Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The View from 207: Nashville

Rick Nash, at practice on February 21, 2011
What a fun time in Nationwide Arena tonight.  Pregame pepperoni and predator (tastes like sausage) pizza at the R Bar, and then settle down to a good Central Division tilt.  Through two periods, the teams traded pushes and shoves, rushes and blocks.  Both goal tenders brought their 'A' game.  One big change from past games against Nashville is that when the Preds shoved, the CBJ did not buckle, as they have in the past.  The Jackets just shoved right back, and played a very hard nosed brand of hockey.  That left us with a game that was tied at the end of two periods, 0-0, and the feeling that the first goal was going to change the nature of the game.  And that's when the Captain stepped up, and took it upon himself.

Early in the third period, Nash got sprung on a rush against a mere two defenders, less than his normal 3 or 4 (Video review will probably prove me wrong on this, but this is how it felt).  In spite of strong defense by the Preds, Nash took it to the net, and scored off the backhand.  It was the proverbial 'I'm Rick Nash and you're not' goal.  And totally changed the game.

Shortly thereafter, Jedi Knight Matt Calvert out hustled Pekka Rinne on a botched handle behind the net, and canned the second goal.  After that, the Preds seemed to wilt some, and the Jackets put the game away with two more goals by Vermette and Nash respectively, massively outshooting the Preds 13-3 in the third period.  In the last 2 minutes, Jordin Tootoo was forced to do what he fears, actually confront someone who is not a small European skill player, and tried to fight with Boll, who proceeded to give him the rag doll treatment, and mercifully let the refs end it.

Make no mistake folks.  This was a dominant performance by a rising team in a game they had to have.  And it was all about the grit.  Not the fake, Matt Cooke kind of grit, where 'I'll run you with an elbow'.  The good old fashioned 'I don't really care what you do because I am going to play right through it' kind.

Our 'patched up' second line of RJ Umberger, Derek MacKenzie, and Matt Calvert turned in a great performance tonight.  Kudos to those guys, particularly D-Mac and Calvert.  These are two guys who are showing other folks how it is done.  Well done lads!

It was just another exciting night of playoff hockey in Nationwide Arena.  Go Jackets!!

4 comments:

  1. Have to say, from where I was sitting in the box, I have to tip my cap to you and the other 12,456 people in the barn tonight. Once the first Nash goal went in, the crowd awoke, and they were a force. Well done!

    All I can say about the game itself is... man, when this team plays like this they are fun to watch, and they are freaking dangerous. If they can survive March and its 16-in-31 schedule, I wouldn't want to play them if I was Detroit or Phoenix or even Vancouver. OK, maybe not Vancouver.

    Still, considering some things you and I talked about back around the game 40 mark, the turn-around has been nothing short of spectacular. All Hail Arniell!

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  2. Are you usually in 207? I should stop by and say hello, since my tickets are right next door.

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  3. The view from 209 was excellent, as all the goals were scored at that end. Quite a third period by the Jackets! "You suck, Pekka!"

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  4. I was very impressed with the fourth line and Moreau, in particular. He came over the boards on every shift, looking to hit someone or somehow make an impact on the game. All four lines played well and really kept the pressure on the Preds. Keep it up, Guys!

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