Sunday, November 20, 2011

CBJ at Nashville: A Curse Broken...

Where does one start?

A hockey team off to its worst start in franchise history goes into a building in which it has not won since April of 2006...

...and wins.

The last goaltender to win in Nashville was Pascal Leclaire (wow... remember him?). Since then, the Blue Jackets have started five different goaltenders:

Fredrik Norrena (0-5-0)
Ty Conklin (0-1-0)
Pascal Leclaire (0-2-1)
Steve Mason (0-3-3)
Mathieu Garon (0-1-1)

Those goaltenders combined for an 0-12-5 record.

And Curtis Sanford freaking did it.

Now, that's not to say he didn't have help. In fact, the Blue Jackets got help from the kind of guys they needed most... their primary and secondary scoring.

Jeff Carter finally got that first goal as a Jacket on a shot from the slot that somehow flew right past Pekka Rinne. Vinny Prospal flipped a gorgeous backhander under Rinne's glove to tie the game at 2-2, barely two minutes after Mike Unde-- sorry, my bad... Mr. Carrie Underwood gave the Preds the lead.

R.J. Umberger finally gave the Jackets the lead early in the third, knocking a rebound into a wide-open net for the second of two power play goals on the night.

Giving up the game-tying goal late in the third tends to be scary when you're a Columbus fan. However, James Wisniewski's OT winner made the slip forgivable. Rick Nash didn't score, but he was still a factor with a pair of assists.

I know there has been a focus on fighting and violence in hockey... but any way you slice it, there is something about fists in Jordin Tootoo's face that just makes a Blue Jackets fan smile... especially he fact that once his sissy-slap antics were over, he almost fell over before Derek Dorsett started beating him. Dors flung the stick a bit far in the process of dropping he gloves, but... oh, well.

Jared Boll giving up 20 pounds to McGrattan... less wise. Don't know where they found that guy, but... yikes.

Still, there is nothing that makes a Jackets feel good like seeing the Jackets get that Nashville road monkey of their backs. Especially the timing of it. A point in Boston on the road, two in Nashville, and coming back home against Calgary? Not a bad situation to be in, if you're the good guys... coming off the road with confidence for quite possibly the first time all season.

Whether the Jackets will capitalize on that is the big question.

But we can enjoy this moment for now -- however briefly. There is still a lot of hockey to be played... the Jackets will be playing night-on, night-off for the next week and a half, until a back-to-back with Calgary and Edmonton on December 1 and 2 to wrap the team's first Western Canada Road Trip.

But... hey, one game at a time.

Go Jackets!

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