Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Undefeated Season Squandered

Apparently Gaborik is hurt again.  LOL Kings!
I figured a photo of Gaborik would be fitting for a totally dysfunctional blog post, which this will spiral rapidly into.  I haven't listened to Richie's presser tonight, but am fresh from viewing the game, with a whiny 13 year old Stars fan sitting behind be, and my road home closed, without advertisement.  So I have a certain angst about the whole evening.

I thought the Stars deserved to win the game.  They won the first period, and the third period, and a lot of times that will do the job.  It is AWFULLY early in the season to run into a desperate hockey team, but that's what the Jackets got tonight.  A pretty good Dallas team that started 0-1-1 and was staring at 0-2-1 tonight.  Lindy Ruff, the Dallas coach, had already called out his stars for a lack of performance.  Not a great setup for a Blue Jackets team that was riding high.

So it played out like you might expect.  With the exception of a stretch late in the second period, Dallas won the majority of the puck battles, forechecked effectively against our defenseman possession game, and effectively neutralized our forecheck.  When Dallas made a mistake, and they made a few, we didn't bury the chance, with Boll and Anisimov both missing gaping nets.  You never make all those chances, so the odds will be leaning towards cashing in on that type of chance at some point in the future.  But it was symptomatic of the game.

I kind of figured that this is how it would go down when Dallas scored it's second goal.  Jamie Benn, a pretty good player, and already called out by Lindy Ruff, beats a 1 on 2, and then scores.  He just plain wanted it more.  The litany of Jackets players that the Stars effectively neutralized is long and distinguished.  Ryan Johansen exploded in the second period, but conditioning is an issue that is still there, and Benn and Seguin out scored him.  No secondary scoring in this game at all.

An eye opening game for our rookies, Dano and Wennberg.  Welcome to the NHL western conference boys.  Wait till we go out west next week.  Wennberg seemed able to rally with better play as the game went on.  Dano, not so much, and he was dropped to the fourth line to give a hard skating Jack Skille more ice time.  But the Stars soon bottled him up as well.

What I liked about this game was that our fourth line showed some real flashes of what last years fourth line was able to accomplish.  Go in, and get possession when the chips were down.  I thought Jared Boll had a really good game, playing the system, not getting too crazy, and he had a prime scoring chance that he went top shelf from point blank, but hit the pipe.  Not too bad.  Yeah, I know some people dislike Boll a lot.  Some of them are even Blue Jacket fans.  But he has not played this way in the last several years, and if he keeps it up he will be very effective.

Joey (NOT JoJo, or RJ, or RyJo) had his 100th and 101st points in his NHL career, both of them goals.  Not too bad, not too bad at all.

All and all, it was just one of those games.  All we need to do is beat Dallas down there, which we have done before, and wipe the slate clean.  That is the beauty of this NHL schedule.  A not so great loss against a western conference team can be cancelled with a win against them later in the season.  Then beat the east, and you are in the playoffs. Budda-bing, budda-boom.  Got 79 games left to go before we see that though.

Really good crowd tonight.  One too many Dallas fans, with her screechy voice in my ear.  So it goes.  A very nice crowd for a Tuesday night.  This is shaping up to be a fun season.  Good stuff.

GO JACKETS!!!

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