Though the fans were on their feet, and the team was rocking, the Jackets were unable to convert on any more opportunities. Heading into overtime, the team was looking for a quick finish, and a victory before heading out tomorrow. They didn't get it. Instead, San Jose kept them out of the net and forced the shootout. In the shootout, Dan Boyle shot high blocker on goalie Steve Mason, beating him, and grabbing the much needed two points. Columbus left with one point for the overtime loss, though they played as though they should have had two.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
After the Pittsburgh game, Coach Ken Hitchcock decided to mess with his lines. He bumped center Antoine Vermette up to the second line, joining him with Nash and R.J. Umberger. Frankly, I am starting to think that this was a very good move. The VUN line (see what I did there?) has been playing well, and they are putting up the numbers. Nash scored tonight, and the line also got points on Sunday in Washington. The three have a clear chemistry, and they always know where each other are. Vermette, as a strong play-maker, is a perfect accomplice for Nash, a skilled sniper. As long as these three continue to play together, expect the Jackets to start winning.
It looks as though goalie Steve Mason has finally started to emerge from his slump. After a huge rookie season last year, and a great start to this season, Mason had fallen into a grove. Sunday night, as well as tonight, Mase started to look like he was getting his game back. Squaring up to the puck, controlling his rebounds, and making amazing saves, the kid is back. As long as Mason continues to improve, the Jackets have a great chance this season.
There was not anything too bad tonight. I am going to let this slide.
Sometimes, you can just miss too many opportunities. Tonight, that was the case for the Jackets. With every rush, the Jackets were able to get a shot on goal. Most of the time, these shots went wide, even though the goalie was clearly beat. Even worse, the puck would often careen right in front of the net, where it should be easy to sink. Alas, there was either never a player there, or he just couldn't get his stick on it. This is both a good sign and a bad, as it shows that they are playing well, but not able to finish. If Columbus can start cleaning up the trash, they should be able to win many more games.