Friday, December 2, 2011

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 25: Calgary

Columbus 4 - Calgary 3 (Shootout)
7-15-3, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The Calgary Flames, ever the hospitable Canadian hosts (They're so darned nice!), gave tonight's game away to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the waning minutes of regulation, setting the stage for a Blue Jackets shootout win, 4-3.

1. BRASS IS FED UP - Because seemingly every CBJ game starts out being overshadowed by the locker room news of the day, let's get this out of the way. Allen Walsh, Derick Brassard's agent, blasted the Blue Jackets and especially coach Scott Arniel twelve ways from Sunday.  In very few words, Walsh said so, so much.  I'm going to have to devote some attention to it  in a separate post, but I didn't want to overlook this important development in the Blue Jackets world.

2. EARLY JUMP - Antoine Vermette got the first goal of the game in the first five minutes.  A nice, messy, close-up goal for Vermette and a statement of intent for this game.



3. [This thought remains blank in observance of the lack of anything positive in the second and most of the third period.]

4. NIKKI SIXX GOES ON A TEAR - Nikita Nikitin, after getting turned around on one of Calgary's first goals, came back REALLY strong with a goal and two assists on the night.  He also had the blast from the point that set up the game tying goal by...

"I wonder what numbers Richards
will pull out next?"
5. OH, HI RICK NASH - The Captain tipped in Nikitin's shot with less than one minute in regulation to tie it up, then snagged the only shootout goal for either team to end this rodeo (See what I did?  Rodeo?  In Calgary?  Clever....) in Columbus' favor.  Could Nash finally be waking up?

Bonus Number 6. ARNIEL'S LINE-CHANGING BINGO - The third period was absolutely insane as Arniel was grab-bagging to pull a win out of a 3-1 deficit.  With assistant coach Todd Richards seemingly spinning the bingo number tumbler next to him, he pulls out a 61, a 19 and a 17.  Ice that line!  Then a 22, a 15 and a 24.  Send 'em out!  How about 61, 50 and 19?  Sounds good!  7, 18, 17?  Yahtzee!  (By the way, these were real line combinations.)

I totally appreciate that Arniel was trying to conjure winning combinations on the fly, but this frantic reshuffling of the roster deck ends my patience with anyone who suggests that this team - and its lines, especially the "All Star" line of Nash, Carter and ...whomever - needs time to find chemistry.  Whatever.  If Arniel doesn't care about chemistry, why should we be expected to be patient?

Keep winning, Scott(s).  Just keep winning.

NEXT UP:  Tomorrow (Friday) night, 9:30PM EST in Edmonton against the Oilers.  After a very hot start, the kids up in Edmonton have cooled off and currently sit in 10th place.  And while I won't deny my CBJ bias and rooting interest, I'm really excited to see the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle play.  Perhaps Taylor Hall will be on the ice, too.  And there's something to be said for rooting for another former cellar-dweller to rise from the ashes.  Just not at Columbus' expense.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't this the point that Howson (in his all knowing hockey wisdom) pulls out the big contract for Nikitin? Sort of like the ones given to Brass, Methot, Klesla etc... How are those working out for him? Mark it. Nikitin is the next contestant on: Howson's wheel of fortune.

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