Tough Luck

by Rich M on December 23, 2013 · 0 comments

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It’s been a wild 4 days for the Blue Jackets. On Thursday night, they went into Philadelphia and controlled the game for 2 periods, but came away with a devastating loss. To illustrate how devastating that loss was, they held a 3-0 lead after 2 periods. They forfeited a 3-0, 3-1 and 4-2 lead all in the 3rd period en route to a 5-4 loss. There have been many lows for the Blue Jackets since they joined the NHL in 2000, but this game defied logic. It was the first time they’ve ever given up 5 goals in a period. The game winner was a wicked back hand from Claude Giroux that went top shelf and put the Philly crowd into a frenzy. It setup a rematch on Saturday night in Nationwide Arena to finish the home and home with the Flyers.

The game on Saturday night was eerily similar to the one just played 2 nights before. The Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a Ryan Johansen goal in the 1st and a redirected goal for Umberger off a Wisniewski slap shot in the 2nd. The Jackets seemed poised to run away with the game with an odd man rush while shorthanded. Dubinsky unleashed a wrist shot that hit the crossbar, came straight down and hit the right post, but avoided crossing the goal line the whole time. An odd man rush is great when you’re shorthanded, but it leaves you open to a rush going the other way. That’s exactly what happened and the Flyers made it 2-1 with a Wayne Simmonds wrist shot that beat McElhinney. Only 20 seconds later Sean Couturier tied the game with only 2 minutes left in the period. It left many in Nationwide with the same empty feeling they had Thursday night in Philadelphia. These Jackets showed much more resolve on Saturday night and took control of the game early in the 3rd. Savard, Jenner, Johansen and Umberger all scored in the 3rd and the Jackets ran away with the game to win 6-3.

The arena had a weird feel to it on Saturday night. It was the return of Jakub Voracek and Steve Mason to Nationwide Arena. Neither had played there since they were traded away from the organization that drafted them. Voracek was and will always remain a fan favorite because of his positive disposition and his friendly nature with the fans while he was in Columbus. Mason started on Thursday night in Philadelphia and looked very shaky, but his team bailed him out in the 3rd. Throughout the game, there were many chants of “We want Mason” and “Mason”, but Coach Craig Berube decided to start backup Ray Emery and stuck with him. On a personal level, Steve Mason was a guy that constantly frustrated me with his flashes of brilliance and wildly inconsistent play. Being a goalie in the NHL is as much a test of mental strength as physical ability. These guys are in the NHL for a reason, but the goalies that can overcome failure are the ones that last.

More tough luck for the Blue Jackets as Marian Gaborik went down with a broken collarbone in only his 4th shift Saturday night after assisting on the 1st Johansen goal. Matt Calvert is out 2-3 weeks with a sprained AC shoulder joint. Ironically, this is the same injury that has put Dalton Prout on IR as well. Next up- Monday 7PM @Carolina

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