Saturday, January 21, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 47: Detroit

Nikita Nikitin played a very solid game tonight.
Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets succumbed to the Detroit Redwings in a shoot out 3-2.  Detroit won their 16th straight home game.  They are playing pretty good hockey, but you need a little luck for something like that.  And good goal tending.  Jimmy Howard is playing very well, and is a very solid goal tender.  That's why his wife was the third star of the second match between these clubs, for having a baby right before the CBJ win, and keeping Jimmy out of the game.  The Jackets played well, but also defended their lottery position from the plunging Oilers.  Now for the thoughts!

1. Nikita Nikitin - Nikitin was having a great game.  He scored on the power play, and was playing a very solid defensive game.  Was, that is, until inexplicably, Henrik Zetterburg pushed him from behind, causing Nikitin to go HARD into the boards.  He did not return to the game, and it will not be shocking if he is seriously injured.  Zetterburg drew a 5 minute major and a game misconduct.  It was not a hard hit, but Zetterburg pushed him from behind, and the push is likely the difference between a hard hit, and being hurt.  Wings fans will whine about it, but this isn't PeeWee hockey, so there is no stop sign on Nikitin's jersey to remind Zetterburg not to hit from behind.  That said, the notion that supplemental discipline is appropriate is absurd.  If Shanny reviews this, I will politely step aside and let the Wings fans rip.  The penalty was appropriate, but that's all it needs to be.  For the CBJ, another tough injury.  Still no word on the severity of the injury.

Curtis Sanford
2. Curtis Sanford played well enough to win tonight.  A bad bounce off the notorious boards of Joe Louis Arena causes the game to go to overtime.  He stopped 29 of 31 and had a save percentage of .935.  Very well done Sandman!

3. Ryan Russell scored a real nice, crash the net goal, to get the CBJ on the board first.  RyRuss has been playing very solidly.  It was a very important goal in this game, as the 'Wings would come back and score a real good 'hard working' goal by Niklas Kronwall.  Kubalik tried to knock him off the puck, but he gathered it, cut to the high slot, and put it top shelf on the far side.  Not a lot Sanford could do about that one.  Russell played a strong game in 14:13 of time on ice.

4. A Solid Game - The CBJ actually looked pretty solid tonight, unlike some of their performances earlier in the year.  The Redwings will put some pressure on you, and they handled that well.  They didn't put huge pressure on the Wings, (no shots for a long time at the end of the second and beginning of the third periods).  But they handled the Wings pressure pretty well, even after Nikitin went out.  They just fell short.  Which is the difference between winning teams and losing teams, they don't seem to find that way to win.  Given the folks out of the lineup with injury, this was a good outing.  Clitsome had a pretty rough outing, with several giveaways in the first period.  He did seem to settle down some as the game went on.

5. John Moore continues to play very solid hockey in an escalating role on this team.  If he continues this trajectory into the next year and beyond he looks to be a fine NHL prospect.   Last year he seemed lost in the NHL.  This year he looks at home.  He is a real bright spot in this disaster of a hockey season.

All in all, a pretty good game experience to watch, with the novelty of watching Zetterburg get tossed from the game.  Now there's somethin' you don't see every day!



  1. Zetterberg misspelled

  2. Either you weren't watching or haven't played hockey or you are that incredibly bias (referring to Zetterberg/Nikitin). A dump and chase is a routine play.The offense throws the puck in the corner causing the defense to turn their backs which in turn takes the d out of position in front of the net opening space. When the puck goes into the corner a d-men will go after and an offensive player on the opposing team will chase the puck down, known as a chaser. His intent is to not only get the puck but pin the d-men behind the play as to create space/time/scoring chance. This play works exceptionally well on a power play as it is easier to score 4 on 3 than it is 5 on 4... more space. Now the common code in hockey when you are chasing the puck right behind the d-men is to place your hand on his back to let him know that not only are you there but to brace yourself for a check. Nikitin lost his balance not due to a shove/push... if you watch the replay there is no extension of Z's arm. If you watch as Nikitin falls Z avoid him completely. Watching Zetterberg more closely, you'll notice his right hand going for the puck, his left hand on Nikitin's back and even closer you should see his right leg try to sneak in between Nikitin's legs. Now I don't know how much hockey you actually know but let me tell you. When you go to pin someone against the boards you put one of your legs between theirs and leave or try to leave both hands free so you can maneuver. Unfortunately Nikitin was going into the boards uncontrollably and thus you get an injury, not Z's fault.

  3. Anon 1 - Dang I hate that. Apologies to Z for misspelling his name. No excuses. Anon 2 - I'm sorry, but I missed it in the code of hockey where a hit from behind is ok. I saw the replay, and I saw what you saw. That little push might well have made the difference between an injury and no injury. The ref assessed the gravity of the penalty on the ice. Z could also have chosen to go after the puck instead of the man. He is a pretty good puck handler you know. All that said, Shanny declined to review it, which I agree with. I am not buying your assertion that Z is just an innocent bystander. Its done, except for the healing.


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