An Amazing Piece Of History . . .
By: Jeff Little • April 24th, 2009
I may have just witnessed the most amazing period of hockey in Bluejackets history. In the playoffs for the first time . . .at home . . .against the Red Wings . . . elimination game . . . trailing 3 – 1 entering the period.
First, under 2 minutes in, Nash on the far post tips in a Klesla feed for the Captain’s first playoff goal to bring us within one. A few minutes later, Umberger scores a second power play goal to tie it, with Steve Mason getting his first playoff assist!!!
Scene shifts to Detroit. Our defense has been awful tonight, and we allowed Detroit to hold the puck forever, with Hossa finally parking one with 13:01 left. After a suspect cross-checking call to Nash, Hossa backs it up with a nifty power play goal to reinstate a two goal lead. Lights out, thanks for playing, right? Wrong.
With 4:15 left in the period, Russell takes the puck from Torres in our zone and leads a tight 3 on 2 break. He looks off Osgood and parks it high far corner. 5 – 4 Detroit. Finally, with 1:56 left, we cycled and cycled, looking like Detroit, and Modin scores with an assist from Rome. Tie game.
The crowd is absolutely bananas. Here in the Press Box, lots of amazed faces. (No cheering allowed, but there is a tacit understanding that this was an amazing period of hockey).
Osgood is vulnerable tonight. We have a good chance, but need to support the puck better in our zone. 20 minutes – live or die — promises to bring some more amazing hockey.
A native of the SF Bay Area, my first exposure to hockey was the SF/Oakland/California Golden Seals, including Charlie Finley and the white skates. Fast forward to the late 1980's when Gretzky and the Kings came up to the Bay Area for an exhibition game at the Oakland Coliseum Arena, for which we had glass seats. I was at the first San Jose Sharks game in the Cow Palace, and followed them for their first few pathetic years, before moving to Columbus in 1994. I attended the first pro-NHL rally downtown, and have been a season ticket holder since Day 1, wife & I are active in the Jacket Backers, and son is an avid fan as well. I cover the Jackets for Inside Hockey, and contribute regularly to a variety of hockey sites. I maintain contact with the Jackets organization, and like to dig into stories, bringing a fresh, and sometimes irreverent perspective to hockey.
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