I felt that I should give myself a day after that weekend home and home sweep at the hands of St Louis. I do not know if I can truly project my disappointment towards their ineptitude in regards to beating St Louis or at least retaining their comfortable position in the standings, so we will get started here and see where it goes.
It is hard to collect all my thoughts on a game that ended so well for the Jackets. While I think they could not have done any better on the scoresheet, I still think there are some serious issues with either the team of the league referees.
It looks as though Howson has made a ruling on center Derick Brassard, who had surgery in late 2008. While the center is recovering famously, playing him before May is extremely unlikely, which would basically put him out until the second round of the playoffs.
While the Jackets have been boasting a tremendous 7-3-0 record over their last ten games, it does not really provide a good explanation of how they got there. The game against the Chicago Blackhawks last night is fairly indicative of their windy road.
- Quick weak goal on Mason..
- Line 1a gets a great tip to tie..
- Crazy ricochet off the boards from a Methot point shot buried by Dorsett for the 2-1 lead..
- Blown coverage leads to a nice goal by Kane..
- Period ends.
- Hedja falls asleep while Toews capitalizes for the 3-2 lead..
- Nash scores on a lazy wrister that beats a lazier Huet…
- Period ends.
- Refs fail miserably calling Boll for getting tripped by a stick..
- Refs fail miserably to the point of 15,000 people booing every time the powerplay (aka Chicago) touches the puck..
- Klesla gets called for being physical..
- Period ends.
- ANTOINE VERMETTE SHINES!!!!!!!
Tonight, the Jackets finish one of their biggest statement weeks of the year against the Detroit Red Wings, who they beat 8-2 last weekend. Confidence will not be of short order, as both teams are coming off wins.
For two periods of play tonight, the Blue Jackets continued their unstoppable play. Consistent with their effort against both Detroit and Boston, Columbus came out of the gate with the desire to win, and gained a three goal advantage.
- Vermette scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket, and his 10th goal of the season. He also got an assist on the Williams goal, which was one of the better plays of the game
- The Jackets are 3-0 with Vermette in uniform
- They have tied their franchise best in wins at 35, and expect to shatter that record before the season ends
- Mark Methot suffered a blow to the head during the game, and a concussion has not been ruled out
- The crowd was also a record at 19,167 aka 105.7% full
A familiar face returned to the Jackets lineup recently. Marred by injury this season, Rusty Klesla is finally off IR and making a difference on the ice. I personally was on the train that pegged Klesla as good deadline trade bait, but it is time for me to digress and appreciate his talent.
While the Columbus defensive corps are full of promise and potential, there is always room for a player like Klesla, who has the size advantage, and a lot of the time a hockey sense advantage over many of the other d-men on our depth chart. With Tollefson on IR with an injury, the need for physicality will be filled perfectly by either Mark Methot or Rusty Klesla, which leads me to wonder.. Who are the odd ones out?
I would be fairly comfortable in assuming Commodore and Hejda will be safe on the roster for the remainder of the season. Both are playing strong defensive games, and have been known to step it up against the opposition’s best lines. Tyutin and Russell are staples on the powerplay, and seem to have earned their spot on Hitchcock’s depth chart.
That leaves a recovering Klesla, injured Tollefson, Christian Backman, Aaron Rome, and Mark Methot in limbo. Based on any kind of consistency, Klesla will outplay every one of them, (unless something unexplainable happened to his abilities) and OKT will be recovering, which would leave the remaining four players competing for a single roster spot. Now, the fact that Hitch has had the common sense to sit Backman through multiple games gives me some confidence. I know his contract is robust for what he can (and clearly can not) do on the ice, which leads me to believe that when push comes to shove, the position will not go to him.
The concern I have is whether or not Hitchcock will be willing to sit Aaron Rome. He would have to clear waivers to return to Syracuse, and from what I have heard and read, the organization really likes what he can do, meaning that Methot will flat out have to be brilliant to obtain a position that in reality should be his.
What are your thoughts Jackets fans? Will Rome take the spot by default, or will Mehtot get a fair crack at the roster down the stretch?
Carry the Flag!