Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 9: Detroit

Columbus 4 - Detroit 1
1-7-1, 5th in the Central Division, 15th in the Western Conference
The winless Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Detroit Red Wings tonight and...won their first game of the season, 4-1.  It was the first regulation win since March 12, when the Blue Jackets beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2.

As Mrs. DBJ posted on Facebook, "And that sigh of relief you're hearing from C'bus is the sound of the Jackets getting off the schneid. :-)"  True dat.

In so many ways, this was a "Bizarro World" game against what we Blue Jackets fans had been forced to see thus far this season.  Up was down, left was right.  Winless...became a rather convincing win.  And there's more...

James Wisniewski did a lot in his
CBJ regular season debut, but
he did NOT just stand around.
1. While the first line kept the Red Wings working hard, the entire line had nothing related to CBJ scoring in the box score yet Mr.'s Nash, Prospal and Brassard all notched a -1 on the night.
Nash had 3 shots, Brassard had 2 and Prospal had 1.  On the flip side, all of the scoring came from people who had not scored at all this season: R. J. Umberger (Welcome back!), Ryan Johansen (whose first NHL goal pleased the Dark Blue Toddler to no end, with the exception of the intermission interview where DBT thought that The Johan was back in "Time Out"), John Moore (Another first NHL goal!) and Derek Mackenzie.

2. Merry Wizmas!  James Wisniewski returned to the world of professional hockey after the NHL chose to use him as a poster child for future disciplinary expectations suspended him  back in September.  And a likely desperate Scott Arniel didn't waste time reacclimating Wiz to game conditions - He saddled our number one defenseman with 27:21 minutes on the ice, logging not insignificant time on both ends of the special teams.  His shot from point was ridiculous; I swore Detroit goalie Ty Conklin ducked at one of those shots.  Wiz also displayed an element of puck control and calm as the "quarterback" that I simply haven't seen out of the Columbus Blue Jackets since I started watching this team in the dark days of interim head coach Gary Agnew.

Is it too much to say that
Steve Mason's night
bordered on heroic?
3. Back to Bizarro: The Red Wings did not show any trust for Ty Conklin in the same way that the pre-today Blue Jackets didn't show the love for Steve Mason.  The Wings looked tentative and sometimes lost against the Blue Jackets who, to be fair, didn't look like anything close to a well-oiled machine most of the time. (For that I credit the Red Wings in at least disrupting the CBJ's attempts at developing on-ice flow.)  The telling sign that the wheels were falling off of Mike Babcock's club was that the Wings racked up three minors - two trippings and a hooking - in the third period alone, which signaled to me that the Wings knew they were losing this rodeo and had to stop the Blue Jackets any way they could.

4. Bizarro continued: CBJ goaltender Steve Mason finally had some meaningful blueline support.  As I tweeted during the game, "Amazing how much better Mason gets with just a little defense in front of him." 31 shots, 30 saves. All that with a shoulder that got tweaked in the first period.

5. At long last, the expansion-era sweater goes back to the closet.  Good riddance.

Bonus number 6: Ahem.

NEXT UP:  Thursday, 7PM, against the Buffalo Sabres at whatever they're calling Buffalo's arena.  I suppose I'll have to care about that once the Blue Jackets go into the Eastern Conference.

1 comment:

  1. Good write up, I think I know the source of their losses though. I am on travel and could not watch the game, so I apologize to the rest of CBJ nation, here's to 73-7-1.


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