|Rick Nash, at practice on February 21, 2011|
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!!