Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Joonas Steps Up and Takes the Loss
One team wanted to play well tonight. One team wanted to win. The team that wanted to win did so, as the Jackets were obviously focused on tomorrow's match-up with the Capitals. If you do that in the NHL you get burned. That's what happened to the Jackets tonight. Since looking past an opponent rarely benefits a team, they may well lose tomorrow as well. The Jackets were a one line team tonight, with lots of passengers. I didn't like the hit on Bjorkstrand when it happened, but I never got a real good look at it. The refs had already let the game get away from them, so calling a major when it got out of hand seemed appropriate I guess. The league will review it, but had the refs taken a stronger stance on high hits earlier in the game it might have never happened.
The Jackets played tonight like a team that had clinched the playoffs that was playing against a team that is still fighting to hold its playoff position. Since the team needs to take some losses down the stretch, this isn't such a bad loss to take. Like any loss it is galling, but at the end of the day, it is not the focus of this team any longer. Tomorrow's game against the Caps is more important, though it is hard to think of ways that tonight's stinker somehow prepares you for tomorrow's game that counts. This game was winnable for the Jackets. They just couldn't reach out and do it. So the team that deserved to win ended up winning. That doesn't always happen, but it did tonight.
We gotta lose some games. It might as well be that one. We certainly don't want a 16 game winning streak now (as if you can turn that on), we would want that in the playoffs. So there it is. Losing sucks, and kinda burns. But it has to happen. Better to feel the pain now to make you stronger in the future.