Friday, February 10, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 54: Dallas

Dallas 4 - Columbus 2
15-33-6, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets narrowly avoided winning their third straight game in almost an entire year, falling to the visiting Dallas Stars, 4-2, in regulation at Nationwide Arena.

1. A NEW TWIST ON AN OLD CLASSIC - Remember, back in the day, how Blue Jackets fans instinctively went white-knuckled when the last two minutes of the period hit?  How we all just braced for the inevitable collapse of our beloved Boys in Union Blue?  Well, that was SO Scott Arniel.  With Todd Richards - at least for this night- it was different.  The Blue Jackets collapsed at the beginning of periods!  Dallas scored at 1:35 and 4:21 of the first period and 1:09 of the second to essentially put this thing away (the fourth goal being an empty netter at the end).

2. LOOK HONEY, A FUNCTIONING POWER PLAY - The early 2-0 deficit meant that the CBJ were playing catch-up all game long, and a string of three penalties in the second period gave the Blue Jackets a chance to get back in this game.  Surprisingly, the CBJ converted two our of three to cut the Dallas lead to one by the end of the game.  And was this Brassard feed to Nash picture perfect or what?

You're probably sick of my belaboring the point, but the work that Derrick Brassard has done in resurrecting his hockey career since Scott Arniel left town has just been incredible.  He's become one of my favorite players on the ice in no time flat.  But I'm also a sucker for redemption stories.

3. WE INTERRUPT THIS RECAP FOR INTERMISSION SILLINESS - The first intermission Tweetup by the cannon on the main concourse at Nationwide, a creation of DBJ blog contributor @AlisonL, only gets bigger and bigger.  I strolled on down with my buddy Chris, and we stumbled into Pepsi Power Patrol peeps (including @Life_SizeBarbie, who shared a laugh over my near-impalement by the t-shirt cannon - no blood, no foul...), some (CBJ?) suits and Fox Sports' communications guru Kate Buddenhagen and the @FSOhio_Girls - with whom a certain face to remain nameless grabbed a picture:

@Life_SizeBarbie grabbed a snapshot of the gathering (though I think Chris and I had already returned to our seats when this was taken):

If you follow the #CBJ hashtag on Twitter, and you should if you read
this blog, swing by the cannon after the 1st period.  You'll put a bunch
of names and faces together in a hurry!

3a. AS IF THE TWEETUP WASN'T ENOUGH - Alison then found herself on the big screen at Nationwide, winning one of Mike Todd's contests:

Congratulations, Alison!  I hope whatever you won was signed by Derek Dorsett.

3b. BUT WHERE'S THE INTERMISSION VIDEO? - Glad you asked, because this one's a beaut.  The Ohio State University synchronized skating team.  Really.  Synchronized skating.  Seriously.  Watch:

4. DROPPING LIKE FLIES - Another couple nasty injuries in this game for the Blue Jackets, this time to Jared Boll (broken foot, I didn't see the hit) and Marc Methot (broken jaw, I saw that one).  [UPDATE: I'm gathering both are done for the season.] For all of the many, many structural deficiencies in building this team, no history of the 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets will be complete without appreciating the incredible - and ongoing - volume of devastating injuries that this team has suffered.  

Marc Methot appears to be
lost for the balance of the season
4a. IT AIN'T PRO WRESTLING - As I mentioned, I saw the Methot hit and aftermath, seeing as it occurred in the defend-twice side of the ice (or, as Chris and I like to ironically refer, "Where the action is.").  Anyhoo, Methot goes down in a heap.  The ref calls the medics over.  Methot gets his moment of on-ice treatment and stumbles off the ice, never to be seen again.  And then I saw the blood on the ice and mentioned to Chris, "This one looks bad."

Then, the ice crew comes out and chisels the blood off the ice.  Now I appreciate that there are good reasons to do so - keeping ice even and smooth chief among them - but the cleaning of the ice hit me on a human level.  It's a brutal sport, hockey is, and the cleaning of the ice seemed to impose a Warner Brothers cartoon sensibility on the injury, as if it was a hit that didn't have consequences.  That's just not the case.

Not sure where I'm going with this thought, but I thought it was worth sharing.  Even as this team's season fades into oblivion, these guys are still putting themselves and - to an extent - their lives out on the line for their sport and their livelihoods.  And I respect them for that.

5. THE STRONG FINISH - Back to the game.  An interesting aspect of this particular come-from-behind game was that the team appeared to build up a head of steam as they pushed for that third goal.  They did not wither from the challenge, a nice testament to the (kinda sorta) fight that this team has been displaying of late.  In fact, the last three to four minutes saw perhaps the most sustained effort in the offensive zone all game.  Now, if this team could only find that energy and effort for the other 56 minutes of play...they'd be downright deadly.

Bonus number 6. FREE THE JOHAN - Third straight scratch.  Sigh.  I'm sure the talent developers have a worthwhile rationale (and I refuse to accept parallels with the Boston Bruins and Tyler Seguin - didn't do it in September and won't now...this team is nothing close to the Boston Bruins), but I just don't see any good reason for Ryan Johansen to be munching nachos when he could be learning on the ice.

'nuff said
NEXT UP: The Jackets limp up to St. Paul for another shot at the Minnesota Wild at 8PM on Saturday.


  1. synchronized skating is a common thing during college hockey intermissions. Sometimes the teams are quite impressive and the performances contain downright athletic skills. Miami U has three excellent synchronized skating teams (plus a totally awesome hockey atmosphere) take it all in sometime.

  2. Methot's puck to the face really changed that game. Dallas only picked up their second goal because they got the rebound off his jaw and he was down on the ice instead of in position. If not for that, we could have gone into the third tied 2-2, and it would have been a whole different story. Yeah, we sucked it up at times, but most of the game we were pressing the attack and playing solid hockey. This is a loss I didn't feel bad about; we just got unlucky. Add the L.A. clock bullshit in there, and that's 5 straight games we've performed in (if not won).


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