Thursday saw a massive win for the Blue Jackets. In a few words… Exactly what the doctor ordered.. Steve Mason had a big game, stopping all 19 shots he faced. While the game was more tilted towards Roloson, Mason made all of the important saves, and looked competitive for 60 minutes.
Last time Columbus visited Calgary, they saw Phaneuf get thrown out for a hit from behind, Roy making throating slitting gestures, and Regehr cross checking Dorse in the face. If anyone thinks this game will not be full of emotion, you might want to rethink.
With every good home stand, there looms a road trip. The Jackets have travelled to the other side of the continent to play three teams that have just as much to lose as they do. Games against Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver (respectively) will really show the Jackets faithful where this team stands in the ‘likely to’ or ‘likely NOT to’ fight for a strong playoff spot.
There were not very many big highlights in last nights game that favored the Blue Jackets, but one thing that certainly did was the fighting. Jared Boll fought both Moen and Parros, arguably winning both tilts, and Derek Dorsett fought Brendan Mikkelson.
News is that the Jackets have acquired center Chris Gratton from the Tampa Bay Lightning, who tried to bring Gratton back up on re-entry waivers. This is a rather interesting trade, based on the high number of centermen the Jackets have, and the fact that Howson has already proclaimed that nothing has had an effect on his search for a center.
Consider tonight a lesson learned for Jackets players and fans. This team is not unbeatable, they are not perfect, and they won’t win out. They are bound for a crazy finish, but no one can predict where it will land.
Ten games ago, Ken Hitchcock probably sat down his players in the locker room and talked about the importance of wins. Ten games ago, they were sitting in a massive group around 8-12th in the conference, hoping they could propel themselves into a playoff position. Ten games ago, they had games against San Jose, Detroit, and other opponents that typically are daunting enough to send shivers up a players spine.