The Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to Philadelphia for the first game in a home and home. Ex-Blue Jacket Steve Mason started in net for the Philadelphia Flyers and showed everyone why he was traded in the first place. Glove side is not his strong suit (he should take some lessons from an MLB catcher or something). Unfortunately, this game still ended badly for the Blue Jackets.
The beginning of the game was slow and there were a lot of mistakes being made. The Blue Jackets didn’t get a shot off until 6 minutes into the game. Brandon Dubinsky was called for holding and the Jackets went to the penalty kill, which they killed very well. Curtis McElhinney started in net for the Blue Jackets tonight after being hurt for 2 games. The puck was shot at the net and got past McElhinney, but luckily the defense was there to slide it away from the goal line.
Zac Rinaldo was then called for charging on R.J. Umberger and the Jackets got their first power play of the night. One minute fifteen seconds into the power play, Nikita Nikitin was called for holding (something that seems to happen a little too often). The Jackets played 4 on 4 hockey for 45 seconds and then went to the penalty kill. During this penalty kill, Cam Atkinson scored his first ever short-handed goal!
That was slicker than the grease on a barbecue biscuit.
It seemed like a lot of pucks went over the glass during the first few minutes of the period. Jakub Voracek tried to wrap the puck around the net on McElhinney, but Brandon Dubinsky was there to steer him away from it. Jack Skille broke away from the Flyer’s defense and went high glove-side on Steve Mason to score the second goal of the night for the Blue Jackets.
That’s not only talent, that’s Skille
Later in the period, Skille took a shot off the hand and quickly got off the ice. He went straight down the tunnel to the locker room and looked as though he was in a lot of pain. The collective groan of the Blue Jackets fans was deafening. There was a lot of shot blocking during this period, which is what might have the Blue Jackets from embarrassment during this period.
Brayden Coburn hit Nick Foligno in open ice with his shoulder and left a nice looking cut on his nose. Soon after, Foligno scored on Mason and got justice for his injury. Foligno was also on the ice when Coburn came out of the penalty box and had a few select words for him. They didn’t fight; Foligno said his piece and then skated away.
During this intermission, Aaron Portzline tweeted this:
Skille going for x-rays on his right hand/wrist.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 20, 2013
But then the Blue Jackets tweeted this:
— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) December 20, 2013
Everything came unraveled in the third period. The Jackets were up 3-0 until Jakub Voracek scored to make it 3-1. “Okay, it’s only one goal. We can handle that.”
And then less than a minute later, Coburn bounced the puck in a bizarre fashion to make it 3-2. “We only have 15 minutes left in the game. If we play hard enough, we can win!”
Artem Anisimov passed the puck to Blake Comeau and the Jackets scored! 4-2! “There we go! We can hold this for the rest of the game.”
A delayed penalty was called on the Blue Jackets and the Flyer’s Erik Gustafsson scored with the extra attacker on the ice. 4-3 “Well that sucked.”
Less than a minute later, Claude Giroux tied the game with 3 minutes left in the game. “We got one point. If we work hard enough, we can score and get 2 points.”
During the last minute of the game, Giroux scored again the seal the deal for the Flyers. He wasn’t even looking at the net and he was falling down. “That was a bad period. We’re going to get screamed at tonight.”
After that disappointing ending, I am ready to go to sleep and wake up tomorrow thinking that the third period didn’t happen.