Saturday, January 7, 2017

That's Hockey

CMac didn't have the game he wanted tonight.
So if I ran the concept by you during the preseason that Curtis McElhinney would go undefeated from Thanksgiving through Christmas you would give me a bit of the old horse laugh.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  CMac won two games during The Streak (hereinafter capitalized, second longest in NHL history), but the notion that he would go undefeated is a bit of a reach.

So it was tonight, as the Rangers came back and beat the Blue Jackets 5-4 on a last second goal off a turn over, as the Jackets tried to win the game.  Two lessons.  One, when you are skating someone off the ice in the first 10 minutes of the game, you need more than 2 goals.  The Jackets failure to get enough goals to put the game away in the first ten minutes cost them in the end.  The second lesson is that 4 goals ought to be enough to get you the win.  Coming into this year, I thought the Rangers were going to be bad.  But in preseason I heard a lot of talk about how they had gotten much faster.  That was in evidence tonight, as the Jackets did not handle the Rangers speed well.  In the end, that cost them.

Tragically, this loss drops the Jackets to.,..first overall in the NHL.  Obviously I mean that our position is good, but with half the season left it is like a 2 goal lead.  You need to win the rest of the way if you want to make it count.  To do that you have to play your back up goal tender.  Tonight we did, after a long layoff.  CMac had a hard time making the crucial stop, which is the kind of thing you see from a guy who doesn't see the net that often.  So it goes.  It is better to eat this one, and have a rested Bobrovsky for tomorrow's game against the Flyers.  We have already beaten the Rangers once this year.  They managed to draw even tonight.  It is more important to establish something against Philadelphia.

Tonight was a really fun night for this old season ticket holder.   Yes, I would have liked a different outcome.  But the young and talented Blue Jackets squad continues to mature before our eyes.  Like Torts says, it is not the mistakes, it is what you do to correct them that is important.

The Jackets made mistakes of aggression tonight that cost them the game.  So it goes.  Continue the aggressive play, because in the long run, it will take you somewhere.


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