|Toronto 4 - Columbus 1|
2-10-1, 5th in the Central Division, 15th in the Western Conference
1. Try sugar-coating this mess. Try. I dare you.
2. I don't care if Toronto had a first-time starting goaltender or someone who was destined for the Hall of Fame, Columbus' shooting stats were ridiculously poor.
|The Blue Jackets, with 39 shots and only one goal tonight,|
weren't as lucky as these goats. The goats were two-for-two.
3. Goaltender Steve Mason got chased in the second period. That wasn't the story in my book, however. I had the "pleasure" of watching this game live and was stunned at the sarcastic cheering of the fans for Mase when he made the simplest of saves after giving up his second and third goals. The cheers when Allen York - the fourth goalie on the Blue Jackets depth chart, mind you - relieved Mason were among the loudest of the game from the home crowd. It's simple as that: The fans have turned on Mason. That's not a good place for a "frah-gee-lay" goaltender to be.
3a. Here's the thing that drives me batty about Mase:
|Steve Mason can make awesome stops like these in practice.|
Then he gets in his own head in games. Mase CAN be a great goaltender. It just isn't happening right now.
4. Aaron Johnson should request - no, beg - to be shipped back to Springfield, if only to avoid the humiliation he experiences every shift. Seriously, he was destroyed tonight.
5. My buddy Chris wanted me to point out that the Blue Jackets outhit the Leafs, 28-12, and outshot the Leafs 39-18. I'll try to remember the direct quote following that recitation of stats, "And the Jackets still figured out how to lose the game, 4-1. Woo hoo!"
5a. Chris also mentioned that the Jackets looked like they playing as if they were ready for the first intermission with about a minute left in the period. Of course, they gave up the second goal at 19:45.
Bonus Number 6. I scanned the "executive" side of the press box and while I saw a man with shocking white hair watching from above, I think he was too thin to be Ken Hitchcock. Of course, Hitch could have lost more than I recall seeing at the start of training camp, but I don't think it was him. [UPDATE: Reader R_McGregor12 tweeted me: "Hitchcock was there, Sportsnet Ontario showed him in the press box during the game."]
Bonus Number 7.
|James Wisniewski. A plus/minus of -4 on the night. Ouch.|
Bonus Number 8. I noticed toward the end of the second period that coach Scott Arniel was putting the strangest line combinations out there, clearly chucking wet noodles against the wall in the hopes that something, anything, would stick. Nothing did, and he went back to his standard line configurations in the third period. What are we to make of that?
NEXT UP: Saturday night in Philadelphia against the Flyers.