Tonight was a turning point in the season. Once again faced with a game where the winner moves up in the standings, the Blue Jackets squared off against the fo*teless (name modified for hate) Avalanche at Nationwide Arena.
Jackets Move to 8th Spot!
Not only was the first period reasonably cautious for both teams, it paved the way for an even more cautious second, and a breakout third period. Both teams playing defense was not a surprise for a Blue Jackets fan post Injury era, but what was surprising, was the play of Steve Mason, so seemed more than penetrable this evening.
A weak goal by Svatos in the first that should have been covered by Mason had the fans not only confused, but somewhat demoralized of their hopes of seeing a Jackets victory. That was the story for almost another whole period of hockey, until Jakub Voracek took the Jackets back to a tie with a shot that seemed to come from behind the net and beat a sprawling and confused Raycroft.
As the second intermission passed, Jackets fans slowly mustered back their excitement, and made themselves heard in the third period, screaming and chanting, and for good reason. A fantastic pass from Russell allowed Umberger to pot his 15th goal of the season to take the Jackets to 2-1. Not only did this excite the crowd, it held them in there for the rest of the game, though a horrifically poor miss by Mason’s glove tying the game at 2, and another two goals by the Jackets veterans.
The satisfaction was clear on Coach Hitchcock’s face in the press conference after the game, citing the fans and players connecting as being a major factor, as well as excusing Mason for his ‘human’esque performance, one because of being under the weather, and two because it was about time the Jackets bailed out their netminder to win a game.
CARRY THE FLAG!