Saturday, January 25, 2014

Game 50: Buffalo Buzz Kill

Turning in a total team loss tonight, the Blue Jackets under achieved in all facets of the game to allow the Buffalo Sabres to earn a 5-2 win tonight in Nationwide Arena.  I thought for the most part the Buffalo players won the puck battles all night, and in spite of having long stretches of possession, the CBJ had a hard time getting the puck past the shot blockers in a meaningful fashion.  This is the type of game that illustrates how hard it is to maintain a serious winning streak in this league.

This game was disappointing on so many fronts, but for me it was mostly as I felt the team squandered a lot of the good feeling they had built up with the casual fans in the City.  A Saturday night game, a big crowd, in which the Blue Jackets fans had to contend with many loud, and occasionally obnoxious Buffalo fans.  Meh. The team didn't show them much tonight.

David Savard was out of the line up with an illness and Cody Goloubef apparently had enough travel difficulties that he did not get to the game in time to play.  So the CBJ rolled 5 defensemen all night long, and they all appeared out of synch with each other.  The special teams were a steaming hot mess, with the power play going 0-4, generating 2 shots, and yielding 2 short handed goals.

No six pack tonight.  No beers were earned by the home squad, and I'm sure not handing them out to the Sabres.  That's not a very good team, but its an NHL team, and if you let them out work you, they are going to beat you.  And that's what happened tonight.

So.  They laid an egg tonight.  It happens.  Move on to Carolina Monday night, and a chance to redeem themselves from this stinker.  If they move on from this, and play better, and win most nights, things will be fine.  If this stinker morphs into something larger, they may have a problem.  Still don't know what the deal is with Bobrovsky.  So long as it is a momentary problem, no worries.

Move on, get ready for Carolina on Monday.



  1. I have no idea what game you watched. Columbus brutally outplayed Buffalo at even strength and made a few mental lapses that led to easy chances going in thanks to poor goaltending. Columbus literally had the most lopsided NHL game for shot attempts in the past two years. You could not ask for a better game out of the skaters. The completely outworked and out played and dominated the Sabres up and down the ice. Wiz was brilliant, the Johansen line ate Buffalo alive.

    There are two reasons for the loss. The first is some poor goaltending for Columbus, a fluky weird night for Bob. But even that's mostly irrelevant because of the biggest reason: Ryan Miller. He was magnificent, and there was nothing the could have done. He was playing at a level last seen in his Olympic run. There were pucks at him, there were bodies in front of him, the CBJ were in the Buffalo zone all night. It didn't matter because Miller was that good.

    Columbus completely crushed Buffalo 90% of the game, but just couldn't get enough past Miller. Them's the brakes. If the Jackets play like that every night they'll win an overwhelming majority of their games the rest of the way.

    1. Sorry. Not buying. Ehrhoff's goal, the first shorty was a pretty nice shot. I had a nice angle on it from our seats. Caught the pipe far side high, and went in. He was completely unchallenged by a power play that was still spinning in circles looking for the puck. That level of dysfunction is not the goal tender's fault. The second shorty was kinda soft, yeah, I agree with that. Shot attempts will get you a good Corsi number maybe, but Buffalo was successfully blocking lots of them. At one point in the third period I looked up at the score board and they had Buffalo with 29 blocked shots. Buffalo was doing a good job collapsing to the net, while the CBJ moved the puck around the perimeter. Miller made some nice stops, but he'll be facing a much higher quality shot in the Olympics than he saw from the CBJ tonight.

      And as a matter of fact, yes I could ask for a better game from the skaters. A lot better. Each line had a few shifts that they played well, but we tended to try to make the extra pass tonight instead of keeping it simple, and Buffalo was picking off a lot of those passes. So yeah, I want those lines to skate consistently harder, so that Buffalo players can't just break up the play with their stick because the second effort and high level of physicality defeats their attempt at a stick check. Tonight the stick check was enough for Buffalo. The plays from behind the net were getting broken up by the Buffalo defense. I thought the defensive pairing, especially early in the game never had any cohesiveness. I thought Wiz and Murray played pretty well,

      I''m not trying to paint Buffalo as a really good team. I thought as a team the CBJ played down to the competition and got burned for doing it.

      Perception is a funny thing, eh?

  2. I didn't like the idea of starting Bob last night when you know he is going on Monday. What's the point of having a back-up goalie if you aren't going to play him against a terrible team after the starter has gone the last week or so? Bad move IMO.


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