It was another night of first (someone may need to come up with a list to help squeeze out some more wins), but this time it was the wardrobe not the stats that got the CBJ the win.
In honor of wearing the awesome “third jerseys”, the Blue Jackets set up shop in Nationwide Arena and delivered some nasty shots (both at the goalie and at the ducks faces) for a scrappy hard fought and most of all deserving win!
The first period set the tone and hopefully the rest of the season as the blue jackets chipped, edged, out hustled and yes even fought there way through the game. All you need to do is look at the fights Derrick Dorsett and Brookbanks got into for an analogy on the game. Dorsett giving up about 4-6 inches stood tall and delivered some beautiful shots to Brookbanks face and showed the Ducks they aren’t intimidated.
The Ducks definitely have more skill and a lot more speed then the CBJ, but that didn’t matter, there was definitely a “I got your back feeling” on the ice and no one played lights out (minus Mason maybe) but everyone was where they needed to be and the team play was as good as you can ask it to be (hopefully thanks to the players only meeting they had before the game, I think this team is finally behind one another, and even behind the front office).
The Jackets went into the 2nd period tied 1-1 and from there it was all CBJ. The pedal was to the floor and the jackets, with some hard checking and great control over the neutral zone tacked on two more goals to give them a 3-1 lead and gave the crowd a little “thanks for coming out” gift of FRE CHILI!!!
The third period was pretty typical with the Ducks trying there best to get an early goal and set up a last minute push, but what really impressed me was the offense of the BlueJackets in the third. The previous 11 games we have played some great hockey right up until the 55-58 minute mark and then have just shut down. One of the biggest complaints against this team was that they haven’t played 60minutes of hockey; well last night they definitely did and let me tell you, if we could have played like that and keep up the pressure in some of those other games, there would be a whole different look to those standings (I’m looking at you Ottawa).
Some key notes/observations about the game:
- Nash looked a little sloppy and confused at the beginning of the game, just not as sharp as he usually is. This observation was quickly silenced as Nash “dribbled” the puck down the side during a 5-3 and gave the CBJ the first lead of the night very early in the game
- Ryan Johansen scored a fantastic goal last night on the backhand and has been playing lights out. The decision will be made this week on weather to keep him up or send him down. I for one think we not only need him but he has definitely earned a spot in this lineup. Seeing him play live he is a very big guy who uses his body well with his skill, like a younger Umby (how great would it be to have 2 “Umberger” like players in the lineup
- 54 minutes of penalties just through the 2nd period- This was a chippy and physical game right from the first puck drop. Even the players after the game admitted they didn’t have the skill or speed to compete with the Ducks. Hopefully they use this as an example of how to play the rest of the season (Earn it boys, Earn it!)
- Rumors were swirling before the game of Arneil and Howson being on the hot seat prior to the game. Did the team do enough to keep them around? Nash was quoted on saying the team is behind not only each other but the front office and Coaches as well. The players held a private meeting prior to the game- is the team finally coming together?