Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Morgan's Six-Pack for Game 43: The Quebec Nordiques

Columbus Blue Jackets 4 - Colorado Avalanche 3 F/OT
9th Place in the Western Conference
Typically after Master's weekend I begin preparing for another April tradition like no other, the NHL draft lottery for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  But that is certainly not the case this April.  As fans hopeful for a chance at the post season, we watch every game.  We track the teams below us, we track the teams ahead of us.  We visualize scenarios, exchanges, ordering tickets for the playoffs.  This is new territory for the social media CBJ fan base that's emerged the past few years (no I'm not saying you've only been a CBJ fan for a couple years, I'm saying you've only been able to gush about it on twitter for a couple years now).  On nights like tonight I sit back and watch the fan base consume itself.  Who's the bigger fan, who's the biggest troll.  Who knows more that everyone else, who's always right, who believes more.  The team is winning, and I guess everyone sheds decades of hockey grief differently on micro blogging sites.  All that matters to me is they are winning.

Tonight had it's share of 'ups and downs drama.'  Players were celebrated and reviled - But the mob is fickle brother.  What supposed career defining gaffe do we overlook minutes later when a player long bereft of compliments breathes life into a team as the last sands of a meaningful season trickle through the hour glass?  The Jackets seem determined to fight every game down to the bitter end.  With a hot goalie, the Jackets have been flirting with lady luck the past several weeks, and it looks like those back rubs and all-important cuddle time are paying off.  With less than two minutes left, a man who's only been complimented for his great hockey beak the past couple months breathes life into playoff hopes, setting the table for a dramatic OT that lift our heavy spirits on this otherwise gloomy day.

HA!  Remember when we wanted
this guy as captain in January?!?!
1.  The first tasty beer of the night goes to Rule 614.  I hope I never have to see another "Rule 614" tweet after tonight's game ever again.  The CBJ got lucky in so many ways tonight that I hope whatever Hockey God / League Snobbery / or stupid rule that is bemoaned when things don't go the Jackets way is squelched after tonight's game.  Lady luck helped the team out tonight, BIG TIME.  Oh the irony.

2.  The only thing bigger than RJ Umberger's nose tonight was his goal late in the third period.  That was the biggest goal of the season, and depending upon how the regular season ends, it may end up being one of the biggest goals in franchise history.  Skeletons, demons, George Michael monkeys, and Aunt Tilley's garters all were cleansed with that late third period goal.

RJ Umberger set his monkey free.

3.  Jiggy, this cold beer is for you.  Just kidding.  You let one of the lowest scoring offenses put two goals on you in the closing minutes of the game.  Turrible.

4.  James Wisniewski, you get a glass of scotch tonight.  You dropped the gloves in the second which was nice, but had me spitting out an entire glass of scotch when your usually wayward point shot in OT ended up springing Landeskog for a breakaway.  Hit the net, pretty please, with sugar on top.

5.  Mr Nick Foligno, your OT game winner was only slightly outdone by the goal that got the game into OT.  The OT period seemed to be going the Nordiques way and you thwapped one past Jiggy.  You've been snake bit as of late and you kept this chance simple and just puck the puck on net.  Good things happen when you put the puck on net.  Next time, don't send Umberger head first into the boards after scoring, umkay?  Oh, and it's like 15 consecutive broadcasts where you're referred to ask "Mike" the entire game by the opposing team's crew.

6.  Blake Comeau - my son is going to be so excited when he wakes up to find that you've earned your first brewsky on DBJ by again, keeping it simple and keeping your stick on the ice.  The feed came right at your tape and you roofed a quick beauty.  If they could all be that easy.  I will have my son watching that highlight as a teaching moment.  Thank you.

Were the Blue Jackets out worked?  Save two lucky bounces of Colorado sticks and a puck off of a referee's foot, I'm going to say Yes, but barely.  The Blue Jackets worked hard, the Avalanche worked just a little harder.  Bad bounces and a suspect performance from their goalie cost the lowly Avalanche tonight's game.  Hooray the Blue Jackets won on the road, but any team considering itself a contender for Lord Stanley's shot glass playoffs had better win in Colorado.

This my friends, is a playoff hunt.  Western Conference teams 4, 5, 6, and 7 all play tomorrow night.  Every game matters to the Blue Jackets' playoff hopes and draft status.  Wednesday shapes up to be a big night because no matter what happens, Columbus must leapfrog Detroit to gain a playoff spot, and both teams play again on Wednesday night.  If Calvert, Atkinson, and Gaborik are only going to combine for 6 shots a game like they did tonight, it will be up do the 3rd and 4th lines to continue to carry the flag for the offense.  I'd rather not have to depend on those guys to do the scoring.  The CBJ must keep winning.  Tonight's win gives the Jackets breathing room.  Dropping two in a row at any point likely puts the team on vacation.  Keep it up, the Ducks play host on Wednesday.

Oh yeah, congrats to Bob on earning the NHL's first star of the week.  I smell Vezina nomination.


  1. You'd think Giguere was busy planning his Vegas trip or something.

    Seriously, great win for the Blue Jackets!

  2. Every game feels like the playoffs now! Unfortunately, the Jackets seem to have angered the Schedule Gods again: only 5 games left compared to everyone else's 6+...of all the teams competing for the last few playoff spots, the Jackets only have 1 home game; St Louis has 6 left at home!
    The Jackets do lead the league in something else, too: games on back-to-back nights. They'll play their 11th series like that Wed-Thurs...Detroit at least will play 10, with their last coming next week, on home ice...The Jackets are 4-6 in the 2nd night of back-to-back games...next year's schedule better be sweet to Columbus!
    The next 2 games will be great - how complacent will Anaheim be? They've secured their playoff spot and can't really improve it...Then LA on Thurs...yeah those guys again...

  3. It's not about the standings right now... It's not about the points. It's not about the goals.

    It's all about the steps leading up to the goals.


    Joe in Vancouver


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