|Jack Johnson scores again|
The Jackets tied it in the first after surrendering the traditional first goal. It's what they do at home. Dalton Prout bounced one in off of Dubinsky's boot to tie the game. After a mostly back and forth affair, the Islanders got the next two goals, and one had to wonder if the Jackets late season run was about to come to an end.
But the Jackets kept at it, while the Islanders kind of quit shooting. This resulted in lot of pressure in the Islanders end, which they successfully fought off for quite awhile. But finally, shortly after the midway point of the third period, the Jackets broke through. In the midst of a scrum, where it seemed like Wennberg put the puck on net twice, Hartnell once, Foligno came screaming by on a strafing run on the crease, and finally Jack Johnson was the unaccounted man, canning the fifth attempt as he crashed the net. This was a big goal and a funny thing happened. The building woke up.
To put this in perspective, these late season games have shown a very normal reaction in Nationwide Arena. We have watched many a Jackets team play out the string, and its normal for the building to be fairly quiet, cheers start slowly, and don't have a lot of oomph. It's the way the building is under these circumstances. Indeed, that phenomenon is partly why the crazy atmosphere of last year was so late in blooming, its not what we are used to. But truly, to anyone who experienced last year's playoff run, it is difficult to forget the thunderous atmosphere in the Arena. But it is not to be this year, it derailed long ago. Well, OK. Been there, done that.
But a funny thing happened tonight after that Jack Johnson goal. The crowd really woke up, and made some good noise. Which is something these players need to hear. Part of me wants to say they deserve to hear it, but that's not quite right. If we were in the playoffs, they would deserve it. We can't have that, but it's important to remind them that it is there if they can go out an take this thing next year. And the Islanders are a good reminder of all of this, as they pretty much put themselves in playoff contention with their early play this season, and have held on to that, so they will get the reward.
Back to tonight, the crowd was getting loud and the Jackets were responding. Late in the period, Jenner took the puck behind the Islander's net, fed the puck out to Savard who sent a shot in that Cam Atkinson tipped on goal, and Ryan Johansen came in from the back door to bat the puck home for the tying goal. After killing off a bogus delay of game penalty late, the Jackets sent the game to overtime.
The overtime period was thrilling, with the CBJ putting a barrage of pucks on net as the Islanders had to kill an OT penalty, but to no avail, so the game went to a shootout. Letestu and Johansen scored, Bob said Nyet!, and the win was in the books.
I was glad to hear the loud crowd tonight. This winning streak is a day late, and a dollar short, but still is something of worth. The players should hear that we value their effort, and they heard it tonight. Don't get me started about Wennberg. This guy is starting to look like a really special player.