Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
So rumours are starting that Ken Hitchcock might be the next to loose his job because of the direction the jackets seem/look to be headed in.
2 months losing streak? I think so. Not even the Canes are doing that poorly (oops! My bad).
And Canucks look to continue their winning ways on home ice after quite a successful road trip.
But tonight, the Jackets put the rumours behind them as they try to focus one game at a time and getting those two points (or at least one).
6:07, RJ Umberger gives Columbus the first goal of the game, hoping to get off on the right foot and finish on it at the same time. And just a minute after, Kristian Huselius netted his team another one.
39 seconds after their second goal, Steve Mason is faced with a very rare shot on goal. It was sort of weird actually. Maybe I underestimated him or something, but I wasn't really expecting it. Kyle Wellwood made a really soft pass to open ice where Rick Rypien jumped up on and slapped! I mean, he SLAPPED it! No real thought, just pure power! And it went in. That changed the course of the game and the Canucks have more life in them!
14 seconds after that, Daniel tried the wrap-around attempt and was stopped by the pads of Steve Mason. But the rebound was picked up by Alex Burrows quickly and it went in! There's no time to relax, young Mason. Then 3 minutes after his first of the night, Burrs gets another goal! Daniel made the back-pass that is so often meant for his twin, that it confused the commentators that it was Burrs who scored the goal.
With two assists on the Burrows goals, Henrik catches up to Joe Thornton on the NHL's scoring leaders as he gets his 58th point and 20th goal of the year! Daniel played the back-pass to Hank. A little saucy passes between the two before Hank one-timed the shot pass by Dany to put their team up by two.
Columbus replied just 17 tick-tocks of the clock with Kris Russell's slapshot getting a bit of Aaron Rome and going in past Roberto Luongo.
In case you missed it, a rocket was launched. That whistling sound you heard - yea, that was the rocket. Before you get your hopes up, I'm not talking about the Pocket Rocket or the Russian Rocket - I'm talking about Sami Salo! The Finnish defenceman picked up the puck from a clear attempt. Against the boards, he whistled his shot for it to go off the inside of the post and in.
Now if you are extremely "pro-Canucks" skip this. If you are for fairness, controversy, or referee mess-ups, then continue. One of our goals should not have counted. That would be our 6th one. The puck was on-side, but when Mikael Samuelsson lost possession, it went back over the blue and then back into the offensive zone. Hence equalling offside. But the linesman called it onside! Though Mason should've stopped it, he didn't and Samuelsson got the Canucks their 8th of the night.
I'm all for faith in the young and the struggling, but when it's gotten this bad, I think you should ride your back-up for a little while. Guess Steve Mason hasn't broke the sophmore slump curse, because tonight he got pulled for Mathieu Garon.
Samuelsson's goal also got Willie Mitchell his 100th NHL-career point. Yippee!
What's the best way to end a game than getting what you want? Canucks up by two, Head Coach Alain Vigneault notices that Burrs has two. On the PK, he put his #1 PK-unit to see if they can get Alex his hat trick. And that he did (and it's a special one!) Frick-and-Frack (Kesler & Burrows) on the 2-on-2 rush while killing off the penalty. Burrs passed across the ice to Kes, but it would come right back to him! Burrows took the shot-pass and deflected it in past Garon! A SHG to complete Burrs's second career hat trick!
I honestly think that Columbus needs a new coach. The system isn't working for them. It isn't just their goalie or the sophmore slump, it's everything. The defence, the forecheck, the backcheck, puck support, and many other things. Something needs to change if you want to make it back in the playoffs (or at least the middle of the pack!)
(1) Alex Burrows
(2) Henrik Sedin
(3) Daniel Sedin
Frick-and-Frack, together again [on ice]