|Boston 5 - Columbus 3|
8-17-4, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
1. Put on your Big Boy pants - When your team takes on the Bruins, you know what they're going to face. They're going to see a rough, tough, physical bunch of bullies who need to be popped in the nose before they retreat back into their shell. Now, however, they can hide behind the aura of the Stanley Cup and enjoy the referee calls that come with it. You know this is coming. It doesn't matter which arena you're playing in, these are the champs and they're going to take full advantage of it as they manhandle your boys.
That being said, the Blue Jackets did what they could to stand up to the schoolyard thugs. Jared Boll picked a fight. There was a virtual line brawl after the third goal. There were some scrums at the other end of the ice that I couldn't make out. Point being, the CBJ did what they could. It just wasn't enough. They don't have their game finely tuned enough. They couldn't beat the refs. But they played tough, and there's no shame in giving your all yet losing to the defending champs.
I'm going to enjoy hearing Jack Edwards' call of this game on GameCenter Live. It was quite the donnybrook in spots.
2. The top players scored - Nash had a beauty breakaway (where's that been all season?).
Beyond that, Carter got a slick goal. Umberger slipped one through Tim Thomas' five-hole. It was a big game, and the team's top players stepped up on the scoresheet. Oh, James Wisniewski had a couple assists as well.
2a. A top player fell - Derek Dorsett took a wicked fall and apparently broke his ankle. Dorsett has been on a tear of late, and losing him is a huge loss.
|Ankles aren't supposed to turn like that.|
|Happy holidays, Tim Thomas.|
What can I say, I like the guy. I know he was the goalie for the other team, but he grew up not too far from me (No, I don't know him personally.), worked his tail off and became what he is at a late stage in his career. So I'm glad I got a chance to see him play live. (And I'm glad that the CBJ turned my ticket into a voucher for free chili at his expense!)
4. The Foundation scored tonight - Gotta love the CBJ Foundation at holiday time. My brother and I grabbed "mystery autograph" Christmas tree ornaments on the way in...he got Jeff Carter and I got R.J. Umberger. Then, in the second intermission, we bought a few tickets for the CBJ spouse/girlfriend-driven gift basket raffle (I think they said that 9 of the baskets were going to be raffled, with the balance going up for auction). I bought four tickets, putting one in the three-goalie basket and three tickets in this beauty from the CBJ Russians, Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin.
|Yeah, it has photos of Khruschev, Yeltsin and Putin.|
5. Big time entertainment - Despite losing, I had a terrific time tonight. Great seats (Sect. 117, Row E), got to watch the game with my brother, hit the CBJ post-first period Tweetup by the cannon, got my R Bar fix while guesting on the Cannon Report podcast (Yes, Virginia, the Dark Blue Jacket dropped an F-bomb), and really solid game ops from Dawley's crew. Sure, a win would be even better, but I had a darned good experience at Nationwide Arena tonight. And isn't that at least part if not entirely what this whole pro sports thing is about? Entertainment? So chalk it up as a win.
Bonus number 6. Oh yeah, that - It's happening seemingly with so much regularity that I can't even include it in the basic five thoughts now...the Blue Jackets imploded in the final two minutes of the first period and saw their commanding 2-0 lead turn into a 2-2 tie going into the locker room. You'd think coach Scott Arniel would, oh I dunno, plan for this circumstance and adjust his scheme to compensate. It kinda happens a lot to this team.
NEXT UP: Tuesday night, 7PM, against the Vancouver Canucks at Nationwide. It's not getting any easier, is it?