Monday, November 25, 2013

So DBJ can't quite believe what he saw in CBJ game 24: Toronto

Columbus 6 - Toronto 0
The Columbus Blue Jackets ended their five-game Canadian swing with a blast of old-fashioned, Columbus cannon-fire.  They took it to the host Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-0, at the Air Canada Centre in the Center of the Hockey Universe.

Tonight's recap is a little out of sorts because I'm pinch-hitting for one of my compadres.  I didn't sit and watch the game all that closely.  Instead, I did many of the regular fatherly chores - wash some dishes, put some of the kids to bed, switch out the laundry.  You know, the stuff you do when the game is on in the background and you occasionally look up to check what is going on.

I ended up looking up a lot tonight...and had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Dalton Prout - fresh from the IR this morning - was playing on the wing.  And then on defense.  And then back on wing.

Nick Foligno was on the top line thanks to all of the injuries.  I'd give Foligno credit for the R.J. Umberger goal tonight, but Foligno was off the ice when Umberger scored.  Still, there's no denying the galvanizing effect on Umberger's game by Foligno's return.  Those two got a couple games in together, and R.J.'s a new man.  One more miraculous rejuvenation in Nick's presence (Hey, Gaborik, how ya feeling?), and I'm sending Foligno's name onto Pope Francis for possible beatification.

Boone Jenner, home again in Toronto, must've been listening to Lawrence Taylor before the game:

For Boone was just that, a crazed dog, for most of the night.  So was Matt Calvert for that matter.

Ryan Johansen, who has emerged as perhaps the Blue Jackets best player thus far this season, dropped in a couple in the third to seal the deal.  That's 8 goals on the season for those keeping track.

Ryan Murray had one, and look at the incredible tape-to-tape passing that happened along the way:

And Bob got his first shutout of the season.  Of course he did.

All this, and more, against what I thought was one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.  What the heck?  
This team is so bizarre.  I have no idea what to make of them.  
Truth be told, I was prepared for the absolute worst tonight.  I expected the CBJ to get pasted by the Leafs, Edmonton-style.  
I told Mrs. DBJ over dinner before the game that I figured that with the accumulated injuries and the team's frah-gee-lay state of mind, nothing meaningful could be drawn from this one.  Just play the 60 minutes and try to leave with the heads held high.  "But what if they win?" she said.  I just looked at her.  
So whaddya know, Mrs. DBJ was right.  I still have no idea what can be drawn from this game, however.  What makes a team mail it in one night and play like Cup champs less than a week later?
  • Do we take that the team has the ability inside of them, but that they don't necessarily have the will to deliver on a night-in, night-out basis?  
  • Do we take that Toronto isn't that good (but Edmonton is)?  
  • Do we take that Boone was looking to shine in front of his fellow Ontarioans (sp?)?  
  • Do we take that the team doesn't need a captain, a top line of talent (Gaborik, Dubinsky and Horton all out) or 2/3 of a bottom six line (MacKenzie and Boll) to play some of their best hockey of the season?  
I don't know what to say.  Just slack-jawed over this game.  Glad to see it happen, of course, but totally at a loss for why it happened or what it means to the big picture.  

Here's the haiku:

The loud football guy
says, "That's why they play the game!"
Makes sense in this case.

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