On a snarky February night, the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Dallas Stars to fast paced, back and forth game before 11,523 fans, ultimately won by the Stars 5-4 in overtime. Columbus struggled with Dallas' speed all night long, as well as struggling to generate offense, especially in the first period, which ended with Dallas leading 1-0 off a puck banked in off a skate. The CBJ responded to tie the game twice in the second period, only to have Dallas score rebound and deflection goals to lead 3-2 at the end of the second period. The CBJ came back to tie the game twice in the third period to force overtime. As they had all night, Dallas' propensity to crash the net allowed them to beat the defense in overtime and score a gritty game winning goal.
Since I went off the grid early in February, its been an interesting turn of events for the CBJ. Howson fired, Jarmo hired, changes to the scouting staff, and a pretty rough road trip. I wanted to take this brief moment in time when I could safely get into a computer chair to take care of tonight's recap. So without further ado, tonight's six pack:
|Thanks to Morgan and Tom for|
carrying the load in my absence!
1.) My first frosty cold beer of the night goes to George Matthews, the radio voice of the Columbus Blue Jackets. George was honored tonight for his calling his 1000th Blue Jackets game. George does a highly entertaining call of the game, and I frequently listen to them when I am down at the in-laws in Predators land, so their work is much appreciated. But my favorite call of a game happened earlier this year when NHL hockey seemed like a distant dream. So here's your cold frosty reward George! Well done!
2.) My second ice cold beer goes to DD, Derek Dorsett, for two things, first of all, refusing to make excuses and publicly demanding winning. Good on you DD! He also scored a nice gritty goal in the second period. Good news DD, is that this beer will work well on that black eye.
3.) My third beer goes to Nikita Nikitin, who finally got his 'knee high heat' (copyright DKM Hockey) on the net to score a second period goal. It seems as if Niki6 is getting his game back, and has reigned in that horrendous string of turnovers he was producing. Niki6 needs to continue to step up.
4.) My fourth beer is for Jarmo Kekalainen, our new general manager. I have to confess as I watched the wave of approval from nearly all circles of the NHL in my post surgery narcotic haze, that I wondered if it was some sort of hallucination. I mean, the Blue Jackets make a move, and everyone agrees it is the right move. This is not a part of my normal reality. But I digress. The real reason Jarmo gets this cold one is for being efficient. I mean, why travel to Springfield to scout the young talent when you can see them play up here? The injury bug continues to roll for the CBJ with the news that James Wisniewski will be out indefinitely with a broken foot. Three of the defensive corps are up from Springfield, and they have not played badly at all. The same with the forwards, as injuries have finally pulled Ryan Johansen up from Springfield as well. I think it is clear that it was the right move to send him to Springfield, and I think it will be the right move to send him back when people get healthy. He is just not processing the game fast enough. It will come, but the best place to learn it is in the 'A'. He has shown he can be an adequate NHL player, but we have higher expectations than that. He was playing at a point a game pace in Springfield, but has no points since his call up. It is clear where he should be in the absence of the injuries.
5.) My fifth icy cold beer goes to Cam Atkinson for his game tying goal in the third period. Camsanity!! It's good to see him finally shrugging off the effects of the high ankle sprain, which is a nasty injury. May we please have some more Cam?!!
6.) My final cold beer is for R.J. Umberger, who scored the tying goal to get the game to overtime. I don't really want to get started on RJ with my frustration at his game. In this instance, he stepped up blasting one past the Dallas netminder from the low slot. This was a good goal for RJ, he needs to score more of them.
In the honorable mention category, Mark Letestu who won faceoffs and had two assists tonight. This team would really be hurting without his play.
It was an entertaining, back and forth affair tonight. Were the CBJ outworked? I would say no, because they kept battling back after being behind. That said, they did not handle Dallas' speed well. And Dallas went to the net relentlessly all game long, which basically was the difference in the game.