Sunday, September 25, 2011

OMG - A preseason game recap!

Back from a week of travelling around New Mexico with the DBJ family, I finally got to watch enough of a preseason game to offer some cogent thoughts.  Thanks to the Columbus Blue Jackets for streaming their video screen with the radio simulcast.

The Blue Jackets hosted the Team Formerly Referred to as the Buffalo Buffa-slugs and laid the lumber to the visitors, 4-1.

VERY briefly (It IS preseason, after all, and you can't draw too much into a game where not-quite NHL rosters are playing at not-quite full speed...)...
  1. The initial power play effort, especially the 5-on-3 in the 1st period, looked really strong.  It was less effective as the game wore on.  
  2. Steve Mason wasn't out on an island for the first time in a long time.  Helps to have offense that can attack and defense that can keep the puck away from the crease.
  3. Ryan Johansen had a goal, but so did Dane Byers (who also had two assists).  Does that mean that both guys are ready for the big time, or does it mean that 3 games in 3 nights by Buffalo gave them a worn-out target practice opponent?
  4. I like that AEP and Barbasol appear to have upped their sponsorship levels with the Blue Jackets.  AEP has sponsored the "AEP Power Play" and Barbasol moved their dasher board from behind the goal to nearly center ice.  These are Columbus/Central Ohio companies that are putting their monies where their mouths are regarding the support of their community and its many amenities - like a professional hockey team.
  5. Grant Clitsome played like he appreciated the vote of support that his new contract offers.
  6. Seeing number 2 on a CBJ jersey out on the ice gave me chills that a wee Kris Russell was going to get overwhelmed again.  But then I realized that it was Radek Martinek and made a sigh of relief.
  7. I missed seeing Wiz.  More on that in another post.

UPDATE: Now this is interesting. Yahoo! Sports apparently polls their users on their predicted outcomes for the games of the moment, and they break down the results by section of the country. I learned about this when looking at their Sportstacular app after the game. Here are the predictions, by region, for the CBJ-Buffalo preseason game:

  • Northeast (incl. New York): 89% BUF, 11% CBJ
  • South: 70% BUF, 30% CBJ
  • Midwest (incl. Ohio): 41% BUF, 59% CBJ
  • West: 78% BUF, 22% CBJ
  • Entire world: 76% BUF, 24% CBJ
It was only 328 votes, so you can't place a ton of stock in this particular poll.  Still, it seems to me like the informed NHL fan that takes the time to vote on such matters needs to spend a little more time looking at the Columbus Blue Jackets.  

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this game for the Jackets offense. However the lack of guys like Roy (close to point per game), Boyes (strong goal scorer), and Vanek (best player on the Sabres) was quite obvious to me. As a quasi-Buffalo fan Sabre-fan-friends, I watched quite a few Sabre games last year and it doesn't shock me that there was such a shot differential without those guys on the ice. Mason and the D were good, but the challenge will be greater in the future.

    Of course, that doesn't take away how the Jackets offense clicked. Buffalo was still playing an NHL-caliber defensive corps and all-world SuperGoalie Ryan Miller. Yes, they three games in three days, but they're still a serious defensive power. It was nice to see the Jackets push the tempo and particularly Nash-Carter give them fits.

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