A 2-1 win in Phoenix was manufactured by crucial goaltending by Fredrik Norrena and the speed of Jason Chimera. They were classified as stars of the night.
Arguably one of the best road efforts of the year in SJ resulted in a 2-1 OT loss, a total team effort by all, but Chimera was earmarked as the games #2 star.
The CBJ worked hard through two periods of play, trailing 1-0 on Marcel Goc's third goal of the year. It was the first shot of the game and only one of five shots SJ could muster through two periods. The CBJ had a total of 26 shots but failed to twirl the twine. Nabakov put up the wall on a couple of breakaways by Chimera and a penalty shot by Nash.
The final stanza found the team still skating, banging and frustrating the Sharks and finally found the net. Chimera drove to the net hard and broke away from the defenders only to find a pin point pass from Peca on his stick. Thank you very much, as the possible 40th shutout (since 2001-02) of Nabakov's career was spoiled.
The game had the passion of a playoff game and grit of training camp. Referees Tom Kowal and Rob Shick allowed the combatants to play for most of the contest as the CBJ were 0-2 on their PP and the Sharks went 1-4. Until the last few minutes of the third and the OT period it was great to see the players play the game… but with Jan Hejda in the box for interference, Joe Thornton scored his 16th of the year. The bubble that was created by hard work and the want for the extra point was quickly burst… and we took three out of four points, but as the title says, we should have had one more.
Chimera now has three goals in the last three games since signing his four-year deal. He is relaxed and is having a ball. That is when the high strung winger can play his best, and it comes at a time that the team can cherish.
Freddy Norrena has stepped forward since the injury of Leclaire and has shown the traits of the goaltender of old. Still no support from the offense, he has closed the door allowing only three goals on the 49 shots directed his way. He has allowed two or less goals in 13 of the 23 games he has played.
Jody Shelley has found a locker room that respects him and warrants his leadership capabilities in SJ. In talking with Ron Wilson, the head coach, Wayne Thomas the VP and Assistant GM, and players like Mike Grier and Jeremy Roenick, the door mat has been laid out and he has been welcomed warmly. He produced an assist and was voted as third star of the game by the SJ media. Good for you Jody, knowingly all of us with the CBJ want him to have a successful stint with the Sharks.
With the flight back to Columbus, the Kings look to be crowned on Sunday. Let us anoint them with a coronation to be remembered by all… especially the fans. We owe them one!!
*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 2/15 @Detroit.