Note from the author: while I will normally try to get articles up immediately following the games, any game on the West Coast will be delayed until the next day.
In what was a great night for Columbus, Vancouver had a horrible one. For the first time in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets started a season off at 2-0. At the same time, for the first time in nine seasons, the Vancouver Canucks started off at 0-3. With their core resigned, their first playoff berth behind them, and this great start to the season, the Jackets are finally getting some respect – hey, even ESPN is finally talking about them. That said, however, with two more tough road games this week, the winning drive by the Jackets is going to cease.
As Blue Jackets’ coach Ken Hitchcock put it earlier this week, the game against Vancouver was a hard-hitting and hard-fought battle. The Canucks and their fans were in full panic mode and desperately needed the win. The Blue Jackets were happy and skating with overconfidence, and they looked like a juicy target. Vancouver figured that their third game of the season would be a turnaround point, and that after beating the Jackets, they could get back on track. They might have counted on beating the Jackets, but Vancouver didn’t count on Rick Nash as a play maker.
The game started off in Vancouver’s favor. Though they got an early penalty for a bad hit on Jared Boll, Vancouver was easily able to kill of the penalty. Then Henrik Sedin (1) started it off for the Canucks, scoring just four and a half minutes into the game. Though the Jackets were able to keep them out of the net for the next 16 minutes, the Canucks were easily controlling the puck.
The game changed, however, when in the 19th minute, Captain Rick Nash sent a puck flying across the crease towards Antoine Vermette (1), who tapped the puck in, tying the game. Though it was not credited as a shorthanded goal, the Jackets had only four men on the ice when it occurred, as Rusty Klesla was still standing in the penalty box (The Columbus Dispatch considers it a shorthanded goal, but neither Yahoo nor ESPN do).