Thursday, October 13, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on Game 4: Colorado

Colorado 3 - Columbus 2 (Shootout)
0-3-1, 5th in the Central Division, 14th in the Western Conference
In the only game of the season not to be on television of any sort, the Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Adam Foote-less Colorado Avalanche at Nationwide Arena tonight and lost, 3-2 in the shootout.

This was a bit of a "split personality" game for me.  I had the pleasure to attend the game not just with three fantastic bloggers (Alison of Heart of a Jacket, Greg of Full Mental Jackets and Matt of The Cannon), but in seats that placed my hiney three rows behind the Blue Jackets bench and three seats off of their tunnel. I've never attended a game in seats that were so close to the ice and so close to the team.  As I tweeted right after sitting down, "This is nuts."  And it was all night long.

As for the game, what can you say about a shootout loss after three straight regulation losses to start the season? That Columbus finally got a standings point (albeit a "loser point")?  That they played a middling first period and an awesome second period?  That the 8,000+ people in attendance got "bonus hockey"?

Anyhoo, let's get to the 5 thoughts - each of which will be accompanied by a photo from the game that will attempt to share some of the experience that we had down deep in section 103, row E:

1. When thinking about the game in advance, I figured that the best thing to do with a fast (but erratic) young team like Colorado - considering where the CBJ is right now as a team - was to get a lead and go into a Nashville-style 'prevent defense' mode.  In essence, that's what the Blue Jackets did.  They got a whopping single shot off in the third period, spending most of the period in their own end and giving up the game-tying goal with 40 seconds left.  And that's why I should never be a hockey coach.

The view to the right from my seat.
Yeah, that's the CBJ tunnel.
2. Your friendly Blue Jackets Performance Monitor, brought to you by Cialis:

A) The Blue Jackets remain 0-for-2011/12 on the power play.

B) The Blue Jackets started the evening with eight veteran forwards and defensemen with zero points on the season.  Radek Martinek left that group with his first goal of the season (congrats on that), but that leaves Sammy Pahlsson, Antoine Vermette, R. J. Umberger, Fedor Tyutin, Marc Methot, Kris Russell and Derick Brassard.  A 20-goal scorer needs to get a goal every four games or so.  Just saying.

Derek Dorsett drops the gloves.  Didn't really accomplish anything, and
Dorsett is more valuable as an agitator, but a decent fight nonetheless.
3. Speaking of Sammy, I find myself drawn to the performance of a player or two every game.  Tonight's game had me watching Pahlsson.  His game was nowhere near perfect, but he was playing a tough game on a line that drew more applause from my section than anything else.  And by that I don't mean golf claps.

The two awesome kids that sat in front of us.  
4. The other player that caught my eye was David Savard.  While getting only 13:44 of ice time tonight (rookie Ryan Johansen only had 8:26 and Cam Atkinson has 13:16, making me wonder if the coaching staff is having a challenge in bringing so many youngsters along at once), Savard plays a game that I enjoy.  He is almost always square to the puck.  Some blue liners take a sideways approach to the puck, perhaps to get a jump up and down the ice, but Savard squares up and thus is always in position to get his stick on the puck.  I don't know if that's a technically sound way to go, but - hey - I found it impressive.

Lining up for the National Anthem.
5. Jeff Carter logged 21:50 of ice time with the flu.  Clearly, the team needed him tonight.  Shame that effort yielded such minimal results.

An epic jersey foul.
Bonus: Rick Nash had a goal and an assist tonight.  He pushed the puck as much as could up and down the ice.  He beat Varlamov in the shootout.  He gave his "3 stars" stick to the little girl sitting in front of us.  And I gotta tell you, he was ticked at the loss.  Only the folks who were up close saw the look on his face.  Yow.

The Blue Jackets march onto the ice at the beginning of the game.
Too cool.  So glad I got it on video.

Bonus 2: After pointing out that Steve Mason's lack of rebound control was a deciding issue in the prior game, I'm happy to note that he was falling on the puck with great regularity tonight.  In fact, he  played through regulation and the overtime period like a genuine NHL goaltender.  The shootout was another issue altogether.

NEXT UP: Saturday night, 8PM Eastern at Dallas.  The Stars, you may have heard, drew just over 6,000 people on Monday night.  Ouch.


  1. I was really upset after this shootout loss. Just ask my fiancee. But after getting some sleep and having my morning Timmy Ho's coffee, sitting back and thinking about this one has me feeling a little better. Although this wasn't the best game of all time, you can really tell the team is starting to get some chemistry and I thought they looked a lot better (probably the best first two periods in a while). If we can learn to keep pushing in the third period and get some shots off, make their goaltender keep working for 60mins. we can win. Just think of it this way, we have been looking great in the first and second period, our main area to work on (besides pp/pk which I won't get into) is finishing a game strong.

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  3. Wow amazing seats, I had the best seats I have ever had at the best price ever last night too. Section 108 was fantastic, lots of good fans there too. That said I am excited for the day when tickets won't be so cheap and there are far more than 8,000 voices in the Nat. Still I feel we fans during the hard times deserve these experiences, might as well enjoy them while we can.

  4. Having read this and a couple other blogs, and not seeing my main gripe about the game, here goes. As fans, we were told this team was going to "keep its foot on the gas" for 60 minutes a night. After 4 games, I have yet to see 60 minutes worth of effort in the 245 minutes played thus far. Last nights third period was or should be A COMPLETE EMBARRASSMENT to every member of this team. Not only was there no attempt at offensive play, after the goal was scored,there was little attempt at even the most simple clearing passes. Note to all team members YOU DON,T GO INTO A PREVENT DEFENCE WITH 19 MINUTES TO GO AND A ONE GOAL LEAD !!!!!!! The best thing for the goaltender last night would have been to see his team MAYBE attempt to increase its lead, not sit back and basically say " O.K. you've got the lead, don't give anything up" I was so angry at the pitiful display in period 3 that I'm seriously considering not watching or attending any more games until someone in this organization realizes that enough is ENOUGH. Comments about unacceptable play and the fans deserving better ring hollow after such a feeble attempt. I've been a hockey fan most of my adult life, THE THIRD PERIOD LAST NIGHT WAS NOT HOCKEY!!!!!!!!!!


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