Tough Loss in Vancouver, Off to Calgary
Another tough loss, a 2-0 set back on two goals by defenseman Mattias Ohlund and Lukas Krajicek. Both goals were hap-in-stance goals (meaning they just happened to be standing there when they saw the puck cross the line). One has to give the Vancouver Canucks credit for their performance as they stymied the CBJ offense, with a solid defensive effort. It was a team effort by Vancouver but overshadowed by Roberto Luongo and his 3rd consecutive shutout (a new franchise record). The CBJ outshot the Canucks 27-21 and the grade A opportunities were fairly even.
On the injury front for the CBJ is Manny Malhotra who tweaked his knee on an accidental collision with Markus Naslund in period one. Also with an ice bag on his right hand is Jared Boll who introduced himself to Mike Brown, a pugilist who was brought up from the minors to dance with Derek Boogaard a week ago. They will be evaluated when we arrive in Calgary in the morning.
The PP continues to struggle as they went 0-5… That is the total difference the last two games as the PP is now 1-12. In this league, the one way to create scoring is to take care of finishing off a few more of their attempts, and the CBJ have failed to do so.
The overall play the past few games have been solid in the defensive side of the game. The identity of this team is out and respected by both opposing coaches Craig MacTavish and Alain Vignault, the Jack Adams Award winner from a year ago. Hitch has his system in place but is squeezing more out of this team each and every day. We all sit and wait for some consistent offense.
The trip for me has always allowed me to see family in Western Canada. My parents were both native Albertans who moved to my hometown in Dunnville, Ontario after WWII. In Edmonton, it was an opportunity to see high school friends from my old hometown. Both work in nearby Stoney Plain, Alberta. In Vancouver, it was a chorus of cousins, nephews, uncles and a brother that I was able to entertain for a couple of days… and who could forget OSU standout Greg Kostenko, who is working for Ohio Trucking firm Roadway in the city. The days went quick, the weather was respectable and lunch tabs were large… anything for family.
Hitch was in the same predicament as he had two suites set aside for 90+ friends in Edmonton. Always giving of his time and even money, he has a heart for all, making sure they were able to see the foundation he is building.
Tonight I really felt for Rick Nash. In period one, he worked his rear end off to exhaustion, trying to create a little offense by driving and taking things to the net. It stood out to all that watch him play, that there is a void of support when he decides he is going to try to get things going on his own… the answer remains to question.
On to Calgary where there is turmoil in Iron Mike's kitchen. Things are beginning to boil over and the problem is the direct opposite of everybody in the western Conference…goaltending… Mikka Kiprusoff is actually human… but rich!!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you update on all the behind the scenes action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets hit the road. The next road game is 12/1 @Calgary.