|Calgary 2 - Columbus 1 (shootout)|
9-22-5, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
1. THE ARENA DISTRICT IS AWESOME - Thanks to an unexpected free ticket windfall from Mrs. DBJ's employer, the Dark Blue Jacket family took in an enjoyable evening in the Arena District. A pregame bowl of spaghetti (Dark Blue Toddler's favorite restaurant food) at Buca Di Beppo, then off to Nationwide Arena for the game. Mrs. DBJ walked over from work to meet us at the restaurant, we had a great family dinner, walked maybe 40 yards across the plaza and then took in an NHL hockey game. On a Tuesday night. In Columbus, Ohio. How cool is that?
- The lights
- The IGS (pronounced "iggs") blimp. He liked the blimp.
- The hockey guys. The good guys were in blue. But they went in Time Out a lot.
- The flags and the singing, as well as putting his hand on his heart.
- Clapping with everyone else.
- Looking for Ryan Johansen
- Looking even harder for Stinger
- Seeing the cannon
- HEARING the cannon
Fun stuff, indeed.
3. CALGARY'S TIED FOR 8th? REALLY? - I was stunned to learn this when doing a little post-game research for these 5 thoughts. This is surprising because, in my opinion, the game showcased two rather disjointed teams trying to get their acts together. Both teams had their moments (the CBJ had one incredible shift in the 1st, for example, where they may as well have been on the power play but weren't...just teeing up shots all over the place), but the 1-1 score at the end of regulation tells the real story. They swapped goals in regulation, stymied each other in overtime and had to get to the shootout to decide a winner. Very little discernible difference on the ice between the two teams.
4. THE GOALIES KEPT IT INTERESTING - Steve Mason had a .962 save percentage with the 26 shots that he faced on the night, and the Flames Miika Kiprusoff had a .964 on two more saves than Mase. Those are NHL-quality numbers. Let's give both goalies a salute that only could come from YouTube:
4a. THE CBJ SHOOTOUT NAMES SOUND BETTER - Why stop at the goalies? Enjoy another chuckle.
5. WHO WILL STAY? WHO WILL GO? - The NHL's Christmas trade freeze lifts at midnight. One would think that the Blue Jackets, apparently resigned to their fate this season through their inaction thus far on nearly every front, would start making personnel shifts to
- Jettison salaries in light of a season where ownership went "all in" and pushed the team to the salary cap limit - only to see the team stumble out of the gate and never get the ticket sale traction they so desperately needed to justify the risk, and/or
- Begin building a foundation for a viable playoff team in 2012-13.
The only way I can rationalize not making any deals is in thinking that ownership might handcuff Scott Howson pending a larger shift in team leadership. Otherwise, dumping under-performing, overpaid players (of which the CBJ have a few) for draft picks and/or prospects sounds reasonable.
NEXT UP: Thursday night at 8:30 in Dallas. Remember, the CBJ have two more shots to get to 10 wins in 2011. Gotta shoot for something.