Sunday, March 1, 2015

Penalties Aid Pens

Johansen scored a nice consolation shorty 
The Blue Jackets most recent tail spin continued tonight as they fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3.  The CBJ played a good road first period, and carried a lot of play, ending the period tied 1-1.  The Penguins roared out of the gate in the second period, and a series of brilliant saves by Curtis McElhinney momentarily kept the Jackets in the game.  After the last save, the puck was lying in the crease, and to clear the puck to the side Wisniewski had to loft the puck over the sprawling McElhinney.  It ended up clearing the glass for a delay of game penalty, and early in the ensuing penalty kill Tyutin tried to lift Crosby's stick and high sticked him.  The 5 on 3 effectively ended the game as the Pens scored two goals in short order on the power plays, to take a 3-1 lead.  The silly penalties continued, and the Penguins scored another power play goal to end the second period 4-1.

The CBJ started the third period by yielding a soft goal to make it 5-1, and the bleeding stopped there.  The penalties continued, and with Jack Johnson off on a cross checking penalty, Ryan Johansen stole the puck at the top of the defensive zone while on the penalty kill, blew by both defenders on a break away, and neatly scored on Fleury.  Later, Corey Tropp took a boarding major against Simon Despres, and got tossed from the game, and may well have a chat with the folks from player safety next week.  The CBJ managed to kill the major, but it took most of the starch out of their game.

With less than a minute remaining in the game, Nick Foligno reminded Fleury that he will continue to score on him with routine shots, by putting one past a defenseman and into the net.  While not affecting the result of the game, it was a good reminder to the Pens that they trail the season series 2-1.

Tuesday's game will be 7 games in 11 days for the CBJ.  They are starting to run on fumes, and with no momentum to help them with this stretch, they are having a hard time putting together complete games, and their breakdowns are costing them.  Arizona flushed their roster today, Edmonton is still a joke, and Buffalo is uncatchable.  Toronto, Carolina, and the CBJ are jockeying for draft position after that.  We'll see how that all turns out.

It was a tough night for the good guys.  The trade deadline is at 3 pm tomorrow.  I won't be sorry if the CBJ don't make any moves.  I think this team can win as constituted.  It just isn't going to happen this year.  But we will know tomorrow how it all turns out.


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