Sometimes I wonder if winning a game like that is generally meaningless. Hear me out..
I am a big fan of playing the season out. I think that players are paid for 82+ games a season and they should play at 100% for every single game. That said, what I saw tonight was not a performance that would drag the common fan out to a game just to see it live let alone a common Blue Jackets fan considering catching a game before the season ends. Bulleted opinions here we go!
- The pace was strong for the Jackets for the first 7-10 minutes of the game. They came out reasonably strong, dominated play early, and made the Panthers look like they belonged in a different league altogether. Their offensive zone pressure and shots were generally of a high quality, and it seemed like they had every intention of giving the home crowd lots to cheer about
- The powerplay at the end of the first period was excellent. Two posts and sustained pressure for the entire initial powerplay, along with the delayed call and rest of the period on the five on three. It was sheer misfortune that they did not score during that scramble of opportunities.
- For the (forget the number, just assume many) game in a row, they allowed the opposing team to either dictate play, or play themselves back into the game. It seems to be an exercise were the Jackets players are well aware of their own potential, yet play down to the opposition until it bites them.
- Mason was strong, for the most part. Certainly the wrap around goal would have been something that he would have wanted back, but he made a strong move to cut off the angle and it's a shame the Florida player was not cut off before he managed the wrap.
- You have to like that snipe by Upshall. Takes a great pass by Dorsett (@AlisonL was probably gushing) and in one fluid motion absolutely rips a shot above the glove and off the bar. Upshall just seems like one of those guys that finds himself on the scoresheet and in the minds of the other players 40-60 times throughout the season. As much as I think the Jackets need to focus on some top end talent for the upcoming year, I think Upshall deserves some serious consideration to round out the third line
-That win springs the Jackets to 79 points and sole possession of 21st place. I love and hate to do this, but I would not be too upset to see a couple of teams leap frog them to get a little bit closer to the potentially useful top five picks coming up in this years draft. Then again, if it were up to me, that first rounder would not be in the hands of the Jackets come draft day.
Carry the Flag!