What can you say about last night's game? Gutsy effort. Missed chances. Skeleton crew. Pretty much sums it up, don't you think?
First, on the "A" topic on everyone's mind, Puck-Rakers is reporting that Nash's injury is not viewed as long term, and that he was seen walking out of the Joe last night without assistance. No mention of whether there was a limp, but this is potentially a good sign. I will be keeping tabs on the news flows today.
The game itself was a gritty affair, played just the way the Jackets needed to have it happen. Defense was stout, Mason was huge. We created opportunities on offense, but couldn't cash in. If Modin nets that first shot, instead of posting it, and Peca hits the empty net, this becomes a vastly different game. Still, we created lots of chances early, kept pace with Detroit in the circle, had our share of hits, and stayed with them the entire way. The first PP goal was deflating, and I think Mase would like to have that second goal back.
+/- View For The Night:
+ Guts & Effort -- I read so much about how these guys don't show a lot of heart, or that they don't care, etc. How could you watch last night's game and not understand that these guys care deeply and are busting their rumps to try to win? They had every excuse to lay down, and they didn't. In past years, this is a 5 -0 game in the 2nd period. No moral victories, but sometimes you just need attitude to get you through.
+ Mason -- The heat was on Mason to come through and he did. Second goal not a highlight reel moment for him, but he had plenty of those during the game. Great stuff from a young kid.
+ Defense -- We shut them out at even strength, and avoided the glaring errors in our own zone that had haunted us in past games. Commodore just continues to impress.
+ Individuals -- Mason, Commodore, Tyutin, Russell, Methot, Umberger, Voracek.
- Puck Control -- We did a nice job on this in the first period, holding onto it in the offensive zone for extended periods, and keeping the puck away from Detroit. We allowed this to slip away over the last two.
--Special Teams -- PP could get nothing going in the few chances we had, but we had a "B" list cast out there for most of the time, so won't harp on PP. PK was not good, surrendering both goals. As with St. Louis, we started chasing the points when they were in control, stretching out the diamond and opening up lanes for cross ice passes. Need to get back to basics here.
- Opportunities -- Again we failed to finish on some glorious chances. Those turn the whole game around emotionally.
- Individuals -- Peca, Modin. No excuses for continued failure to cash in opportunities. These guys are veterans and need to cash in, particularly with Nash, Huselius, Torres, Brassard, Chimera out.
At the end of the day, we hung with an outstanding hockey club the entire game with largely AHL talent on the ice in the offensive end. Ty Conklin also stood on his head in goal for Detroit. We are still 3 - 2 on a brutal road trip, at .500 overall, and in the thick of things. With a bit of luck on Nash's news, some healthy returns, and some possible help from Mr. Howson, we can beat the Caps on Friday, end the trip 4 - 2, and head into the 2nd half of the season with a majority of home games ahead of us. Lots to look forward to.
Western conference All Star lineup announced today at Noon. We will post results here as soon as they are available.