Perhaps we spoke too soon. Anyway, let me first send out a hearty congratulations to Bethany and all her fellow Blue Jackets fans for clinching their first playoff berth. Though we make fun of them, and they've been an annoying division opponent for years, this is a fandom that has been more loyal than they get credit for, and are fully worthy of finally being rewarded for it. Whether we like it or not, the NHL would be better off if markets it's currently in get solidified, as a league loses credibility when teams move/fold. This will only help Columbus, and hence the league as a whole.
What to make of tonight's game? Not really sure. There was good and bad, which sounds totally wishy-washy, but I don't know what else to say. I will say that Rick Nash had the most interesting game of an opponent in the UC this year. Stoned on a penalty shot, scored in his own net, and then put home the goal that probably will be remembered by all Jackets fans. Eventful, no?
The 1st was a real solid period. After Nash found Nikolai HarveyBirdMan unbreakable, the Hawks took the lead ON A POWER PLAY! Why? Probably because the man-advantage snuck up on them. The Jackets took a penalty to cancel out their power play, and Seabrook stepped out of the box to receive a gorgeous feed from 51 Phantom to put home the winner. Seabrook looked as surprised as we were that he buried that chance. A word here: Campbell had his most solid game tonight in a long while. You'll see that in the Corsi. He gets a lot of shit, and most of it rightly so, but how many defensemen on the Hawks are capable of that pass? The answer is 1.
The Hawks made it two when VERSTEEG! caused a turnover and started a 2-on-1 with Bolland. Bolland got bailed out from trying to be too cute after receiving tha pass and banked one off the sliding Nash. From there, it should've been academic.
But it wasn't. The 2nd saw Matt Walker leave Vermette unattended to bang home a Nash rebound, and Hammer caught an ugly bounce from the boards that he probably should've gotten a glove behind to let in Vermette and Williams on a 2-on-0. Tie game. Once again, Jesus Havlat Christ came to the rescue. Even though Kane's dish to him was close to cum-on-tits sweet, the thought process stil must've been, "Hmm, this pass is a little in my feet, think I'll just bang this one off the near post. If that's all right with everyone."
The 3rd saw the Hawks pretty much shut down the BJ's, except for one glorious save by Khabby after a Barker turnover led to a 2-on1. But then Seabrook broke his stick, and that slice of bad luck led to Nash putting the BJ's in the playoffs. After that, Columbus barely sent anyone over the red line.
Overtime saw the Hawk finally grab a 4-on-3 of their own this year, and Mason made some incredible saves to preserve the tie. I know a lot of people questioned the choice of Bolland as the 3rd shooter, but you know how I feel about the shootout. It's a lottery, can go either way.
So, one point away from cinching this up, and though we'd have preferred otherwise, the Hawks should get one anyway. Though I think the Oilers will get one off the Flames, and take us off the hook.
Your shfit charts
Player of The Game
What the hell, he created the 1st goal, and was a +1, and probably hasn't before, so we'll give it to....
ANNOUNCEMENT: The three writers of this blog have decided that we would like to invite everyone to Whirlaway on Saturday afternoon to watch the Hawks and Scum. Our good friend Sergio is kind enough to open early for us. So if you'd like to come out and meet and be totally disappointed in the jackasses who write this site, by all means come and say hello. Either way, the three of us will be getting rocked.