Last night was a first for me.. I regrettably admit that I was unable to watch the Blue Jackets absolutely punish the Red Wings with an 8-2 victory, but you can thank Time Warner Cincinnati for choosing collegiate basketball over a professional sport. (think of the worst and meanest thing you could possibly say to someone, and I probably said it to Time Warner last night)
That being said, and putting my bitterness aside, I am excited to talk about what I saw in the highlights of an 8-2 drubbing. I may as well break this up into points, because I believe I have enough ammo thanks to Anna feeding me in game information…
Rick Nash. Oh captain, my captain. A NASHtrick in only a way he can score it. Three unassisted goals puts Nasher into the record books as the only player in history to achieve such a hattrick outside of the great Maurice Richard. What a tremendous display from an explosive player who can force turnovers every game at pivotal moments. The best thing I can think to say right now, is let’s hope he carries that momentum into the next couple weeks.
Steve Mason…. HAD A GAME! 44 saves, including four or five unbelievable pad saves on NHL Network recap to stymy the Red Wings. If this was not a wake up call for him, I do not know what it would take, but a .957 save percentage against one of the league’s most potent offenses can only spell confidence for this rookie goaltender. In the post game, he admitted he has not been living up to his own personal standards, and was quite pleased with his play.
RJ Umberger.. Scored two goals, including a sweeping deke to the inside of the hash marks and a quick shot that really impressed me. His confidence in a Blue Jackets uniform seems to grow every game, and is by far the Jackets best secondary player. While there may be some disappointment that RJ was unable to take on the number one center role, this position plays far better into his strengths, and should the Jackets make the playoffs, will play big dividends in getting them through their first playoff series.
Special Teams… SUCCEEDED! 1 for 2 on the powerplay, and also kept the league’s best powerplay at bay on six different occasions. I will gladly hand that stat over to my boy Vermette, who is well known as a PK specialist, and can win draws against the best in the league.
Here is hoping this was the wake up call they needed. Carry the Flag!