So after far too much of a delay, finally, your game wrap from last night. A big apology to my partner here and our readers for failing on the preview. You can thank the city of Chicago and their budget crisis for that, which led to my car being in their possesion for most of the day yesterday, which led to a whole day fiasco and thus my failure on the preview (very clever, Mr. Daley, changing the word "and" to the word "or", now making it bafflingly-illegal to park on most streets between 3-7am. At least you're being creative in sticking it to us these days).
I was very harsh on Ken Hitchcock in yesterday's Committed Indian. I made no bones about not caring for his version of anti-hockey, and frankly don't see how that style will net you much success -- which a stuttering market like Columbus needs. Sure Minnesota's gotten to the playoffs, but how'd they do there? Also, there's not chance St. Paul will fail as a hockey-town, so they'll be more accepting of a defensive style. That being said, last night the Blue Jackets were highly effective playing it. For two periods the Hawks were trapped, pushed, rubbed out, and held up. They couldn't get anything going. Passes were rushed and bounced off sticks and feet. This is about as well as the Blue Jackets can do it. And they still lost.
Which is truly gratifying for a couple of reasons. First, Huet once again kept the Hawks in it, though there were only a few big saves he had to make. He also looked as in control as we've seen him this season. His confidence must be high. Second, the Hawks found a way to win, and seem to be able to win any type of game. We can score with anyone, but if you want to grind it out, well, we can do that too if we have to. For the second half of the game, the Hawks were stout in their own end, with Duncan Keith once again doing his Superman thing.
Recently, it's been hang around long enough until our third line wins it, and so it proved again last night. Ladd caused a turnover, Havlat and Keith played patty-cake with the puck until Kicking Bird laced one into the top corner past the impressive Steve Mason. Columbus has a riddler in net. They're paying LeClaire almost 4 million, and he can't even get in the pipes on the second of a back-to-back. You thought Tallon cocked up?
Another win, and a win over a team I couldn't care for less. With Brassard, Voracek, Nash, perhaps one day the BJs will be entertaining. Until that day, I'll savor victories over them just a little more.