Saturday, October 17, 2009

Craig Button Just Made Me Wet Myself!

Thankfully for you, this is not the title of a new, recurring segment at the blog. These are just some random observations after the CBJ 4-1 victory over the L.A. Kings Saturday, I’ll get to the title later.

After a very disappointing afternoon with the Bucks, it was great to put the sting behind us with a big victory. It would’ve been nice if more of my Columbus brethren would’ve taken advantage of the opportunity and made it to the game. Waaaay too many fans dressed as blue seats for a team that’s been playing as well as the Jackets. Those in attendance were ‘throaty’ as the boys at Puck Rakers would say and were rewarded with two more points for the home team.

Some quick hitters:
• Marc Methot played like a man again tonight. It’s fun to see guys have roles thrust upon them due to injury and really respond. Jackets fans saw that a lot during the playoff push last season when a Steve Mason emerged and some Syracuse Crunch regulars stepped in at key times. With Hejda and Commodore on the shelf, Methot stepped up. Tonight he skated the puck out of trouble, was good with the first pass, was physical, and even drove the net on Nash’s short-handed goal.

• The rest of the D was very solid as well. Mathieu Roy continues to be steady, Russell got knocked around at times but really competed (to use the most overused word in sports), while Klesla, Stralman, and Tyutin really limited the Kings’ opportunities.

• How fun was the Torres – Murray – Boll line?! Hitchcock called them a ‘forechecking’ line. I think they should be the ‘Look over your shoulder because you’re about to be crushed against the boards’ line. Too long?

• Who comes out of the lineup for Filatov and when?

• Mason was tough again. I have to remind myself not to take this kid for granted. It seems like whenever you get the kid a goal lead, you’re pretty comfortable. Get him a two-goal lead and you can pretty much pencil in two points. I hope I didn’t just jinx him.

• Chimera’s goal was huge. Going into the room with the tying goal in the last minute had to make the guys feel pretty good about themselves.

• Hope the guy who got hit with the puck in the third is ok. The bench immediately threw a couple of towels up, but security was a little slower than I’ve seen them in the past. The rest of the section was doing their part in waving everybody down and telling the medics to hurry up.

• Chimera – Pahlsson – Dorsett absolutely shut down Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth, who had each come in playing well. Speaking of Smyth, he didn’t appear to appreciate the whack across the wrist Nash gave him in the faceoff circle. The Captain didn’t seem to give a rip about Smyth’s objections.

• Good to see Voracek get the empty netter. I think he has played very well to this point and who knows, maybe that one gets the snowball rolling.

Which brings me to Rick Nash. Dude was all over the ice again tonight. The cut-in move in the first where Quick had to make a good pad save, driving the net of Chimera’s goal, getting in Smyth’s mush, it’s all good stuff. The best had to be the short-handed goal where Pahlsson chipped it to Nash who proceeded to make Justin Williams look like a forward playing defense against one of the best forwards in the world. Wait, that’s exactly what the situation was. Unbelievable move and wicked backhander.

When former General Manager and current NHL Network Analyst Craig Button broke down Nash’s goal, here was the exchange with the studio host, Brian Duff. It went like this:

Button: “Rick Nash, under Ken Hitchcock, is turning into a complete hockey player. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to consider him for the Selke Trophy (league’s best defensive forward) at some point, that’s how complete he’s become.”

Duff: “What’s more likely the Selke or MVP?”

Button: (without hesitation) “He might have both.”


  1. Nice recap Pepper. I was watching at a local watering hole and was distracted by a lot of bad music on the jukebox. I'm glad I recorded the game so I can watch again this morning. I'm also watching NHL On The Fly and waiting Button's breakdown. Good stuff.

  2. Good write up. I've been waiting for Voracek to be rewarded for his work. At least this gets rid of the goose-egg. The Nash shorty was simply amazing & reminded my of his dispy-d00dle goal against Phoenix. I don't think the Jackets will be sneaking up on anybody this year.