Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You do this to me, I'll do that to you

Jack with the overtime winner off the backhand
Playing the New Jersey Devils is like going through childbirth.  It hurts, it's sweaty, and you have to live with whatever comes out at the other end.  In this case, the Columbus Blue Jackets kept giving Mike Cammalleri space, and he kept burning them with it, to the tune of two goals, one in the first, and one in the waning moments of the third to tie the game.  In between, Nick Foligno, and Brandon Dubinsky (on a penalty shot) scored for the CBJ, to set up the overtime heroics.

In this case it was Jack Johnson doing the damage, cruising the slot and unleashing a backhand that beat Cory Schneider after the Devils goal tender had turned in another solid game.

The Jackets played tonight like they had winning on their mind, and the Devils were clearly not impressed with the Jackets late season run, so it was a tightly fought and checked affair.  Every time you thought the Jackets had a break going, the Devils would snuff it out, and every time the Devils got it going, the CBJ fought them off.  A late penalty on the Devils caused the CBJ to get lackadaisical on their power play (if you don't move your feet, no one is fooled or impressed by your extra man), and gave up a late shorthanded goal to tie the game.  So there it is, important lessons learned about closing a game out.  Hopefully those will carry over to next year.  As Jeff Little always says, hope is not a strategy.  Oh well.

The season of Unfulfilled Promise and Lots of Injuries winds down, with an entertaining tilt at Nationwide Arena.  I want the playoffs more than I ever have before, but I cannot have them.  I long to hear the thunderous bay of the Nationwide Arena crowd, but it will not happen this year.  That is a deferred reward for good play next year.  The players don't need some lame blogger to tell them the difference.  They know.  And they want it.  It is coming, and next year will be fun.  But for now, we must be patient.  So it goes, with a year of injuries.


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