Thursday, January 19, 2012

DBJs 5 Thoughts on Game 46: Nashville

Our Columbus Blue Jackets dropped a 3-0 decision to those pesky Predators of Nashville, who returned to their winning ways after losing in New York last night. The Jackets fall to 2-3 under Coach Richards and 13-28-5 for the year.

Consider me extra bummed as this is my final recap while the true Dark Blue Jacket in on holiday and, to date, I was 2-0 on nights I had to write so I had high hopes going into the game. But if nothing else, this season has taught me that no superstition is gonna work. And believe me, I've tried everything.

But enough about me...let's look at the brutal facts of tonight's game:

1. Return to non-offensive form. Despite a dreadful second period, the Jackets controlled most of the first period and a large portion of the third, yet, our shots - and we took 38 of them - could not find the back of the net. Once again, we seemed to be aiming for the logo on Rinne's sweater versus the spaces around him. Some of our best scoring opportunities resulted in Nash shooting directly into the goaltender's glove, and Brass's huge window of opportunity resulted in a shot right into Rinne's pads. We got some rebounds but, still, they mean nothing if you can't get the goal. The stat sheet said it all - and this game felt like those earlier this season - 38 shots and no goals? There's just no excuse for that. Perhaps we stage our own little All-Star-esque skills competition and work on shots? A lot?

2. Shutout Streak Broken. Many of us have been shocked to find out that the CBJ held one  positive honor across the league and that is that we owned the record for the longest streak without suffering a shut out, and, before tonight, we were the only team not to have left a goose egg on the scoreboard this season. Well that ended tonight. So there's that.

3. You Say Goodbye. I Say Hello. After hints of slow progress, we found out right before the first intermission tonight that Radek Martinek's season is officially done. While jokes have been made that some may have forgotten he was on the roster, let's pause and wish Martinek well. He's battling the latest in a series of concussions. This story only adds to the long list of concussed players in this league right now, and it speaks to the severity and mysterious nature of these kinds of injuries. It's not pretty and again begs the question of how we can protect our players in a game that's only getting faster and stronger. We hope for health and success in whatever life holds for Radek.

But that leaves a spot open for....Brett Lebda. Again, part of the mid-game announcement was that Brett was joining the big boys for the balance of the season, coming up from Springfield. You can read the entire press release HERE, but early reports show the jury to be out. I personally am taking a "wait and see" approach, if we were contending for bigger goals this year I might be more frustrated but, we are where we are and Savard has arguable regressed as of late. It may be a better long term development choice to let Savvy return to Springy and build up his game. Again.

4. Steve Mason. Hi Steve. How ya doin'? Welcome back to the ice. There were no decisive statements tonight as far as goal tending - huge defensive breakdowns were the main culprit of goals given, and Mase made 23 saves. It simply bears mention that Mase is still here - I'm curious to hear more about thoughts on Dekanich to date as many had thought he'd be up in Columbus by now and Columbus would at the very least be considering an Islanders-like 3 goalie system and at most be wheeling and dealing. Guess not.

5. Get None Clitsome. It's been five - count 'em - FIVE games since we've seen Grant Clitsome on the ice. For fans, its been ClitNONE. People have taken issue with his play this season - and at times I've been left to wonder if he didn't buy into his name-based notoriety just a bit too much. But, Richards has seen, or perhaps more to the point NOT seen, something that puts our young players on the ice before Grant. I don't know that he could hold much value on the trade market right now - but it certainly will be interesting to see how much longer we go with Clitter in the press box.

The Jackets head up to Detroit tomorrow - let's hope they've got something left in the tank. Perhaps the spirit of rivalry will rejuvenate the club to put up a fight against those darn Red Wings. It sure would be nice to beat one of these two teams in a back-to-back schedule.

Let's Go Jackets!

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