This win was not elegant, but was poetic in its own bizarre way. By winning a game where they did not score the first goal (first time this season for that), were not clicking on all cylinders, and had to once again come from behind twice, they solidified the lessons learned over the past week. In his postgame comments, Hitchcock noted that this win was “building on Saturday night’s victory.” Not to brag, but it seems this blogger predicted that in the Saturday night installment . . .
Some highs and lows of the night:
Fast Start — The boys came out of the box with some jump, forced Vancouver into some early penalties, and had some glorious chances!
Letdown — When Sanford stopped everything we threw at him in the first period, it seemed to take a bit of the jump our of our step. We continued to play hard, but the “edge” was a bit softer, the passing a bit more ragged.
Power Play — I am going to give a B to the power play tonight, despite being 1 for 8. We created a ton of chances early on, and had some great possession. Modin finally buries the biscuit, and we really had great pressure in 3 or 4 of the power plays, particularly early on. We had trouble entering the zone, and played dump and chase more often than you would like to see on the PP. However, we weren’t playing Columbus School for Girls here. Vancouver sets up that picket line in the neutral zone and makes it very difficult to carry the puck in. Work in progress, but solid improvement.
So Good It’s Silly — Nash’s seemingly blind pass from a double team across the crease to Huselius, who has his stick ready and rams it home. It’s the type of play we have seen executed against us late in the 3rd way too many times over the years, and the hockey gods are starting to let us get even. Great play.
So Good It’s Silly — The Sequel — Mason during the seemingly eternal final 1:56 of 6 on 4, performing what Bill Davidge called a “snow angel with a half twist” in keeping what was a sure goal out. If you have not seen it, find the video and watch — I will try to find it and post it here. Mason is in a zone all by himself right now.
Nice Efforts — Our fourth line played great all night, and it was nice to see Murray get rewarded. Umberger, Russell, Malhotra, Murray all impressed. The Goat line had some energy, but just couldn’t quite get things clicking. They will be back soon. Boll is looking stronger.
Overall, this was one we would never win in the past, and won this time through sheer tenacity. The mark of a good team is one that can win over tough competition, even when the “A” game is not there. We did that tonight, in spades! Catch NHL On The Fly tonight — nice things to say about the CBJ, Nash and Mason. Nice to hear us getting some positive press from the national media!!
Off to California for a big road test. Go Jackets!!