Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Game 20: Watching Helplessly In Slow Motion

It was one of those scenes from your worst nightmare.

Luke Skywalker watching helplessly as Obi-Wan Kenobi becomes an empty brown robe in one swipe of a lightsaber, as if in slow motion.

Sarah Connor grabbing and rattling a chain-link fence, telling moms and kids on a playground to run, then watching helplessly as a nuke goes off and wipes out everything in front of her, as if in slow motion.

An inch thick piece of frozen rubber trickling from between Serge Bobrovsky's knees, and thousands watch helplessly as it slowly floats across the red line, as if in slow motion.

I suppose comparing a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets to the depiction of a nuclear apocalypse, is laying on a bit thick. Sorry (I teach film... parallels like this happen in my head sometimes).

However, as I stood in Nationwide Arena's glorious CBJ Social Station for the first time, I could think of little more than the split-second urge to find a way to somehow fly over the protective netting and try to stop that puck, screaming "Nooooooooo!" all the way.

Damn it all... what I had was truly a "Sarah Connor moment."

The problem is... that wasn't even the game-winning goal for the Dallas Stars.

That's right... not one, but two Sarah Connor moments in the same freaking game.

The game winner was the thousands watching helplessly as the puck floated through the crease to Bobrovsky's right and seeing Loui Erikkson tap it in as he's falling down in overtime.

Again, you know the drill: Jumping... flying over the protective netting... "Nooooooooo!"... stopping the puck, and so forth.

It was a very unsatisfying ending to an otherwise mostly-satisfying effort by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Jackets responded to an early goal by the stars, despite being outshot 9-3 in the first. The response came loud and clear early in the second, when Nikita Nikitin got the puck through traffic and past Richard Bachman. Then Derek Roy scored for Dallas. Then the Jackets responded with the goal from Derek Dorsett after he followed his original shot, then drove home the rebound of Mark Letestu's shot. Then Antoine Roussel made it 3-2 after two periods. The Nationwide crowd went insane, however, in the third when Cam Atkinson got the puck off the rebound and slammed it home with authority. It was only Atkinson's second game at home this season. He has scored a goal in each.

Then that awful goal by Cody Eakin.

Then R.J. Umberger did achieved a rarity from the last couple seasons... he was clutch. Umby got a rebound just to the right of the slot and soemhow got it around Bachman, with 1:34 to go.

Then, along with three other guys, trying to catch Eriksson 3:03 into overtime, before he can tap the puck in.

A point? Sure. Great.

Still another one-goal loss for a team that worked too hard to have small defensive lapses happen, and small golatender mistakes. When you hear the horn and the Cannon that many times, you should hear it at the end of the game, too.

I'd say all of us in the Social Station probably felt the same way. And although the end result was bad, being able to be a little crazy and high-five everyone around during such a good, quality, back-and-forth hockey game is a great experience, and I'd recommend it to anyone who gets the opportunity.

I still get free Chili for lunch, too.

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