|Blue Jackets 4 - Edmonton Oilers 3 - F/SO|
Stil Last in everything
If you are on social media in Columbus, you are probably already familiar with the theme of the day that gripped the attention of every Blue Jackets fan: the looming Winter Storm. Every ten minutes people checked the weather app on their phone to see when Winter Storm Steve would strike with a lethal dose of snow. (I have no idea what this winter storm's name is, so by the bounds of DKM Hockey's Podcast, I went with Steve). Twitter was on fire with tweets about the looming storm, the peril it would bring, and a couple tweets about Jack Johnson. Somewhere nestled in the the multimedia firestorm, a game against the Edmonton Oilers also lurked. The last time the Oilers came to town the Blue Jackets heaved 40 shots on net and got themselves a loss. The crowd of 14,952 at tonight's game got their money's worth: ups, downs, close calls, bad calls, OT drama, a shootout and even a goal tending change. Not a bad night for a hockey game and a great Blue Jackets win. Very satisfying indeed.
I will do my best to again follow in the footsteps of Greg May with my stellar beer selections tonight.
|All due respect to Greg May.|
1. Mark Letestu. I wish you made 3 million dollars this year, I really do. But, since I can’t make that happen, here’s a can full of tasty Blatz Beer for you, since that seems to be what the Blue Jackets are content to serve you this season after reliable and dependable play. Your shootout winner was brilliant. Keep it up good sir.
2. I have Vinny Prospal-itis. He is slowly growing on me and I don’t know if I want the doctor to cut him off. Vinny, here is a Narragansett Lager just for you. Hi Neighbor! I wonder if the reason you are so jubilant after your goals is because your dentist pays you advertising money to keep your mouth open for 30 seconds after you score a goal. The man does excellent work and hopefully you continue to give me looks at that wonderful bridge-work on the lower left side of your mouth. Past gentleman's agreements or not, you’re earning yourself another contract for next season. Please keep scoring those goals like you did tonight. Please don’t get hurt.
3. Steve Mason, this can of Natty Ice is for you. In college, we called Natty Ice the “hangover in a can.” That third goal was a bit of luck, but those other two? Well, the haters gonna hate. People are going to forget that you’ve played well most of the season and will bemoan your existence. The mob is fickle brother...
4. JMFJ, this Milwaukee’s Best is for you. Another enigmatic game for you, yields more unforced turnovers and a nifty goal. You’re in the news a lot today because A – there’s speculation you’ll join a Shattuck’s St Mary’s teammate again soon and B – you don’t have a no trade clause. This town isn’t ready for another list of ten teams a player with a NTC would like to go to. Someone will over pay for you. Wisniewsky and Umberger? Not so much… I for one think Jarmo was just visiting a buddy in Pittsburgh and caught a game. If I had to sell advertising for a living, I would speculate he was there about a trade. See points 1 and 2 from above for plausibility. But sometimes, a GM seeing a game at another arena is just a GM seeing a game at another arena.
5. Matt Calvert, this can of Stroh's is for you. See, there’s this thing call a “tie down” sewn inside your jersey. Fans refer to it as a ‘Fight Strap.’ It’s there for a reason, to keep your jersey on. It is not there to keep your jersey from being pulled over your head. Its there to prevent your jersey from “accidentally” coming off in a fight preventing your opponent from gaining leverage.
6. Sergei Bobrovsky, here’s a can of Genesee Cream Ale. You were super smooth in the Overtime period and solid in das shootout. You were the best penalty killer in that awkward 4-on-3 situation in OT. Great job coming on in relief tonight. The fans will gush over your. Give Mason a pat on the butt.
The Jackets worked hard tonight as a team. Where they outworked? No. Did they outwork Edmonton, not really. So it’s kind of a tie, but we’re judging whether the Jackets were OUTWORKED and the answer is no they were not. I am a bit concerned about the fore check. The first two periods the Jackets played a 1-2-2 fore check. Against a team with speed like Edmonton, it really needs to be a 2-1-2. First man attacks the puck carrier, second man attacks by way of the escape passing lane, especially when Edmonton as a soft back-end. But, the Jackets played a conservative 1-2-2 which gave up pressure in the offensive zone to ensure the puck didn’t enter the neutral zone uncontested. Edmonton tried to stretch the play a couple of times to no avail. The Jackets scored on the Power Play tonight, good work and look what happened? Two points. Funny how that happens.
I felt compelled to watch Fedor Tyutin the first half of the game. Twitter says he’s a liability on the ice, Total Hockey Ratings has him as the fourth highest rated defenseman in the NHL after the last two seasons. I will be doing a follow up piece on THoR shortly, but in short, the Total Hockey Rating evaluates if a players measurable actions lead to goals for his team or goals against his team. Then, that metric is converted to a statistic identifying how many wins or loses per season were directly contributed to that players actions. Tyutin has the fourth highest ranking of all defensemen. Think the Total Hockey Rating is garbage? Its mathematical genius is nominated for an MIT Sloan award this year. Analytics aside, without applying any metrics, I thought Tyutin was the best defenseman in the ice tonight accumulating Jack Johnson like minutes having over 29 minutes TOI.
The Jackets play Thursday night against the visiting Canucks. The Jackets have entered the realm of respectability the last 4 games by netting themselves 6 out of a possible 8 points. But even with all those points, they are still last in the Central, West, and NHL. The team is certainly heading in the right direction. However, the Canucks are a big boy team in the West, so the team needs to soak up the joy of tonight’s victory tonight, and be ready to work hard tomorrow. Mary Kate and Ashley are coming to town Thursday night and they command respect. On a sad note, Umberger will go unchallenged as having the best hockey beak in the building on Thursday. Former teammate at Ohio State, Ryan Kesler, is out of the Canucks lineup along with his firmly toned hockey schnoz.