Friday, March 27, 2009

Nation-wow Arena..

It is hard to collect all my thoughts on a game that ended so well for the Jackets.  While I think they could not have done any better on the scoresheet, I still think there are some serious issues with either the team of the league referees.

But let's start without the conspiracy.  After squandering a free game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Jackets came out like a powerhouse last night, scoring two goals in the first and never looking back.  They controlled many aspects of the game, most notably the faceoff circle.  The final faceoff total was 44 to 24 in favor of the Jackets, with Antoine Vermette winning 20 draws and only losing 6.  That kind of statistic is extremely valuable to a team, because gaining possession off the draw can lead to a lot of opportunity.

The second thing I want to point out is the powerplay.  They went 2 for 5, and scored a goal two seconds after a penalty expired, so I am comfortable suggesting that their powerplay scored or caused 3 of their 5 goals.  That is 60%.  That is 47% better than their current average over the span of this year.  It certainly gives the fans an idea of what a game looks like when their hometown team knows what to do with the puck.  I am ready to couple that with the efficiency of  the top line tonight as well, which is my final point.

Huselius had 4 assists.  For a guy who has been under my gun for the last month on account of turnovers and terrible passes, I think it is time to give him a game or two break from my bad books.  Having a hand in four of five goals is a very big deal, and I am ready to give him plenty of credit for last night's game.  The same can be said (and expected anymore) from our captain Rick Nash.  Also getting 4 asssists last night, Nash has now eclipsed his previous point record of 69.  Steve Mason continues to impress with his league leading 10th shutout of the year, and is building his case for rookie of the year.

I will only briefly touch on this supposed conspiracy.  For the last few games, I have kept an eye on the officiating, and it truly does seem as though Columbus has been getting the shorter end of the straw.  It started with the horrible call on Jared Boll for diving against the Blackhawks, and continued into last night with calls that seemed to favor Calgary each time.  While I do not believe it is fair, it is what the Jackets will have to continue to overcome if they want to make the playoffs and beyond.  They will need to understand that some teams are simply given more respect by the officiating crew.

Expect my standings update soon.   Columbus now stands 6 points ahead of 9th place, and the Jackets can not look back!

Carry the Flag!


  1. It was just too cool to watch the team finally truly gel & play as we've all thought they could. And to see Rusty fight? Wow!
    It would truly be nice if Bettman & whomever would do something about the officiating, but I don't think I'll hold my breath. Last night, as with other nights, it's as though the officials think they need to keep everything "equal" between the teams & that's just not their job.

  2. Yuss!! Rusty threw a few beauty rights as he was taking down Bertuzzi. I loved it.

  3. Ummmm...are you forgetting about Boll's fight? and the fact that he got tossed? My goodness!