Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sooooo Needed That...

After a massacre in the Piranha Tank on Tuesday and a screwball loss that had Kings GM Dean Lombardi pulling a scientific explanation for a clock "malfunction" out of thin air (and that's the kindest way I can put it)... the Columbus Blue Jackets ended the road trip from hell with a 3-2 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks.

And two of the guys who made it possible, were two guys who needed some positives as badly as their teammates needed this win.

They earned the Jackets some style points in the process. Each Jackets goal brought them into a tie. First, with Brassard taking a pass from Rick Nash -- through traffic, no less --  and putting it past Jonas Hiller late in the second period. However, Teemu Salanne took advantage of the Jackets' tired penalty kill -- courtesy of what was then the fourth penalty out of five in the period.

Then Carter was right on the mark into a wide-open net after Antoine Vermette managed a centering pass as he was falling down.

Even after things like giving up five power plays in one period and being down a defenseman after losing Brett Lebda to an apparent hand injury... the Blue Jackets managed to have good things happen to them at the right time. But they gutted it out. They worked hard for it.

And it paid off when Derick Brassard got a takeaway in the defensive zone and streaked down the left side and let loose a slap shot that flew right past Hiller again. I have to say, it's really great to see the things that Brassard has done since Scott Arniel's doghouse lost Arniel as its landlord. Now, while going 4 goals, 3 assists and 7 in the last eleven games is not exactly earth-shaking, it's certainly better than the 5-7-12 in the previous 33. He's doing good things with the increased ice time.

And Carter. Wow. Yes, this is just one game. It's also only his 31st game out of the Jackets' 52, because of injuries. I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy. I know the rumors are rampant, and I know the term of his contract is ridiculous... but I still think it might be premature to think about moving him.

Again, that's just me.

Now the team has a few days off before coming home for a couple games, the first of which is against Minnesota.

But this was a damn good win. And the CBJ sure as hell earned it.

I'll tell you something, though. I'm glad the California road games are over. Two straight games with extra time is enough for me.

Go Jackets!

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