After a difficult road trip, the Blue Jackets are finally going to get a chance to rest their weary legs. Beaten, battered, and riddled with injury, the boys will get the much deserved break they have sorely needed for weeks, while the all-stars meet in Montreal.
A Much Needed Rest
But I will not be settling for thoughtful digression here. I am quite angry as a Jackets fan waiting for the team to float above the ‘red bar’ rather than below it, and frankly, I am not sure that my issues can be resolved by any one player or coach (or Injury Ninja).
Steve Mason made his fifteenth consecutive start yesterday, and showed clear signs of wear, comparable to what we saw in the Vancouver and Edmonton game. You would think that seeing his stats flare above normal would be enough for Hitchcock to give their new (and very capable backup) a chance in at least one of the three games, but in a very non-hitchian way, we were forced to watch and feel sorry for the tired rookie.
Other notables on the trip were things like Modin and Tyutin on the powerplay, struggling to make the right play at the right time, and both forcing unnecessary shots on 5 on 3s that never saw pad or twine. We saw Dorsett get hit with a stick to the face, in a move that in most cases warrants 5-10 games worth of suspension, but in this case, did not even merit a 5 minute major (and yes, I will be going more in depth later on this). We saw RJ get hit from behind, and cut, only to come back and score the first two goals of the game, which will go down as one of his best games as a Jacket.
A finally, we saw a player take control when control was what we needed. Kris Russell played his heart out in a game that needed a player to step up. His constantly strong defense and great ability to move the puck into the offensive zone were tremendous help in netting four goals on Kipper.
It was a strange trip, and a lesson for the Jackets. The playoffs are NOT going to be on a silver platter this year.
Carry the Flag!