Sunday, November 27, 2005

Columbus 4 St. Louis 3

Wow, the Jackets win a close game... on the road no less and Jody Shelley gets an assist on the game-winning goal, scored by Aaron Johnson on a third period power play. Rookie Gil Brule netted his second of the season also in the third period. Manny Malhotra had a quick goal out of the gate (37 seconds into the game) and later added an assist to continue his offensive awakening.

The scary trend continues: Columbus was outshot 34-19. Interestingly, Zherdev and Federov had a combined two shots on goal. No one on Columbus had more than 2 SOG. Another strange first period: Columbus defended four penalties and yielded a power play goal. Got to keep that penalty killing unit of the ice more.

Groin injuries to Adam Foote and Marc Denis kept them out of the lineup. In Foote's absence, Duvie Wescott logged an impressive 31:37 of ice time and even managed to get an assist on Brule's goal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Nashville 4 Columbus 2

"We didn't show up to play for a period and a half and it cost us the hockey game. We played a great third period, but it's just one period -- we can't do it for 60 minutes. That's been our problem all season long." - Gerard Gallant

Nicholai Zherdev scored his fourth goal of the season with assists to Federov and Vyborny. Foote injured his foot in the first period and did not return. It was a shooting gallery last night: Nashville outshot Columbus 41-37.

Manny's finally off the schneid, scoring his first goal of the year in the third period. Rookie Gil Brule and Duvie Westcott got assists on Malhotra's power play goal. Shelley was on the ice for 4:35. In that time, he was -1 and had a cross-checking penalty.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dallas 6 Columbus 3

The old saying "there's good news and there's bad news" is the theme of this post.

For a change, first the good news. Free agent signee Bryan Berard has been great. He scored two goals last night and has led the offense from the defense position. Not too shabby. Three goals netted by Columbus is like 8 for another team. The bad news is, of course, that Dallas scored 6.

More enteratining, actually scoring goals and even one on the power play is good news. Losing again is bad. Columbus slumps to 5-15 on the season.

We'll see how Fedorov, who was traded by Anaheim for forward Tyler Wright and rookie defenseman Francois Beauchemin, fits into the mix. Will the experienced player's impact raise the team? Will Zherdev be inspired by Federov? Possible good news down the road to mitigate the waiving of solid defensive center Todd Marchant. He got caught on a team that need scoring while it waits for its ace to heal. Expect Nash back by mid-December, which won't come fast enough for Jacket fans.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

St. Louis 2 Columbus 0

A goose egg against a team that had lost 11 games in a row. True to form, the Blues eeked out only 16 shots against Marc Denis. Unfortunately, two third period goals sunk the Jackets on their home ice.

For the Blues, Lee Stempniak broke the scoreless game after picking off a sloppy pass in the Columbus defensive zone by Bryan Berard. Stempniak then came in alone and beat Denis on a quick deke and a flip into the net. The Blues added a late goal but one was enough. Despite Columbus outshooting St. Louis 36-16, goalie Curtis Sanford gets star of the game for the shutout.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Canucks 5 Blue Jackets 3

Another road game, another road loss. Apparently the point that management tried to make to Nicholai Zherdev came across. A healthy scratch last night, tonight Zherdev was hell on skates. In a losing effort, Zherdev scored two goals and assisted on the other (Vyborny). We'll see if there is a carryover effect or if the lesson holds for only one game. At the very least it's nice to see Gallant try something during this tough stretch. Penalties again killed Columbus as they gave up two second period power play goals to erase a solid team effort in the first period.

No Rick Nash tonight. He hurt his left knee last night in Calgary and they held him out of the lineup. Vacouver's Markus Naslund scored his 8th goal of the season into an empty net with 10 seconds left in the game.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Columbus at Calgary
third period

Denis loses his goalstick and Calgary catches the Columbus defense asleep. Reinprecht sneaks one by Denis to tie the game.

Not much in the way of results at this point, but the power play looks much better with Klesla and Nash in the lineup. The unit looks faster and more polished.

