), they decided to try to physically take the CBJ out of the game. This was ill advised. I would be willing to concede that they won the fights. Boller went twice, against guys with greater reach. He did not dominate. But his teammates seemed unimpressed by the fact that maybe the Colorado kids won their fights. They ramped up their game, and won the second and third periods rather decisively. Yes, Dorsett (Doors) went as well, with about the same results. But the CBJ were unimpressed. They had trust in their boys, confidently killed penalties, then went down and scored goals.
What I saw was a squad that was mentally much tougher than a fragile Colorado squad. One of our best guys, R J Umberger coughed up a terrible turnover to spring Phillipe Dupuis on a break away that he scored on. Although this was one of the many times that the boys hung Matty Garon out to dry, particularly in the first period, it was the only time they were able to crack him. Incredibly stout performance by Matty. He hasn't seen the net in how long, and comes in and pitches a stabilizing game in a big way. I would point out that the CBJ has never had a winning back up goal tender until Matty. If anyone deserves a new contract it is he.
But as usual, I digress. In the second period, our Captain, took over. And scored the tying goal on a very sweet pass from Jake Voracek. Then, on a major hustle play after a penalty kill, the Captain got down, took the puck from where Budaj left it for the defenseman, dumped it to Brass who then patiently waited for Budaj to commit before canning the winning goal. This sequence was all about determination. And when the Captain gets determined, Brass and Jake are showing that they can rise to that occasion. This all bodes very well for the future.
Finally, after an entertaining third period, D-mac cans the empty netter on a gritty play. So well deserved by our guys. Bottom line analysis? Our squad was mentally tougher than theirs. Don't count these guys out. They still have a large hill to climb, but they seen intent on climbing it. There will be setbacks along the way, but I think they will get there.