Thursday, January 23, 2014

Game 1000: Flyers, Eight is Great!

Tonight, in the 1000th game in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 to wrench the third place playoff spot in the Metro Division from Philly.  The Flyers are pushed down to the wild card spot, fourth in the Division, by virtue of the first tie breaker, head to head competition, as the CBJ go to 2-1 in the season series.  The Jackets got on the board in the first period with a little luck, the teams traded two goals apiece in the second period, and the Jackets pulled away in the third period.  This was a very satisfying win, that pushed the franchise record winning streak to 8 games.

This was a sloppy game, and neither team played well in the first period.  I thought Philly carried the play in the first half of the second period, but the Jackets carried the play in the second half of the second period, sparked by solid play from MacKenzie's line.  Awesome to see MacKenzie rewarded with a goal, and even though the Jackets ended the second period on the wrong end of a 5 on 3 power play, they killed it off, and took it home from there.

1.  My first CBJ beer for tonight is a playoff beer.  Can't decide if it is a phantom or not, but I don't think so.  This team has great work ethic and great depth, great goal tending, and more importantly, great spirit.  MOST important is the fact that they should be in the playoff race the rest of the year, which should make it a crazy fun bunch of games to go to.  Like the team, the crowd seemed to wade into this one, but by the end of the game, the crowd snark level was very high, with numerous 'we want Mason' chants.  Presumably they want to see the nice video they have put together for his return.  At least I'm pretty sure anyway.

2.  I'm going to go with this second CBJ beer to Matt Calvert.  He had a goal, and an assist, but when they announced him as the second star after the game they said he had only an assist.  The CBJ box score gives him the goal off the Wisniewski shot, so one of them is going to get it anyway.  I'm giving Matt this beer, instead of giving it to the next player on our list because of the following historical re-enactment:

Ref:  Hey we think we have a distinct kicking motion on this goal.
Toronto:  Hmm, sure looks like it, I'd say no....oh, wait a minute, let me check the list.
Toronto:  Hmmm, hmmm, <scans list> Calvert, hmm, Oh Jeez, we screwed the dickens out of this guy last year, he's on the list.
Toronto:  Good goal!!
Ref:  After further review, the call on the ice stands, good goal!!

I love historical re-enactments.  Don't you?

3. The next CBJ beer goes to Brandon Dubinsky.  He had a goal and an assist tonight to continue a really strong stretch of play.  His line was a dominant force in this game.   This was scored on a great shift, because Dubi came through the slot and took a shot, but he was on his backhand, and missed the net.  His linemates corralled the puck behind the net, and sent it back out to him.  This time he made sure he had it on his forehand in the slot, and buried it.  From our spot in the stands it looked like Ray Emery thought he was going to pass it and started to cheat, but Dubi made sure of it by taking the shot.  That was a big goal to push it to a two goal lead.  I love the way that Todd Richards dumps Dubinsky's line out there as the third power play line at the end of the power play.  That's how Calvert got his power play goal.  So Dubinsky's line ends up with 2 goals tonight.  If I'm the Flyers, and I looked at the tape of the Kings game I'm saying "I've got to shut down the Johansen line", which they did.  Unfortunately for them, Dubinsky's line took up the slack.  Nice work gents!

4. This fourth CBJ beer goes to Arty Anisimov and his line, with Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner on the wings.  Seriously, Jenner drew 4 penalties tonight, keeping the CBJ power play in practice.  While technically only the Dubinsky line scored on the power play, Arty's line pumped one in just seconds after a power play ended to push the third period lead to 3 goals.  Another example of Richie dumping a regular line out there for the last shift of the power play.  I thought Arty had a really strong game tonight, and Horton scored the goal right after the power play on a sweet feed by Ryan Murray.  Philly struggled to contain this line all night long.

5.  My fifth CBJ beer goes to the MacKenzie line, with Corey Tropp and Mark Letestu on the wings.  In the middle of the second period, with the game tied a 1 goal apiece, this line turned in a dominant shift in which they had puck possession for something like a minute.  The Flyers finally cleared the puck, the next line gathered it and started the rush, but Letestu was unable to clear the zone on dead legs.  This stopped the rush at the blue line, the Flyers went the other way and ended up drawing a penalty.  Richie rolled MacKenzie and Letustu out on the penalty kill with dead legs, the kill wasn't effective, and the Flyers scored to take a 2-1 lead.  The next time the MacKenzie line hit the ice, they turned in another dominant shift, and Derek ended up scoring a goal to bring it back to a tie game at 2-2 (Note, Arty had come on the ice, and got the primary assist on this goal).  Nice work by these guys tonight.

6.  My sixth CBJ beer goes to Jack Johnson, for being a stalwart.  He got the scoring going tonight by banking one in off a Philly defenseman's leg.  In his post game interview he went right to the 'it's better to be lucky than good', but the guy has had a bit of a rough period here, with the Olympic snub still stinging I think.  I also think the winning helps, and he munches minutes, and makes a good pairing with Fedor Tyutin, who continues to play very, very solid hockey.  Good stuff.

I think JD and Jarmo wanted to see what their team could do once they got healthy.  8-1 is not a bad sampling of its capability.  This team really needs to make hay while the sun shines, as they have a lot of home games still to play before finishing with 3 games on the west coast to end the pre-Olympic part of the NHL schedule.  That should give JD and Jarmo a chance to see how the team deals with adversity.  My buddy Bill was saying that only one team had gotten points in more than one game in the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks version of Death Valley.  That was New Jersey, that lost two games in overtime.  Everyone else has been limited to maybe winning one game.

The scoring depth roll call continues:
Game 1: Atkinson, Wisniewski, Johansen, Letestu.
Game 2: Savard, Calvert, Dubinsky.
Game 3: Umberger, Johansen, Horton, Anisimov
Game 4: Johnson, MacKenzie, Calvert/Wiz, Dubinsky, Horton

Different people stepping up at different times means lots of wins.

We are sitting in a playoff berth.  We need to win to continue to occupy that spot!



  1. Great win after going down a goal in the second. Now a criticism. I thought the fans chanting "we want Mason" was kind of bush league. It's not like he was Carter or Foote, Mason was a good guy here, it just didn't work out for him or us. Good luck to him in Philly.

  2. Agreed. I'm all for taunting Carter when he comes to town. he deserves it. Mason, on the other hand, was a victim of the old management's zeal.

  3. The standings tie breakers actually go in this order:

    1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).

    2. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column.

    3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.

    4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.

    NOTE: In standings a victory in a shootout counts as one goal for, while a shootout loss counts as one goal against.


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