Thursday, February 2, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 51: Los Angeles

Los Angeles 3 - Columbus 2
13-32-6, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The "Columbus Blue Jackets Pajama Party Road Trip" out west continued with the second night of a back to back, with Columbus suffering a soul-crushing, literally last-second loss to the host Los Angeles Kings, 3-2 at Staples Center.

1. Groundhog Day - It was a 6-0 shellacking last night, and it was a reasonably competitive game ending in an LA goal with 0.3 seconds left tonight.  Regardless, it was the same result:

2. Carry The Coffee Pot - This 10:30PM Eastern start time is sick and wrong.  It is downright mean to the Eastern team's fans who have to stay up until 1AM to see the end of the game.  Then a back-to-back?  Brutal.

2a. New Rules - I humbly suggest to the NHL a new rule: If an Eastern Time Zone team is playing in the Pacific Time Zone, the game can start no later than 7PM Pacific.  If a Pacific team is playing in the East, the game can start no earlier than 8PM Eastern.  That way, it's a touch more fair to both coasts.

3. Dorsett Again Impresses - First, the goal (off a sweet feed by Derick Brassard):

Then Dorsett shows the calm, presence and command of the issues (without retreating into the sugar-coated fantasy land where it seems like all too many CBJ players reside) in the first intermission interview with Fox's Natalie Taylor.  The kid is quickly becoming captain material.

3. Sanford is just better - Whereas Steve Mason had "trampoline pads" that saw pucks bouncing every which way off him (more often than not into a rebound-grabbing Sharks player) last night, the pucks died on Sanford's pads.  They dropped to the ice, and Sanford took control, cleared the pucks away or covered up.  Like I believe professional goaltenders are supposed to.

That being said, Sanford is a backup at best.  This team badly needs a #1.

4. LA is not very good - Despite the fortuitous (for them) goal in the 3rd, I can't believe this team is in 7th in the West.  They play nearly as disjointed as the Blue Jackets, perhaps with a shade more talent in front of their vastly superior goaltender.  Still, it's easy to see why that team fired their coach as well this season (It's not easy to see why they would hire Daryl Sutter...but that's not our problem as CBJ fans).  As a result, I found the play to be rather sloppy with very brief, intermittent flashes of decent hockey.

4a. LA is not very good (sorta) - While the CBJ entered the game at 29th in the league in goals scored with 112, Los Angeles carved out the bottom spot for themselves with 107.  Of course, LA is 3rd in the league with 105 goals against...which explains why they are where they are in the standings.

4b. Columbus is not good at all - While messing with the stat sites to get the info above, I was struck that the CBJ have a -55 goal differential on the season thus far.  The next worst is Carolina at -32.  The best in the league?  Boston at +70.  The best in the West is Detroit at +45.  This team is in dire, dire straits.

5. All I can do is laugh - The clock apparently stopped for a moment less than two seconds before the game ended, giving the Kings just enough extra time to jam that last goal home.  Was it fair?  Nope.  Should the goal have been  nullified and the game sent into overtime?  Yup. Has it been that type of season for the Blue Jackets? Totally.  Move along...

NEXT UP: Get your zzz's now, crew, because the Blue Jackets wrap up on Friday night at The Pond in Anaheim to face Bruce "Ovechkin Won" Boudreau and his Ducks.  Boudreau's had a degree of success of late, with the Ducks recording a 7-2-1 record in the last 10 games, pulling the team further away from the awesome privilege of drafting Nail Yakupov.

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