Thursday, December 21, 2006

Choked by the Octopi

Ouch... Last night's visit to Detroit didn't go so well, to put it nicely. The Jackets were crushed by the Red Wings 5-0.

Norrena was in net until five minutes or so into the third period. Conklin, who proudly displays his apparent nickname 'Conks' on his mask, replaced him. It was a rough night for Norrena, who was only able to stop 17 of 22. It seems like when Norrena's on, he's on... and when he's off, he's really off.

Even Hitchcock would agree that you can't attribute the blame to Norrena. The skaters failed to score any goals, and even a somewhat better performance by Norrena wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome. The Red Wings were dead-set on revenge following their fall 4-3 on Monday. They got what they wanted- particularly Hasek, who went from giving up 3 goals in the first on Monday to shutting down the Jackets entirely last night. When playing against the Red Wings, the Jackets need to be on their game. Detroit has been and will probably always be one of the best teams in the league. They're an opponent you have to play up to, otherwise you'll be crushed.

The Jackets had a rough time getting anything going, which is fairly common when they find themselves down by a few goals. One of the old, lasting patterns of this Columbus team is to all but surrender when the odds are stacked against them. It's incredibly crucial for the Jackets to score first. A stat I recently came across stated that the Jackets were something like 10-1-2 when scoring first.

If the inability to generate scoring chances wasn't enough, the Jackets did have one goal disallowed. The puck definitely ricocheted off of a CBJ skate, but it was not a 'kicking motion' that would rule it disallowed. However, the ref saw what happened immediately and nixed the goal, then contacted the Toronto war room. It seemed like a situation where the Toronto folks did not have sufficient evidence to overturn the on-ice ruling, but were not necessarily convinced that the puck was kicked past Hasek.

I've got to shake this game off. The Jackets need to pull out a few more W's in the next week so that they can end December >.500. It's entirely possible.

Jackets lose 5-0 to the Red Wings
Box Score

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