Sunday, February 2, 2014

Game 55: Panthers

Last night the Columbus Blue Jackets prevailed over the Florida Panthers 4-1, with more than 16k in attendance.  It was a loud and rambunctious barn, which was a good thing.  The CBJ did not have their 'A' game, but they had Bobrovsky.  Panthers fans are likely lamenting the failure to convert opportunities, because the times they had Bob hung out to dry, they typically missed the net with the shot.  In the second half of the first period, the Jenner, Johansen, Horton line took over and potted two tip in goals in less than 3  minutes.  The first, Boone Jenner's ninth goal of the season, was a tip in after Johansen pulled Tim Thomas out of the net, then slid the puck under his armpits (6 and 7 hole??) for the tip in.  For the second goal, Jenner pulled a wicked spin-o-rama and passed it to Johansen on the far post for the tip in.  Thomas had no chance.

Florida pushed back hard in the second, and had the CBJ chasing the puck.  Multiple icing plays had the fourth line caught on the ice, and even though Richie burned his time out, they couldn't get off the ice.  On the ensuing partial line change, Florida scored when Savard tipped the puck past Bobrovsky.  It happens.  But Nick Foligno finally got off the schneid with a laser from the top of the circles that somehow eluded Thomas, and trickled into the net to put the CBJ back up by 2.  In the third period the fourth line got the goal they surrendered back when Tropp and MacKenzie fed Letestu a beauty of a set up that he buried.  This vanquished any thoughts of a Carolina style come back by Florida, and set up the final score.  All that remained was for the players to come out and salute the fan base at the end of the game.  THAT was a fan base win, big time.  Nice touch at the end boys.
1.  My first CBJ beer of the game goes to Boone Jenner.  He has played very stout hockey these last couple of games, and other teams haven't liked it.  Plus, he's doing a good job of finishing his chances.  Sitting at 9 goals, he is poised to become the 7th player on the team in double digit goals.  I think this shows a lot of scoring depth on our team.  So I became curious.  How many double digit scorers have we had in our history?  The answer was somewhat surprising.

It turns out the 2005-06 was our high water mark in scoring depth.  The history reads like this:

Year : Number of Double digit goal scorers
2000-01 : 6
2001-02 : 7
2002-03 : 8
2003-04 : 6
2005-06 : 10
2007-08 : 5
2008-09 : 7
2009-10 : 6
2010-11 : 7
2011-12 : 6
2012-13 : 3*
2013-14 : 6 with 27 games remaining.

*partial season

Yes sir, look at that 2005-06 team!  Double digit goal scorers that year were David Vyborny, Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev, Sergei Federov, Jan Hrdina, Bryan Berard, Manny Malhotra, Jason Chimera, Trevor Letowski, and Jaroslav Balastik.  Wow, there is a blast from the past!

So Jenner has 9, Letestu has 8, and there are 27 games remaining.  It should be interesting to see what this team ends with in terms of goal scoring depth.

That's a lot for one beer.  Must be of the 22 oz stadium variety.

2. My second CBJ beer goes to Ryan Johansen, for a pretty set up, a nice tip in, and for his continuing development.  The guy is gonna have some ups and downs, but he continues to develop at a nice, steady pace.  He will see some real challenges this week out on the west coast, so how he rises to them should be interesting.

3.  My third CBJ beer goes to Bobrovsky, for returning to solid form.  After a bit of a lull, which is only natural in a long season, he is back to being sharp, and square to the shooter.  Good stuff.

4.  My fourth CBJ beer goes to trade rumors.  Reportedly Glen Sather, GM of the Rangers has Ryan Callahan on the block, the Rangers Captain.  Callahan is reportedly looking for a 7 year contract at $6 million per year.  That's a pile of dough and term for a 20 goal scorer that you are going to have under contract until he is 35.  Slats is trying to force his hand, and get him to drop the length of the contract.  Columbus is reported to be sniffing around.  While it is tempting to try to carve more of the heart out of the Rangers, who do you give for him?  And do we need another right wing?  After going a decade or more with few right wings, now we have surplus of them.  Weirdness.  Anyway, you go Slats!  Torque with your captain while we are in playoff stretch run.  In fact, I hereby give you a bonus CBJ beer, cause I can.

5.  My fifth CBJ beer goes to a good barn last night.  Well done fans.  Recreation of true Nationwide Arena craziness is still a work in progress, but I heard a glimmer of it last night when Joey scored that first goal.  That crescendo crash of noise, that has clear, vibrant ring to it.  Imagine a full game of that.  That's 'game 4' (hopefully soon never to be referred to again).

6.  My sixth CBJ beer goes to the pure joy of a playoff race.  Checking who is doing what where in the paper every morning, the cheers and the tears as we bounce in and out of a playoff position.  It is going to be that way until the end, and nothing could be finer.  This is a big week on the road before the break.  We need to stay in this until after the break, then try to sprint to the line.  Yee haw this is good stuff!





    Currently beating the Ducks 1-0 in the 2nd period.


    - Joe in Van.

  2. DBJ, sorry to say but you used a Calgary Flames logo for the game against the Florida Panthers. Ooops.


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