Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets picked up two crucial road points by beating the host Nashville Predators by a score of 3-1. Fox Sports is reporting that the CBJ have not won in regulation in Nashville since April, 2006. The CBJ sort of waded into this one, and leaned hard on Sergei Bobrovsky in the first period, but he stood tall and the first period ended scoreless. The CBJ weathered the storm in the first 10 minutes of the first period as Nashville came at them hard.
The CBJ scored first in the second period on a power play goal by James Wisniewski that included the first point in the Blue Jackets uniform by Marian Gaborik to get him off the devil numbers in career points (he came into the game with 333 goals, 333 assists, and 666 points). Nashville answered, and the game was tied 1-1 at the end of two periods.
The CBJ came out hard in the third period, took control of the ice, and started spending a lot of time in Nashville's zone. After a very long possession shift, Brandon Dubinsky rifled a perfect pass through the crease to a crashing Gaborik, and the CBJ went ahead 2-1. That turned out to be the game winning goal. Later in the period, Matt Calvert had another goal waived off for a 'distinct kicking motion', which this time was at least a good call. Matty was not to be denied though, and in his next shift came through the high slot and rifled a shot past Pekka Rinne to stake the CBJ to a 3-1 lead. The Jackets shut it down from there, and walked away victorious. They picked up two big points to keep in touch with the dogfight for eighth place in the West.
|Beer tastes better after a road win!|
1. As usual, my first cold beer is for Sergei Bobrovsky. He played dynamite in goal again today, carrying the team through the first period when Nashville was coming hard. He stayed on top of his game throughout the game, and answered some serious pressure by Nashville in the second period, and down the stretch to preserve the win. BOB!!!
2. My second icy cold adult beverage is for young Matt Calvert. Although he had another goal waived off for playing DKM Hockey (snicker, I crack me up), he was all over the ice in the third period, and snapped off a good wrist shot to get his redemption goal and the insurance goal for the CBJ. Matt has really started to become more consistent with his game, which is really good to see. He and Cam are a real threat due to their speed and effort.
3. My third cold one is for new Blue Jacket Marian Gaborik, who scored his first assist and goal as a Blue Jacket. The goal was the game winner, and we hope the first of many. Gaby's old Ranger teammates seemed to know exactly what to do with him, and were able to hit him with many long passes that show great potential for future explosiveness from this player. He seemed to understand the concept of back checking, and was decent in the defensive zone. Welcome aboard Gaby!!
4. My fourth, cold, luscious, beer goes to Brandon Dubinsky. Returning to the lineup after fighting off a knee sprain, Dubinsky took part in a dominant shift, where the CBJ cycled the puck deep in the Nashville zone. After fighting off a couple of Nashville defenders, Dubinsky walked off the end boards with the puck and hit a crashing Gaborik with a perfect pass for the game winning goal. He showed lots of grit and played well, as well as picking up two assists.
5. My fifth cold beer goes to James Wisniewski. Wiz scored the all important first goal on the power play. That power play needs what Wiz can bring to it, and it is already improved since he came back from the broken foot. Wiz leads the team in power play goals, and that was a huge momentum changer in this game.
6. My sixth cold beer, times 4, goes to Todd Richards, Craig Hartsburg, Keith Acton and Dan Hinote. They have created an environment where the players can succeed, while keeping the pressure on the players if they don't work hard enough. The players have taken that and turned it into great chemistry in the room. It's gonna be fun to watch these guys down the stretch.
Score board watching in April is a great thing if you are a CBJ fan. The boys did their job tonight, winning on the road. They are going to have to repeat that feat if they want to make the playoffs. If they keep playing like they did tonight, they have a shot at it.