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The First in Nine

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

January 31

The keys to the game tonight in St.Louis were very simple to transcribe… Why? After a sub par effort against the L.A. Kings in a 4-1 defeat at home, the CBJ’s had to adjust there psyche. They had to prove to themselves that they had the intestinal fortitude to overcome such a poor showing on home ice.

The keys to the game were as follows:
1. Knowing the opponent and knowing their style of play, one MUST be aggressive against this team.
2. With the inconsistencies in the net, the goaltending led by Mathieu Garon, he would have to be a STAR!!
3. Losing gets old; therefore a desperate gut check on behalf of all teammates was in the making.

For the record, let it be stated the final score in this contest was 3-2 OT.

From the drop of the puck, the CBJ were led by the physical and inspired effort of Derek Dorsett, who replaced Chris Clark on the third line. He was a warrior. He bled Blue Jacket colors early in this game and he absorbed a lot of followers. He was rewarded with the game’s first goal. He had the edge of a man on a mission. He finished with close to 14 minutes of ice time, a tally and three hits. He was a star!

The CBJ have to buckle down early and late in periods. The Blues scored a power play goal with 1.9 seconds on the clock to allow them back into the game in the first. It is a mind set. It is a correctable cure. It involves the philosophy of KEEP PRESSING with their puck management.

The star of the night belonged to Mathieu Garon. He made 25-of-27 saves and was a master of the leather. He was able to see the puck and controlled his rebounds. He was aggressive on several instances that left him alone with a shooter. He was exactly what the doctor ordered for physical and mental therapy. He was outstanding!

How about Fedor Tyutin? Talking with him this morning, he was taping his stick in a manner that had the eye of a tiger. I said, “Toots, how about twirling the twine tonight?” He agreed, and then someone else pushed the envelope for two… a 5-on-3 blast was in the cards for guys that scored the second goal of the game and played 24:31 of ice to lead the squad.

Kris Russell has to be ecstatic. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime as he emulated past heroics by the future Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer with an end to end rush. This came after a breakaway save by Garon on Andy McDonald. The team was not to be denied. It was what is definitely needed by the CBJ as they prepare for their final road game in Colorado on Tuesday.

A 3-2 OT win was big. It gives the CBJ a mindset and a jolt to the confidence. This is a team that must continue with a spirit that is needed to win each and every night. The odds are against to make it to the Promised Land… but let us all hope the want and the desire relate to more wins. It remains a must!

Stay tuned! We are all off to the Rockies on Monday for a tilt against the impressive and young Avalanche!

*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Bobby Mac's Blog," "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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