Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jackets at Devils: Not Totally Satisfying, But...

It's a loss.

However, it's a loss in a shootout... which means the Columbus Blue Jackets are still at least climbing. Getting that second point is still a concern, especially given Curtis Sanford's woes in the shootout (4 of 9 going in, 4-10 coming out).

But the Jackets are moving up. You just can't tell in the standings because they were so far down to begin with... but it is happening. The Jackets have earned points in their last four games (2-0-2), and three of those games were on the road. That zero in the middle is important... but so is the second point.

That point was hard to come by, though, because Martin Brodeur was doing his best "younger Martin Brodeur" impression -- and doing a damn good job of it, for all the shots the Jackets put on him.

However, despite his aforementioned (and continued) shootout woes, Curtis Sanford matched Brodeur's effort, only letting in one goal from a New Jersey team with a lot of weapons. It's hard to be too disappointed in that, because Sanford is a major reason for that 2-0-2 record in the last four.

Another easy game puck goes to Jared Boll, who not only kept playing after taking a head-on hit that likely knocked his broken nose around a bit... but managed to get in front of the net after a hit in the corner, and deflect in the game-tying goal six minutes into the third period.

The Jackets have confidence, after four good games against good teams. The key will be to keep it going for two homes games against two more good teams. Friday brings a rematch with the Sabres, who led the Northeast Division before falling Wednesday to the Bruins -- who still have not lost in November. Then the Jackets take on their old mentor on Sunday, as Ken Hitchcock brings the Blues to town. Hitch and the Blues are 5-1-2 since his hiring. Like I said before, Hitch will make the Jackets' climb tougher.

But the Jackets are still climbing. And that's what matters.

And as we sit down with loved ones and enjoy our turkey and the inevitable turkey coma to come... that is something to be thankful for.

(Just don't mention it at grace... unless you know for sure you can get away with it....)

Happy Thanksgiving.

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