The second period started off perfectly for the Jackets. Just two minutes into the game, Kristian Huselius (1) scored on a laser shot over goaltender Roberto Luongo. Three minutes later, Klesla (2) scored, followed almost immediately by a goal from Nikita Filatov (1). In just seven minutes and only four shots, the Jackets had scored four goals, and Rick Nash had picked up three assists – what a night. The Canucks then pulled Luongo from the goal.
Though a goal by Christian Ehrhoff (1) late in the Second stopped the bleeding, the Canucks’ fans were really out of the game. That changed, however, when Willie Mitchell (1) put one by goalie Steve Mason, making the game 3-4. It looked like the Canucks had a comeback brewing. Their hopes were smashed, however, when Fedor Tyutin (1) scored on a power play. Columbus had finally scored with a man advantage, and they had closed the door on Vancouver.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Rick Nash played absolutely amazing tonight. Though he didn’t get any goals, and still has yet to this season, he became a playmaker and a real team player. Assisting in the first three goals of the night, Nash made sure that his teammates were able to sink the puck into the net. Nash himself was surprised by his assists, stating that “Apparently Juice [Huselius] and I switched roles.” Furthermore, he served as a distraction all night, causing Vancouver to cover him instead of the man with the puck. This maturity is what Columbus needs in their captain, and it should help them win many, many more games.
The Blue Jackets might have been a model of efficiency (five goals on 24 shots), but they really need to work on control and not letting up. Too often, across-the-ice passes were intercepted, and simply dekes resulted in lost pucks. If the Jackets want to keep on winning, they need to buckle down in this regard.
Likewise, the Jackets need to play 100 percent the whole game. After scoring those four quick goals, the Blue Jackets just lied back and played halfheartedly. The team was scored on twice while doing this, and only stayed in the lead because of Mason’s goaltending abilities. Hitchcock still needed to shorten the lines to three tonight, as the team just couldn’t keep up. Somehow, the Jackets need to stop getting comfortable with the lead, and just keep playing like they didn’t have it.