Tonight, in front of 10,475 sometimes agitated, sometimes boisterous fans, the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled out a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars. The CBJ pretty much waded into this game again, but in spite of dominating the play in the first period, Dallas had nothing to show for it. Dallas ended the period with 9 shots on goal to the Blue Jackets' 3, in spite of the fact that the Blue Jackets had 3 power play opportunities. After leaving the ice to a chorus of boos which was a fitting salute to the first period, the CBJ returned to the ice and gave up a goal at the 4:13 mark of the second period to fall behind. But that was all that Dallas could muster, and the CBJ answered with goals at 17:47 of the second period, and 1:22 of the third. After that, the CBJ played relatively effective defense, Bobrovsky stood tall in goal, and the home team pulled out a 2-1 win. To be truthful, after the first period I was thinking that writing this recap was going to be a pretty grim job. Instead, the boys put one together, and pulled out a badly needed win to keep from losing ground in the initial 2012-13 scramble. The win puts us momentarily in a 5 way tie for sixth place, and keeps us in touch with the pack. HUGE win, as the team tries to settle itself while playing a slew of games.
|They taste so good after a win!|
1. My first, cold frosty beverage of the evening goes to Derek Dorsett first, #becausehesawesome, and second because he scored that crucial first goal late in the second period. This was the first of two goals that the CBJ seemed to just will past Lehtonen, who was on the top of his game. Atta boy double D! Doors has been one of the more consistent players this year, and his great 'hockey sense' puts him in the places where he needs to be. Unfortunately, his skill betrays him there, and he often can't score. Tonight he did. The goal, a workman like effort from in close, was a huge turning point in the game, energizing the crowd and the team.
2. My second cold one goes to Vinning! Vinny Prospal scoring the game winning goal. I think this one is one the Lehtonen would like to have back, but I'll elaborate later on that issue. Vinny had the good celebration, but I think it really juiced the team. Like most of the team, Vinny didn't start real well, but seemed to gather momentum as the game went on.
|Detective Bobrovsky solves another one!|
3. Bob, this bud's for you! Without solid play from Sergei Bobrovsky, this isn't a game. Bob was good early, and he was good late. As the first period unfolded, and the CBJ proceeded to give up more short handed shots on goal than they were getting on the power play, Bob was called on to be steady, and he came through. He lost one slapper from the point, but that's the only shot he didn't track well all night long. A very solid effort, and a crucial win. Bob is now 2-1-1 (I think, check me on that, its late).
4. My fourth, cold, frosty adult beverage is for Ryan Johansen. Although, in what was admittedly a team effort, his play in the first period was pretty forgettable, he definitely cranked up his intensity, and was really on his game by the third period. Although officially not credited with an assist on Prospal's goal, the reason the puck went in was that Johansen was in Lehtonen's grill, and I think he spared a glance in the young center's direction. Johansen had already taken a shot in the sequence of play, and was steady and ready in case of a rebound. Instead, Lehtonen lost the puck and it trickled into the net. While I have felt that Johansen's play has gotten better game by game, I'm not sure if tonight was another step that way. But he came on strong in the end.
5. My fifth, star emblazoned cold one is for Wiz and Jack Johnson. Yes, they both got assists on Vinny's goal, but that's not what this beverage is for. Its for chasing down all the stupid plays, especially in the first period, and getting sticks on the several breakaways given in the first period. Both players got back and covered in seemingly desperate situations, and Bob cleaned up the trash.
6. If I was an equitable kind of guy, I'd give this to Kari Lehtonen, who made some amazing saves, including a back hand grab of a puck that was behind him. But I'm not that kind of guy. I'm a homer. Sorry. So my last beer goes to Brandon Dubinsky. Dubi had a pretty forgettable game in many ways. But I'm giving him this beer because late in the second period, right in front of us, one of the Stars was isolated, with the puck at the right corner of the net, Mano y mano with Bobrovsky. All of a sudden Dubinsky comes sliding in on his belly, reaching with his stick and breaking up the play, before the Dallas player could even get the shot off. I'm sorry, I love that kind of effort. So well done Dubinsky! This cold one is for you!
Dishonorable mention. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) that somehow managed to process Jamie Benn's permit to work in a single day. Seriously?! I'm pretty sure Obama heard that they were playing the CBJ so he signed it personally to help keep us in our place! (underlined italics is the official sarcasm font of the DBJ, this was not a politically motivated comment).
At the end of the day the team waded into this one, as has been their tendency. They gathered momentum throughout the game, and finished strong to win an important game. If they can repeat this effort, sans the first period, in either of the next two games, they will gain important points in the standings. It's all about keeping touch with the pack in this crazy period. We'll soon find out what they are really made of!