Friday, November 20, 2009

Now THAT was Fun!

For those in Jacketland, there haven’t seemed to be many games where the CBJ have grabbed their opponent by the neck and squeezed for 60 straight minutes. That changed last night as the Blue Jackets dismantled the Dallas Stars on the score sheet and matched every bit of nastiness the Stars threw their way.

The CBJ started the season-long, five game road trip with two first period goals. Rick Nash (who else?) got his team on the board by chipping a loose puck over Marty Turco’s shoulder. The second goal of the game was a killer for the Stars as red-hot Kristian Huselius beat Turco five hole on a two-on-one with Antoine Vermette after a giveaway at the Dallas blueline. Not only was the goal short-handed, but it dented the twine with .3 seconds left in the period. Huge goal for a guy who has come to life in the last couple of games.

The first period featured three fights and a couple of additional scrums to make things interesting. During one scrum that happened in the Dallas end, Turco got involved with Nash and Stephane Robidas. CBJ netminder Steve Mason skated a couple hundred feet from his crease to see he was needed before being sent back to his net by the zebras. Jason Chimera fought Steve Ott after an Ott shift where he tried hitting, kneeing, biting, kicking and/or scratching anyone in a white sweater. Derek Dorsett gave up 20 pounds to Trevor Daley and still gave the Dallas defenseman all he wanted and Jared Boll tried his best to feed Krys Barch some knuckles in their tilt. It was family friendly entertainment at its’ finest!

In the second, more nastiness ensued. James Neal, who reportedly turned down a fight offer from Dorsett earlier in the game (Daley stepped up in Neal’s stead), drilled Dorsett’s head into the glass with his shoulder, knocking Dorsett into next week. It was a gutless hit on a defenseless player. Neal was given the gate and the CBJ a five minute major. The CBJ made the penalty really hurt when Huselius potted his second of the game and Torres roofed his 9th of the season from a beautiful pass from Jake Voracek. Both goals came on the major power play. Mike Modano capped the scoring in the second with a goal off a nice back door pass from Brendan Morrow.

Unlike games earlier in the season, there was no loose or panicked play in the third. The Jackets kept rolling four lines and hitting everything in sight. Mason has an answer for all six shots directed his way in the third. Jackets win, Jackets win 4-1.

The CBJ run their record to 12-6-2 through 20 games and remain two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division. They sit 6th in the Western Conference standings and look to a tough matchup with nemesis Nashville on Saturday night.

Carry the Flag!

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