Wow, what a great glove save by Kiprusoff robbing Nash. Big stop. Two minutes later Calgary gets a goal that pinballs off of Denis and Nilson as the Calgary player crashes into the goal. The puck crosses the line a split second before the goal comes off the moorings. 2-1 Calgary.

Nash lands awkwardly as he tried a move and limped off the ice. His next shift is a short one; on ice for only a few seconds then later he left the bench.

A two-on-one with 4 minutes left, Letwoski and Fritsche with Letowski shooting one into the pads of Kiprusoff.

Columbus pulls Deni with less than a minute left. shortly thereafter Calgary takes a bad penalty to give Columbus a power play. Malhotra wins the key faceoff, but the Jackets cannot amount an attack.

A very entertaining game concluding with that familiar empty feeling at the end.

Calgary 2 Columbus 1
Columbus at Calgary
second period

Early in the second period Nash makes a tough hit ands Vyborny finishes off the play for the goal that makes him the Blue Jackets all time scoring leader. 1-0 Jackets.

Goertzen and Ritchie go at it after Goertzen gave a bit of a high hit on a Calgary defenseman. It has been a tough hitting game. The kind of game you expect when playing a Sutter coached team.

Fantastic play by Nash that led to a great scoring chance for Malhotra. From behind the Calgary net with a guy on him, Nash slipped a pass betwen his legs; Malhotra drew it across to his forehand but fanned on the open net. A beautiful play that made a nice highlight but not a goal.

Denis brain farts and gets the no goalie handling the puck penalty. That's one brain fart for each goalie. It makes me wonder why the NHL will equate (timewise) a goalie playing a puck with slashing or roughing. Wouldn't making this offense a whistle and faceoff in the defensive zone be enough?

Wescott gets a holding penalty with a little more than a minute to go in the period. A fitting end to the second. Columbus 1 Calgary 0
Columbus at Calgary
first period

The longest period of the year

Penalties again! The first period was penalty riddled. Sheesh, they got one within the first two minutes of the game. Too many men on the ice a few minutes later. A couple of minutes later a Jody Shelley penalty erases a goal by Goertzen. Follow that penalty wih yet another by Shelley who managed to not get back to the bench after leaving the penalty box! Unbelievable. The offense will not gain any momentum if they have to spend more than half their time killing penalties. Shelley and McCarty battle and each traded a few before being sent to the lockerroom for the remainder of the period. Malhotra gets a holding call and Calgary gets power play number five in the first period. Luckily Kiprusoff has a brain fart and handles the puck outside the restricted zone for goalies. The period mercifully ends somehow without any goals. Calgary has 11 shots to 4 for Columbus. Note: two of those shots were slow clearing shots by penalty killers that just happened to be on goal.

Nicholai Zherdev was a healthy scratch.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Oilers 5 Blue Jackets 1

The game featured the return of Rick Nash and Rusty Klesla. Nash made his presence felt in the first period when he decked Michael Peca with a solid check in open ice. Peca sustained a mild concussion from the hit and did not return. A few minutes later Klesla scored from the point on a low shot that Nash actually jumped over and served to screen a helpless Markkanen.

Denis made a beautiful save during Edmonton's first power play. He sprawled across the crease to stone the winger and keep the game scoreless. The first period ended knotted at one with the Blue Jackets rising in energy.

Talented Edmonton forward Ales Hemsky (4 points in his last game) scored an early power play goal in the second, a short-sider that beat Denis. He looks like he plays the game a bit faster than everyone else on the ice. Edmonton has a good one in Hemsky.

Defenseman Luke Richardson absolutely nailed winger Georges Laraque two times in the Columbus defensive zone along the boards.

Edmonton rang two shots off the post in the second period. Too many penalties. Two third period goals by Edmonton within 41 seconds of each other put the game away. The first period ended with the Blue Jackets charged and the thir period ended wih Edmonton skating circles around Columbus.