Monday, October 10, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on Game 3: Vancouver

Vancouver 3 - Columbus 2
0-3-0, 5th in the Central Division, 15th in the Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets improved by light years over their lackluster performance on Saturday night against Minnesota.  Sadly, they were playing the defending Western Conference champions tonight and lost, 3-2, to the Vancouver Canucks at Nationwide Arena.

For those who are new to the blog (and judging by traffic counts this season, there are a lot of you), here's how my DBJ recaps operate:  I don't do game recaps.  There are plenty of good sites and blogs that can tell you what happened and when.  Go check out the "Blogs/News" tab at the top of the page.  I offer a brief handful of thoughts and impressions in true blog fashion.  Generally five, but don't be surprised if I toss in a bonus one or two if something was particularly compelling.

1. I feel horrible saying this, seeing as Steve Mason actually played a decent game tonight (22 saves on 25 shots - not all-star contending but not worthy of getting pulled) under consistent pressure from the Canucks, but it was his inability to control the rebound on the third Vancouver goal that lost the game for Columbus.

2. Derek Dorsett stayed out of the penalty box (or at least the boxscore says so..I swore he was in the sin bin at some point) yet was in the mix on many occasions through the evening - poking, prodding, punching, yapping.  In a league that has marginalized fighting and now is cracking down on rough hitting, I think Dorsett has found his place as the team's agitator.  In today's NHL, that's a good thing to have.  Fighters are less and less in vogue, but agitation is on the rise.  You want to be in the other team's head, and you want to be a bit of a jerk when you are.  It's clear that Dorsett is doing just that.  

3. The Blue Jackets are still 0-for-2011 on the power play.  This, despite seven Vancouver penalties tonight.    Ridiculous.

4. I'm not going to gnash my teeth over the second-lowest attendance in team history (9,187), but it's certainly no point of organizational pride.  Sure, it was a Monday night against a team that just isn't a draw in Columbus (Move the Blue Jackets to the East NOW, please.), but the empty seats were very noticeable.

5. I want Vinny Prospal to be on the ice for every CBJ goal. That guy is a highlight reel to himself with his celebrations.  

Bonus: We can't overlook that Cam Atkinson got his first NHL goal in this game, and it was a beauty:

NEXT UP: Wednesday night, 7PM at Nationwide Arena versus the surprising Colorado Avalanche.  GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THIS GAME AS IT WILL NOT BE ON TELEVISION.  This is the only blacked out game all season.  


  1. On Dorse: Him, Pahlsson and Mayorov played almost exclusively against the Sedins, and held those creepy twins to a grand total of 0 shots. While they didn't do anything in the offensive zone, they managed to keep the play down there for many of their shifts. Any time you can keep the puck away from the Sedins for most of a game, you've done a great job.

  2. GOTTA SEE IT LIVE! Every other game, you can watch on TV I guess.

  3. DBJ, I disagree with your assessment that Mason's rebound lead to the third goal. The third goal was the result of a single Jacket defenseman trying to cover two Canucks on either side of the crease. He (I don't recall who) cheated away from the puck to the left of the net and could not contest the crease when the rebound popped out about 1 foot. It wasn't Mason, it was the defense. Until we control the front of the crease defensively, we will give up lots of goals. All three were because of poor defense in front of the crease. Look at two redirections just before the net for the first two goals and an unchallenged man for the third.

  4. Anon: Great point. Dorsett has carved out quite a niche with defense (including penalty kill) and agitation. Honestly, I didn't think he had it in him. He's one crafty guy and a smart adapter.


    SirChadley: Darned straight...Gotta See It Live for one night only!! (Or listen to George and Bob on the radio, I suppose.)


    PK: I appreciate your suggestion as to the cause of that third goal and don't necessarily disagree with you.

    My point, perhaps missed in my quick "thoughts", was that this was not a huge rebound. The puck only went a couple feet at most away from Mason. Had Mase simply fallen forward and put his glove down to cover up, the game could still have been tied. Thus, I'll accept the defensive lapse argument and feel comfortable in my opinion that the goal still was on Mason. He's the goaltender, the last line of defense, and the puck was within reach on that specific goal.

    Let's be clear, I'm talking about the deciding goal, not the rest of the game. As I said up above, I thought Mase played a decent game against a very talented opposing squad.

    Putting that goal discussion aside, I want to reiterate my strong support for so much of what you've written. The Blue Jackets still don't dominate their crease. It's getting better on the offensive end - I note that a healthy number of goals are coming from crashing the crease and potting second and third efforts - but the defense still hasn't seemed to figure out how to play solid defense with an eye toward being a contributing member of the offense.

  5. Regarding the low attendance, why do the Jackets schedule so few games on weekends? Compare their Fri., Sat., and Sunday dates to the Blackhawks or Red Wings. Regardless there should have been more than 9200 people at a game against the defending Western Conference champs! I hope Jacket fans don't get too complacent after reading reports about the team sticking around Columbus until 2039.

  6. PK and DBJ, I agree that the defense has failed to clear the crease and give Mason adequate support, but Goal #3 is on the tender. After making the original stop, the puck fell no more than a foot in front of Mason. Instead of covering it, he made a scoop with his glove and missed, leaving the puck on the ice and opening his five hole. That a Nucks was there to push it in may be on the defensemen, but the puck being available is on Mase.


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