Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tough Week Ends with a Perfect Win

Yesterday Ken Hitchcock was thankful for a complete victory by the Jackets on home ice against the Capitals. In front of a big crowd, Rick Nash had two goals and rookie goalie Steve Mason earned his second shutout in the last two weeks. It's always a tough task keeping down both star Semen and superstar Ovechkin, and Mason was up to the task, turning away all 26 shots by Washington. Mike Commodore keeps paying dividends as a signed free agent this year. He almost always leads the team in ice time and, more importantly, he brings the veteran leadership that the team needs at the blue line.

The game was important for a few reasons. First, Thanksgiving weekend against a good opponent provided a large crowd. Not a lot of large crowds in Columbus these days for the Blue Jackets, so it was great to see the team play well for them (or is that, in part, because of them?) The years of poor play have worn down the Columbus faithful, so it is heartening to see a good crowd get rewarded. The victory was also important after the heart-breaking way the team lost their last two games (Detroit and Phoenix) by late errors. Lastly the team has shown that they can win without Pascal Leclaire. Mason has played well enough to push into the goalie rotation. Leclaire deserves to play again, but Norrena might be working elsewhere soon enough.

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