by professor ggrib
For those who were here last year, today I’m bringing back 2 guest commentators you will recognize. For those who may be new, the two guests are Buffalo Bob and Clarabell the clown. [ If you are too young to remember these 2 characters, they orchestrated the original Howdy Doody show and the peanut gallery on that show. Check it out on U tube if you are still confused] Both Buffalo Bob and Clarabell were at Nationwide for the last two games, games #8 and #9 in this young season.
Buffalo Bob- first let’s review the results of the last two games. Sunday nite, the Jackets won 3-1 over Vancouver. Tue evening, the Jackets won 4-1 over the NJ Devils.
So, Clarabell you’ve become a pretty astute hockey fan, let me ask you a few questions about your observations. Now remember folks, Clarabell does not speak, he honks, and he will write messages, so pay attention and let’s get to the observations and analysis.
BB- Sunday nite saw Curtis McElhinney in goal for the first time for the Blue Jackets. He essentially pitched a shutout [except for a questionable ref call] now, talking your time, and using your board, what did you think of his performance? You know, many people were surprised by his performance. Were you?
Clarabell- Honk ~(:>)) More like pleasantly reminded. Last year after coming back from an injury that was career threatening, he lead Springfield to the playoffs and set a franchise record for shutouts. He has played in the NHL before. Great job C Mac.— Honk ~(:>)) Honk ~(:>))
BB- With 2 wins in a row, does that mean the blue Jackets have turned the corner for this year? That makes them 4 wins and 5 losses, but last year they didn’t get their 4th win until the 13th game.
Clarabell – honk ~(:>ll Not so fast. Too many passes are missing their mark. If my TV didn’t lie, their passing was a bit better Sunday than it has been as I’ve seen it on TV. Tonite, it was better again, after getting off to a slow start. But still the crisp tape to tape passes are way too few. If we can get the passing game going, the boys will impress a lot of people. But, the play does seem to be coming together. Interestingly, the return of Nick Faligno coincides with this improvement.
BB- The Blue Jackets have held the opposition to 1 goal in each of the last two games, and with 2 different goaltenders. Isn’t that a good sign that our defense is coming together?
Clarabell- honk ~(:>ll Bob, you are the optimist. yes and no. The defense has been more responsible. But Nikitin hasn’t played the last 2 games as he has been even more defensive turnover prone than he was last year. Ryan Murray has been given more and more responsibilities and has responded very positively. He was only credited with 1 SOG Tue, but he shot more and was running the power play part of the time. But Niki 6 brings offense. He needs to get his turnovers back in line and contribute. But Bob you are correct, we didn’t leave our Goaltender hanging out to dry very much. But the “D” is not contributing to the offense very much–or not as much as last year. and yes I know Wiz had a goal and 2 assists Tue nite.
BB- The Jackets are the youngest team in the NHL, how’s that working out? Clarabell–Honk ~(:>)) Good. Three of the young gun Jackets are playing NHL hockey. Johansen has become a go to center. Murray is growing practically game by game, and Atkinson is starting fans to coin a new phrase, Cam-a-menia, tending to produce showplace shots/goals. The other rookie, Boone Jenner is having a rookie kind of year, but is playing well.
Professor- Here’s a bit of a trick question, What are the best 2 hits of the last 2 games? BB, well the Boll hit in the 3rd period Tue…….. Clarabell- (:>(( No, it’s the Folegino hits on the Columbus goalie after the game. [The #71 hits on #72 after a win are becoming legendary, Bob almost leaped into Nick’s arms after Tue’s game]
Professor- Would you believe that with the Jackets, Todd Richards is 29 wins and 0 losses when leading after 2 periods. Clarabell- Honk ~(:>)). BB- That’s almost unbelievable. but is probably a function of team determination and playing smart. Ya gotta give credit to the assistant coaches too.