Sunday, February 6, 2011

Game 52: Edmonton - Recap

It was really nice to see a good loud crowd in Nationwide last night. I confess to be a bit surprised but pleased about the sellout. And the boys did not disappoint the fans.

Quickly, Edmonton jumped up 2-0 early on goals by Paajarvi and Penner. A bit of air went out of the house. But they've been here before, eh? The CBJ went to work, and brought it back to 2-1 on a goal by Umberger, with Dorsett lurking in Khabibulin's kitchen looking to clean up any messes. That got the crowd going.

Second period Juice got the equalizer, and the crowd got really loud. But, in the third period, Paajarvi was left undefended again, and put one in to make it 3-2 Oil. But the Jackets are not daunted by being down late now, as they have proven to themselves lately that they can come back no matter what. So in spite of the air going out of the barn, they picked themselves up and got it going. With 6:16 remaining in the third, Umberger got the equalizer to tie it at 3-3, and then with 4 minutes remaining, Juice scored on a real nice goal to provide the winning margin at 4-3.

All told, in spite of my worries at various points of the game, it was a real solid come back win in front of a sold out house. This is very important for the team down the stretch. They need to make a run now, and having some crowd support will go a long way. That was the loudest I have heard the building all year, except for some more negative situations that do not bear mentioning, but will hopefully be paid back with interest on Tuesday. Ahem. I digress.

Most importantly, it was a very entertaining game. Lots of speed back and forth, not a Hitchcockian game of defense by any stretch. Edmonton's forwards can really fly, but this creates space, and the Jackets did a good job utilizing it at points in the game. A good game experience.

Fortunately for all involved, they did not pass out the souvenir pucks until after the game. I shudder to think of the rain of pucks that would have occurred on the bogus goal tender interference call on Nash. But cooler heads prevailed.

Next up, the Malkin-less Pens in Pittsburgh. Is Jordan Staal really number 1 center potential?

3 comments:

  1. Excellent recap, Gallos. And thanks for pitching in with your thoughts.

    As Mason let the second goal through, the Fort Wayne Squirt AA Komets parents looked at me in the back row of 216 as if to say, "We bailed on our annual Detroit Red Wings trip for THIS?" All I could do was reassure them that Mason is a little slow to get moving - that he generally spots the opposition a couple goals before settling down. Besides, the CBJ seem to enjoy digging out of a hole in their games.

    Thank God the CBJ actually proved me right!

    They didn't take the lead until there were only 4 minutes left, and there was no looking back at that point. A gutty win from a team that has vast reserves of heart that generally never gets tapped.

    Specific thoughts:

    1. My view from the top of 216 gave me a scout's-eye view of the game. It's abundantly clear that either the CBJ has not picked up Scott Arniel's game - or Arniel's game is a deliberate mess. This transition from Hitch to Arniel is still a work in progress.

    2. If I was Arniel, I would threaten to bench Antoine Vermette is he EVER attempted a no-look or between the legs pass. I saw more passes to nobody than I can remember in a single game.

    3. R.J. Umberger carried that team last night. That speaks to both Umberger and Rick Nash.

    4. Kristian Huselius apparently got the message with his healthy scratch in Detroit, eh?

    5. I generally don't rewatch entire games, but I think this one warrants it because I didn't really get to follow John Moore that much. (Family obligations, etc.) From what little I saw, Moore's debut was a mixed bag. Some nice puck movement and a little overwhelmed at times.

    6. SOLD. OUT. GAME. And the fans were brought to a fever pitch with the late grab on the lead and then hanging on through the Edmonton empty net in the end. For being behind most of the game, I was impressed at how satisfying this win was. Couldn't have been scripted better, and in front of a big-time crowd, no less!

    7. Watching big-time hockey with a bunch of 10-year-old travel hockey players is a stitch. They know their stuff yet are not ashamed to cut loose and cheer when the time arises.

    A VERY good night. And good point on the puck distribution strategy, Gallos!

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  2. I liked reading the comments of both Gallos and DBJ. Thanks!

    And, yes, the pucks being handed out pre-game could have easily been a DiscoDemolition-scale disaster. Glad that they made a good choice there!

    Curious as to whether *anyone* knows quite why we had a sellout last night. Just a "perfect storm" of it being a Saturday night game after few home games in January plus alumni night plus free puck night plus $10 STH tickets?

    Sure would be great to see more sellouts like that and wins to go with them!

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  3. Anon - I genuinely think a big reason was the Alumni night, the cheap tickets, and.....the big deal made about John Moore's debut.

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