Friday, March 22, 2013

Snark Blue Jacket's Six-Pack for Game 31: The Atlanta Flames

Columbus Blue Jackets 5 - The Calgary Flames 1
9th in the Western Conference

The Blue Jackets look to continue their 11-game point streak tonight at Nationwide Arena against the visiting Calgary Flames.  The city was buzzing and every bar was packed full, but not for the Blue Jackets.  The Friday Night crowd of 13,853 (I'm resigned to this number being PAID attendance) fans belie the fact the Ohio State Buckeyes Men's Basketball team had a NC2A tournament game against Arcadia Barber Academy.  Always a bridesmaid...  But, those daring enough to show up or tune into the Blue Jackets game were in for an enigmatic goal scoring bonanza the likes of which haven't been seen this season leading the home town Jackets to a 5-1 victory.

Each Flames player will be crushing one of these
on the bus ride home.  Or, if you're listening to Bob McElligott

1.  The first beer goes to the Blue Jackets forwards.  Thank you for showing up tonight so that Bobrovsky didn't have to play out of his mind in order for the team to stand a chance.  Before finishing that beer, remember to pack the power play scoring on this upcoming road trip, or Tim Leroy and staff will be fitting you boys for a new set of Callaway's the end of April.

2.  Jared Boll and, this beer's for you.  I actually went a whole night without seeing anyone make fun of you on twitter.  Nice goal, a real NHL goal. 

3. And Nick Foligno, PBR Me ASAP.  Two quick goals were the dagger in the heart for the team formerly known as the Atlanta Flames.  I got up to get a beer came back and you had scored a couple of dandy goals.  I can't believe you were able to walk in on your first goal like you did.  The Flames had FIVE players in the Red Zone and you still were able to walk in from the half boards and get one through the ewoks (get it?) on Kipper.  The second goal was great work off the cycle.  I have no idea what the hell the Calgary defense was doing on both your goals, both times they had FIVE players in the red zone and you score.  It was very nice to see your line capitalize on terrible dzone coverage by Calgary and snipe one home from the high slot.

4.  Anisimov, this can of Calgary Flames Turnover Ale is for you.  What a HORRIBLE pass by Calgary in their dzone coverage.  What I particularly like about this goal is you shot the puck on net immediately.  You didn't over stick-handle, you didn't pass it to Dorsett.  You shot the puck quickly and banged it in off the post from the high slot.  I am a sucker for shooting from the high slot.  It's what I teach my pee-wees.

5.  Coach Richards, I'm buying you a beer the next chance I get.  The forecheck was a little more aggressive tonight as it should be against a struggling Flames team.  I liked that you stepped up the pressure on a team you should be able to beat.  I'm going to come out and say it - the forecheck needs to be a little more aggressive like it was tonight and the team needs to enter the zone with the puck on it's stick.  I know the Flames are a mess right now, but a little more of what we saw tonight will add to this team's confidence. 

6.  Curtis Glencross for Dick Tarnstrom.  Thanks Howson for giving me Dick Tarnstrom.  My Dick Tarnstrom has gone away, but so has Curtis Glencross.  But it still stings...

Were the Blue Jackets out worked?  For more than half of the game no, which rounds up to a full no.  The Jackets looked good, but let's call a spade a spade, the Flames sucked from here til Tuesday.  Kiprusoff was spot on in his 2011-2012 Steve Mason impersonation.  I'm not gushing over this win, but I am satisfied by it nonetheless.  The Blue Jackets won a game in which they were expected to win.  I can't remember a time in recent memory before this point streak where that's has happened.  I am very satisfied that this team is at a point where it can readily beat teams it's supposed to. 

Tomorrow Night is a must win game IN REGULATION for the Blue Jackets.  Tomorrow will be a playoff like game for both teams.  I hope the Blue Jackets take some of the added pressure on the forecheck from tonight and blend it nicely with a responsible neutral zone transition game to compliment their constricting
(if not clogging) dzone coverage.  But I will get on the dead horse I've been beating for 6 weeks, the Power Play has to get better before I start thinking playoffs.  The team is going to finish 12 out of it's remaining 18 games on the road and it HAS TO score more on the power play.  If the team does make it to the playoffs, power play scoring is the key.  Any sort of chance the Jackets will have is on the Powerplay.  The are capable of scoring on the power play, but they must find a way to execute.  The shortened season doesn't leave a team much room to work on special teams.

Tune in tomorrow to see if the Jackets can keep this dream alive...


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