|Columbus 3 - Anaheim 1|
2-9-1, 5th place in the Central Division, 15th place in the Western Conference
1. Let's get to the elephant in the room faster than Fox Sports Ohio did tonight: The rumored shakeup both behind the bench and in the front office clearly has shaken the roster. Captain Rick Nash, never one to offer a meaningful quote after a game, shared that the team had a players-only meeting prior to the game prep meeting and also gave about as forceful a defense of Scott Arniel and Scott Howson that he could. By my estimation (and Jeff Seaman's), someone (or someones) in that locker room REALLY doesn't want to play for Ken Hitchcock.
1a. Not to beat on Fox Sports Ohio too hard, but that pregame was mighty awkward with zero mention of the Dispatch article regarding the rumored firings of both Arniel and Howson. It was like some Tea Party convention, where entire pertinent elements of public dialogue are totally ignored. (Of course, the pre-game discussion was pretty good, focusing on the game and all...)
|Ryan Johansen's second goal in three games is making it real hard for|
the Blue Jackets to send him back to juniors.
2. Four fights. Three in the first period alone. And while most weren't the most useful, I give Cody Bass all sorts of props for engaging the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf. If there is a use for a guy like Bass, it's in taking the other team's top player off the ice for time in the sin bin. We lose Bass, they lose Getzlaf. I'll take that trade any day of the week, twice on Sundays.
3. Goals from Rick Nash, Ryan Johansen (which again pleased his BFF, the Dark Blue Toddler) and Fedor Tyutin. The Nash goal was a study in patience and sniping. The Johansen goal probably made it that much harder to send him back to junior hockey. The Tyutin goal was nifty, as all great shots from the blue line are:
Big Russian Bear. Scoring Machine.
4. Steve Mason was very sharp, stopping 19 of 20 and really not doing anything particularly wrong. I'll presume that the day off helped, but the Allen York Experiment in Chicago didn't go so well. Mark Dekanich can't get healthy fast enough so this team can have a real goaltending tandem.
5. So what's up with this team on the ice, anyway? They're clearly not the high-powered scoring juggernaut that they (and we?) were led to believe in the offseason and training camp. But what are they? If they're what we saw tonight - a reasonably talented squad with a healthy goonish underbelly - I could live with that. That approach seems like Anaheim's bread and butter (at least every time I've watched them), and the CBJ outplayed them at their own game. It seems like the type of playing style that an ex-grinder like Arniel could embrace. But do they have the horses to play like that every game? Or is the team going in an altogether different direction that I'm not detecting?
|John Moore didn't have any shots tonight, but he played solid defense|
and was +1 on the night. Is he a keeper on the big league roster?
Bonus number seven: I also learned that Aaron Johnson and Kris Russell may be perhaps the worst pairing in the National Hockey League. Arniel seems to see it, too, with 10:44 TOI for Johnson and 8:20 for Russell. On the bright side, John Moore logged 22:47 TOI - which tells me that Arniel had some faith in him and his pairing partner, Grant Clitsome (23:31 TOI).
NEXT UP: Nothing until Thursday night, when Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs come into Nationwide Arena at 7PM. That makes 3 straight evenings without a CBJ game for the first time all season...so take advantage of the opportunity and wash your jersies, for pete's sake. They're starting to smell a little gamey!