Just a half step behind…. but somehow the Jackets win

 

 

By Professor ggrib

The Carolina game was extremely frustrating to watch. All nite long the Jackets seemed to be a half step behind the Hurricanes. The Blue Jackets seemed to be chasing all nite and as a result, they looked to be beaten to most loose pucks, were forechecked so bad that they had extreme difficulty getting into the offensive zone. And for the most part could not cycle down low.

Passing showed the same discumberlation as passes were just out of reach and dribbling off sticks all nite long.

The Blue Jackets were inapt on their power plays, putting it mildly. [Although Todd Richards must have a self destruction desire, as he has mostly gone away from the previously successful combination of the Wiz/Johansen lines particularly on the PP in favor of the Jack Johnson line in combination with the Johansen line. Maybe he expects the Johansen line to carry Johnson, but Jack has proved nothing this year except he can play a lot of minutes.]

But you have to hand it to the Hurricanes that they took the Jackets out of their game and were well on the way to beating them.   I do feel that there is some intestinal fortitude on the Jackets so they do not just lay down and quit. You have to give the credit for that and winning while not at the top of your game is to be commended.  Commended, hell. It’s a necessity for moving upward. The Jackets have been beaten many times over the years by teams that were not playing their best but in the end found a way to win. It feels good to have that shoe on the other foot.

Jack Skille continues to score. There is no way he is supposed to be in Columbus, but like a good rubber ball, he keeps bouncing back. For his 4th line play, he is a leading scorer. The Jackets were not supposed to be quite the score by committee team as last year, but they seem to get something from the committee every game. Last nite, even Cory Troop scored, breaking the scorer’s sheet for Columbus. {finally} He may have potential, but he needs to find it. Buffalo was trying to send him back to the AHL to develop it, and it seems like that’s where he needs to go.

It’s become obvious, the Johansen line is being targeted by opposing teams as the line to stop. But as all good lines, they keep finding a way to make themselves felt. It was obvious last nite that Foligno was trying to set Johansen up to shoot. The third period goal was the final reward for that plan. It is obvious that there is a familiarity between them as they play.

And after his slow start this year, Anisimov is continuing to score and has moved up the Jackets goal scoring leader sheet again. His behind the back pass to set up Skille’s goal had no look of showing off, just a hockey play, but it sure looked pretty.

We Want the Cup

We Want the Cup

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