Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Time, Space, and a Loss

Hartnell was in fine form tonight
Twice, once in the first period, and once in the second, the CBJ gave Zach Parise time and space with the puck, and both times he buried it against the rookie goal tender Anton Forsberg.  In the waning seconds of the game the Jackets gave up two empty net goals, and scored a goal themselves, but these had little influence on the outcome of the game.  The reality was that the Jackets only scored one goal when it counted, and that's not enough to beat most NHL teams.

The one goal was scored by Cam Atkinson off a really quick, very nice feed off the boards behind the net by Scott Hartnell, who had a very good game tonight.  Forsberg was good enough in goal, holding the Wild to 2 goals, but when you only score one, that's not enough.  The CBJ played very conservatively in the first period, but I am hoping that going forward they will have a little confidence in Forsberg.  He did not look out of place.

Once you give Minnesota a lead in a game like this, they shut the game down, and it is very hard to do anything against them.  Perhaps Nashville is the other team that can do this as well, but tonight was a very typical Minnesota win.  For the CBJ, nothing to hang your head over, but not good enough to win.  With Finland winning gold in the World Juniors this year, our Finnish connection may play out well with the draft.  They have some players who looked very good.  The USA took home the bronze, and Werenski and Milano, both CBJ prospects had some good moments in this tournament.  They also had some moments that would indicate that more development time wouldn't hurt.  More on that in a later post.

Could someone please check Ryan Johansen's physical stats from last year and this year?  I swear he looks like he grew an inch, and all of a sudden nothing works.  Twenty-three is late to be having a growth spurt, but these things are different in different people.  He's got the baby moose legs going again, and isn't coordinated in just about everything he does.  Everything seems off kilter.  I think it highly unlikely he will be this way next year.

Weird game, very conservative and slow paced.  A Minnesota game.  Won't make or break your season, and not something to dwell on.  An uncomfortable home loss, to match the earlier road loss.  Minnesota sweeps the series, this is not where you want to be, as you want to at least split these series.  Tortorella has his work cut out for him.


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