On my post last week I said that the Columbus Blue Jackets needed to play with heart in order to beat the Detroit Red Wings; needless to say, the Jackets played as though they had just had their hearts broken. The game on Sunday seemed doomed from the drop, as the Jackets played a lackluster game and the Red Wings, seeking revenge from their beating two weeks ago, played like bats out of hell.
Scoring right off of the buzzer, at :29 into the game, Detroit seemed poised to lead a massive attack. That goal, however, was waved off after it became apparent that one of the Red Wings, Tomas Holmstrom, was hovering around in the crease. That was a nice gift to the Blue Jackets, and the only one that they would get all night.
The Red Wings, feeling robbed, quickly poured it on the Blue Jackets, and led them with a 15-7 shot count at the end of the first period. This unbalanced shot count led to two goals for Detroit, one when both teams were at normal strength and the other during a 5-on-3 power play. This is how Detroit wins games; they score well and quickly on power plays, then they just hold the other team off.
The second and third period, though they were dominated by Detroit, seemed a little more equal in the playing of the teams. Detroit scored twice more, once with 1:32 left in the second and the last time with 11:20 left in the third. It was that third goal that sealed the deal, and left Columbus fans with sour tastes in their mouth. Columbus goalie Steve Mason had a great game, and blocked 26 shots (compared to 23 by the Detroit goalie); he just didn’t have the support of the rest of the team. It looked as though Columbus was just tired, and they played like they didn’t want the win.
On a side note, why is it that OSU is interjected into everything done in Columbus? I understand the attraction to the University, as it is one of the cities biggest industries, and houses the biggest sports team, but it had no place. I was happy to see Jim Tressel at the game, but the idea that the Jackets should be rivals with Detroit simply because of the college football rivalry makes no sense. The Blue Jackets are fledgling, but they are building their own rivalries and history; why should it be interjected with Buckeyes?