Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sweet 16 Game Six-Pack: Anaheim Ducks

Columbus Blue Jackets 2 - Anaheim Ducks 3
4-10-2 5th in the Central -  Position "A" in the West

The Blue Jackets jet set back to Southern California after a pit stop in Phoenix for a must win game against the hockey team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.  The home crowd of 14,714 looks like it equaled the total attendance for the last three Florida Panther's home games.  Seriously Florida, get some blow  up dolls or let the folks from the cheap seats sit in the lower bowl after the first period.  Anyways, back to the Ducks v Blue Jackets.  The Blue Jackets are coming off of two losses that I watched from a hotel bar in Strongsville, OH this weekend.  Both were frustrating in their own unique way as the likelihood of the CBJ getting at least 5 points on this road trip fading fast.

I don't drink coffee, but I should probably start

1.  The first of these weird sized coffees goes to Vinny Prospal's chest.  But really, how freaking hard is it to use the words small, medium, and large to describe your portion sizes?  Cold Stone and Starbucks, it's much simpler to go with comfortable vernaculars than having to show me an English-to-Beatnick conversion table for my portion size.  Somehow you can't charge $7 bucks per serving if it's called "Medium?"  Where was I?  Oh yeah, Prospals chest.  Its nice to see that the Blue Jackets have finally started to game plan for when their shots hit players in the chest.  I am a little surprised the plan was to shoot a puck in off a teammates chest and not the goalies.  But, Letestu is an honorary member of the pond hockey weekend and we clearly heard him call "bank the puck off of a defenseman's skate, deflecting it into your wing's chest, and then he bangs it in the net"

2.  Wild Wing, you make me laugh so hard that I cry.  And you get a "Gotta Have It" sized second coffee drink latte thing.

3.  Remember way back to January 2013 when any sort of contact with the Goaltenders immediately canceled any scored goal?  That seems like it was an NHL rule de jour like 'Foot in the crease' 'sleufooting' and 'clutching and grabbing.'  Or maybe there's an exception to that rule if Corey Perry skates backwards into Bobrovsky and clips a leg pad with his right heel.  I don't typically like to whine about officiating, but come on.

4.  My fourth $8 dollar vanilla flavored laxative goes to the New York Islanders.  Have you seen their 3rd Jerseys?  My God they are hideous.  The only possible excuse for them is that Helen Keller designed them.  It looks like something my 11 year-old son designed on NHL 13.  Seriously Mr Wang, you're trying to showcase your under performing franchise in those jerseys?  Good Luck selling that team, maybe you can sell it to someone if they pay you one dollar a year for 135 million years, by which time Rick DiPietro will be eligible for salary arbitration.

5.  The Blue Jackets Powerplay - Here's a grande double shot of  "Show the F up."  I have opined on this blog and the DKM Hockey Podcast the importance of the Jackets power play as this team does not have the scoring depth to regularly score goals while 5-on-5.  So far on this road trip the PP is 0-for-the-trip.  Even a team with the offensive stature like the CBJ should be able to convert on power plays.  I have no idea where the CBJ power play is ranked, but I'm going to say 26th.

6.  As I looked through the 'new-look' Columbus Dispatch this evening, I noticed the goal scoring depth on the first three of the Ducks forwards lines.  That folks, is called depth when each member of your top three lines has at lest two goals.  Also, I was secretly rooting for Nick Foligno and Nick Bonino to have a fight so I could listen to George Mathews call it.

You can pretty much tell I wasn't really engaged in this game.  Were the Blue Jackets out worked?  Overall I will say no, but because the Ducks looked slow.  The Jackets were all over it the first period (except for those 21 seconds), and did what it needed the final two periods of the game.  Maybe this could be like a silver NO on that one blog.  The one thing that was neat tonight is I saw players like Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf make the same mistakes on the ice that my son's peewee travel team makes.  Teemu tries to dangle around someone rather than getting the puck deep and Getlaf over skates the goal with the puck a couple times.

The Blue Jackets next game in this six game road trip is against the central division rival 7-6-2 Detroit Red Wings.  Some will say the Wings are struggling, but secretly I wouldn't mind trying the Red Wings problems out for a season or two, even using the CBJ goalies.  Detroit is on a three game skid and will be looking to smack the taste out the Jacket's mouth Thursday Night the 18th.  Tom gets to cover that game, and have a pre-1am bed time.

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