Sunday, May 6, 2012

Off night: A hockey guy watches lacrosse and soccer

(I'm in a bit of a holding pattern as Dark Blue Jacket Plus gets set up at Fox Sports Ohio.  So kindly permit this digression.)

Columbus has a new pro sports team in town, and
they played their first game over the weekend.
Last night was May 5, or "NHL Fan Date Night".  Thanks to the Kentucky Derby, there were no NHL Stanley Cup playoffs games after the 12:30PM game concluded.  And wouldn't you know, Mrs. DBJ was bushed from a huge week of work and turned in early.  So there I was, at 9PM with nothing to do.

I decided to check out the inaugural (Columbus) Ohio Machine game in Major League Lacrosse.  The game was on ESPN3, so I hooked my laptop up to my TV and enjoyed a competitive first half (11-9 Chesapeake) and cringed my way through the second half (final score was 23-11 Chesapeake).  The Machine had better be hoping that their forthcoming college graduate roster additions provide some defense and goalie help, because that team was as weak as a Scott Arniel-coached Blue Jackets squad on the back end.  They seem to have some scoring punch (and a highlight reel attacker named Chazz Woodson), but it's really hard to show that off when the play is always happening in your end.

Regardless, it was an entertaining game.  Lax is a fun sport to watch...many of the principles are the same as hockey.  It is a little slower, seeing as the guys aren't flying around on skates, and the goal scoring is almost entirely devoid of those "greasy" short-range shots.  Expect a lot of mid-range and long-range shooting.  Again, fun stuff.  I'll likely be checking out a game or two live this season, family commitments permitting.

Bent but not broken, the Crew pulled out a tie this weekend.
After that game, I switched over to Fox Sports Ohio to check out the Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew game against the Portland Timbers.

(As an aside, I have a brief and not altogether exciting history with the sport; I played youth soccer for a couple of years and wasn't very good at it, wasn't motivated to play, and either found myself running around aimlessly, standing around bored or getting shelled on the occasions that I was put in goal.  So I've never been a huge fan and haven't spent any time investing myself in the sport.)

Still, it was a slow night, so I tuned in with a reasonably open mind.  I learned that The Crew apparently have been decimated on the back end - defense and goal...what is it about Columbus pro sports teams and their inability to keep defensemen and goalies healthy?  Despite their shortcomings, the Crew put up one heck of a fight and played an apparently superior Portland team to a scoreless draw.

Now, a 'nil-nil" game is surely going to bring out the cynic in most non-futbol diehards, but not this guy.  The Columbus goaltender, a backup, played like a man possessed all night long.  Helluva game.  With some help (but not nearly enough to be considered safe), he held off shot after shot.  Again, impressive game.  I might even check back in later on in the season.

It's not hockey, and it's definitely not playoff hockey, but Columbus has some entertaining pro sports teams.

Back to hockey soon, I promise.

1 comment:

  1. Come out to Mid Ohio Sports Car Course for the Grand Am this year and see some really great racing up close and personal in a truly beautiful and challenging course. I love hockey, but this is a wonderful break and not too expensive particularly if you tailgate, which they allow inside the track confines.

    When it's not hockey season, it's racing season



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