The Shark Tank became the tank once again as the CBJ fell to the Sharks 3-2. It was not the golf fish bowl as it had been to others of recent date. The Sharks now moved to a 7-9-4 record at home, vs. the 16-3-2 road record, the best in the NHL… Included in that impressive display of road kill is a 10 game road winning streak, 2 wins off the NHL record of 12 owned by the Wings.
One can point to breaks and not getting the proper breaks in the course of a game, but that is not the problem. Getting started properly is certainly a key, but the fact that when you turn the puck over six times in the first 20 minutes and the score is still 0-0, is certainly reason for counting blessings. A key this week for the staff and the players is to emphasize practice with pressure from the fore checker on the defense. Minimize the turnover and have available options and outlets.
Give SJ credit for their tenacity on the puck and their physical play. They did take away the neutral zone well, but once the CBJ did chip chase and drive to the net, the breaks came our way. With goals from Andrew Murray (his 2nd of the trip) and Fedorov on a rebound on a shot from Lindstrom (his third point in the last two) the Jackets third period efforts came up one short.
A player's only meeting was orchestrated by the core leadership group in the locker room for a span of 15-20 minutes. The team continues to search for the reasons of inconsistency from top to bottom within conceptual portions of a unit. The structure is in place; now the results need to be forth coming shortly… the care factor is present and growing.
Is there anyone more open to discussion about their team than Ron Wilson? We are fortunate to have a coach like Hitch, who is able to translate his thoughts in a cordial yet prophetic manner. Wilson shoots from the hip and is one coach that loves discussion and in the same breath inquisitive to the presence of dialogue by all.
Duvie Wescott played his 200th game last night. He appears to be getting back to his norm, as he and Russell QB the power play unit and play together as an improving unit.
Congrats to Sergei Fedorov as he moved into the top 50 of career goals and also assists. His output of 2-2-4 in 3 games on the road is a start for his required transformation back to the offensive threat the CBJ needs him to be.
Jared Boll played 13:11 in SJ and collected six more hits. He is one that does not take a shift off and should garner more ice time with the likes of Chimera and Peca on his line.
How about Evgeny Nabokov starting his 41st consecutive game?... His GAA was at 2.02 going into the game and a league high 23 wins should guarantee him a spot to Atlanta for the All Star game.
Patrick Rissmiller, a Holy Cross graduate, scored his third and fourth goals and his first multi-goal game of his career. One of eight kids probably left him hungry each and every day, and if he translates that hunger to the front of the net, look out.
Watch for speedster Torrey Mitchell hockey fans. The product of the University of Vermont has shown great speed and an excellent Penalty Killer. He also has four points the last four games. Certainly since his recall he has found a home on the ice and is certainly fun to watch.
The scoreboard jumbo tron in the "Shark Tank" is one of WOW!! HD quality and warming to the eye, is the product of Silicon Valley research and production. They have a gem on their hands.
The fight back today is a somber one. Back home for 24 hours and then off to STL for a home and home. Let us leave them our SJ "Blues."
*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 1/8 @St. Louis.