That was unpleasant. Tonight’s game had just kind of road start you wish for. Recent offensive juggernaut Derek MacKenzie cleaned up garbage after Fedor Tyutin rang one off the pipe. Just 17 seconds later the 18-19-71 line made the Canes pay with a great forced turnover and some skillful passing. Alas, the Jackets seemed to pack it in after taking the early 2-0 lead. While coming out of the gate hot, the Jackets seemed content to allow Carolina to rack up the shot count, albeit mostly from the perimeter. Carolina stuck to their game plan and exacted their punishment on the Jackets in the 3rd when they Eric Staal broke open the scoring and tied it within 60 seconds. A limp-wristed backhand from brother Jordan beat Ryan Murray and Sergei Bobrovsky with less than 6 minutes to go in regulation to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the night. While the Jackets were able to muster a little bit of an offensive attack with under two minutes to go, pulling Bobrovsky proved unfruitful as the Union Blue squad spent the last 20-30 seconds of the game on the outside of the offensive zone, looking in, unable to take the zone with the extra attacker. Tonight’s stars per NHL.com:
3rd Star: Ron Hainsey
I’m sure every team feels the same way but the Jackets have a great way of getting the best out of their former players when they face them again. I’m not going to lie, Hainsey’s play tonight didn’t exactly stand out as anything outstanding but that could have been related to the venue where I watched the game as I was having difficulty differentiating between their defensemen all evening.
2nd Star: Jordan Staal
The Jordan flavor of Staals got the GWG. Wasn’t a highlight reel goal by any means but then again, none of Carolina’s goals were. Staal simply kept playing through Ryan Murray which few forwards can do. You want to see your goalie stop every shot but this one was particularly high on the cringe-scale for me when I saw it go in.
1st Star: Eric Staal
Well it certainly was a family affair on the choppy ice of the PNC tonight. I also have to imagine that Bobrovsky wants the first goal he allowed against Eric Staal back. I know I sure do. Eric is definitely worthy of the number one star as he nullified a CBJ two goal lead in 60 seconds. The first goal, was on an individual effort and the 2nd goal involving some great behind-the-net play of his linemates.
Game in One Picture
Stud: I’ll give Cody Goloubef the nod for logging some big-league minutes and blocking 3 shots in his first call up of this season. In a night where little went right, it was nice not to have look over our shoulders every shift to make sure the FNG wasn’t a skating liability.
Dud: The officiating. Not for being biased as I’ve seen some have opined but for pretty much taking the evening off. There seemed to be a lot of missed calls where players were being held/interfered with. In fairness, they only gave me what I’ve been begging for: consistency.
While we’ve dropped out of a playoff spot for the time being, the good news is the Jackets have the opportunity to take on the Ottawa Senators tomorrow and the inconsistent Washington Capitals on Thursday within the confines of their own barn. Gaining those 4 points would go a long way towards washing the taste of these past two games from our mouths.
Carry the flag!