Sunday, December 18, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on Game 33: St. Louis

St. Louis 6 - Columbus 4
9-20-4, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
In the second night of a very full weekend, the Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to St. Louis and lost, 6-4, in regulation to the host Blues at Scotttrade Center.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

1. WORST: The goalie - Steve Mason, playing for the second straight night due to Curtis Sanford's morning back spasms, stopped 28 of 33 shots tonight.  Combine that with last night's outing, and you have a goalie who 1) can't get it done, 2) does not have the confidence of his teammates, or 3) both.  Either way, it isn't good...because Sanford might be good enough to help the CBJ avoid utter disaster, I have not seen enough from him (and the team in front of him) to do more than just that.

2. BEST: More than 2 goals - The "Columbus Two Jackets" dropped four goals on a defense-heavy St. Louis squad.  Congrats to Derek Mackenzie, Derek Dorsett, Mark Letestu and Derick Brassard for their goals.

3. WORST: The invisible star players - Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski were absent from the score sheet.

These are your stars, Columbus fans.  Where were they tonight?   And on so many other nights?
That's $18.3 million in payroll (nearly 30 percent of the total club payroll this season) that didn't get it done tonight.  Sure, Carter had a brief scoring run going...but on balance, Nash (10 goals, 12 assists, 22 points), Carter (7G, 6A, 13PTS) and Wisniewski (1G, 15A, 16PTS) have not performed anywhere close to where their salary levels would suggest.

4. BEST: A last-second goal - Mark Letestu dropped a power play goal (!!) in with less than two seconds left in the second period.  Finally, the Blue Jackets forced the other team into the locker room at intermission with the shock of a last-second goal.

5. WORST: That blistering Hitchcock offense - Ken Hitchcock could someday go into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but I strongly doubt that he will be inducted for his incredible offensive outputs.  He's a defense-first coach, one that forces his forwards to play defense (and puts his stars on the penalty kill).  Yet, against the Blue Jackets, the Blues explode for six goals.  For a guy like Hitch, that's the equivalent of a nine goal pasting (which we've also experienced this season).  It's also perhaps the most damning indictment of the Scott Arniel/Brad Berry defensive scheme.

NEXT UP: Nothing until Thursday, when the CBJ head down to Nashville for an 8PM tilt with the Predators.    


  1. I like your blog (usually), but 4 out of 5 goals were not on Mason. Lazy analysis... he made the stop when we were getting lit up to keep it a 1 goal game. St. Louis dominated at least 2/3 of that game. We had no business being as close as we were.

  2. I really thought that Mason outplayed Halak tonight, but Halak's team is way better and didn't hang him out to dry and constantly turn the puck over. One thing I definitely agree with though - this team plays way better in front of Sanford, and someone needs to figure that out.

    And if I hear davidge say "I bet he'd like to have that one back" one more time, I think I'm going to lose it!

  3. Because of the past two plus seasons performance, Mr. Mason gets very little room for error from me. He probably DESERVES even less. His flailing about in the crease area and the slides to nowhere outside the blue paint are in contrast to C. Sanfords movements. Even when Sanford gets caught with his back to the puck, his positioning usually gets him back in position. All in all, this team needs a backbone and some cahones!!! Mark Letestu, Vinny Prospal are NOT supposed to be the stalwarts but they are turning into just that. I honestly don't think if Nash or Carter were to sit a game, that the team would suffer. There just isn't much of a return for all the hype and the money spent thus far. And once the magic number for the play-offs is gone, then it really doesn't matter how many points this team gets as a "spoiler" now, does it???


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