Blog Entry

Goodbye Columbus

Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:38 am
Edited on: April 24, 2009 1:57 am
 

There are probably worse ways for the Columbus Blue Jackets to have ended what was the most successful season in franchise history. And at some point, they might actually think of one.

In the meantime, the Blue Jackets will have to console themselves knowing they didn't go down without a fight, and might have survived a little longer than four games were it not for a brain cramp by a veteran player who should know better.

Ultimately though, it would not have made a difference for the Jackets to have extended this series. Columbus took some big strides this season by making the playoffs for the first time and has some nice pieces in Rick Nash and rookie goalie Steve Mason to continue building around. But Columbus hasn't reached the point where it could realistically hope to upset a far superior Detroit team that demonstrated how much separates them by toying with the Jackets through the first three games of the series.

Still, the Jackets had a chance to make up for that embarrassment in the home finale.

Columbus played with the kind of desperation teams trying to avoid sweep have to, and forced the often disinterested looking Red Wings into actually breaking a sweat for the first time. That's probably a good thing for the Red Wings, if only because it reminded them that there is some work involved in defending a Stanley Cup. Detroit was pushed to the limit because the Jackets came back twice from two goal deficits, but it was all for naught thanks to Fredrik Modin's mindless play in the waning minutes of the third period when the teams seemed destined for overtime.

Modin, who wore a savior's hat temporarily for the Blue Jackets when he scored to tie the game at 5-5 late in the middle period, but he was the guilty party on a too many men on the ice call that led to Johan Franzen's winner for Detroit with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. Modin jumped over the boards and played the puck before Jakub Voracek reached the bench, an automatic penalty that had disaster written all over it because it gave the league's best power play a chance to put the game and series away.

That's the kind of gift talented teams like the Red Wings tend to capitalize on, particularly when they have the added incentive of getting several days off if they do.

Pittsburgh had a chance to earn a similar vacation, but the Penguins got frustrated after failing to break through in a dominant first period and let the Philadelphia Flyers take the game away from them. The Penguins had a great start with a 15-5 shots margin in the opening 20 minutes, but they couldn't solve the Flyers often maligned goalie Martin Biron and now have to return to Philadelphia for a sixth game.

The Penguins failure to put away Philadelphia should be a concern, because the Flyers have largely outplayed them in the series and Biron has been as effective as Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury. The two had a pretty good duel on this night, but it paled in comparison to the battle taking betwen the netminders in New Jersey's 1-0 win over Carolina.

The lesson here is that it doesn't pay to get Martin Brodeur mad. The Devils goalie blew a gasket on the ice after a last second goal beat him Tuesday, but rebounded by turning away 44 shots, 35 of them in the third period. Meanwhile the Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward wasn't exactly a slouch, making 41 saves, just one too few to prevent Carolina from facing elimination at home this weekend.

They won't be alone. With its 4-0 loss in Anaheim, San Jose is on the brink of the brink of another playoff flop, one that will hurt more than the others because the Sharks finished first overall and theoretically are built for a long run. But key players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have gone missing in action again, and the Sharks have played most of this series looking like they would rather be somewhere else.

With the Ducks looking more like the team that won the 2007 Stanley Cup with each passing day and now holding a 3-1 series lead, chances are the Sharks won't have to wait long for that to happen.

 

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: May 11, 2009 2:49 am
 

Goodbye Columbus

LOL Columbus losing their franchise. Really?? After the season they just had? OK, thats all I need to say about that. Now on to business...

Yes, it was a penalty.

I only started really watching hockey back when Pittsburgh was winning their back to back Stanley cups, but was only a fairweather fan until the Blue Jackets came to town. So I may not have the rich history and knowledge of the games finer points as others, but I know enough to understand what Mule is saying. What I have come to learn about the NHL, as in some other sports, that come playoffs, the referee's tend to let the teams 'play more'. If I am wrong about this, stop me now. I understand the 'letter of the law' and the 'spirit of the law'. And come playoff time, there is a shift from the 'letter' to the 'spirit'. On BOTH sides I saw slashes, hooks, obstructions, interferences, borderline boardings etc etc not get called, in liu of the 'spirit of the law'. And I am ok with that as long as they are consistent with their calls. Now, in a LOT of those cases I noted above, play was actually altered as a result. A players direction was altered due to what might normally be called interference, or a decent shot be knocked astray due to what would normally be called slashing or hooking. Again, abiding to the 'spirit'. And again, as long as the refs are consistent across the board on it, I am ok with it. However, in THIS particular case, even as a 'letter of the law' call that it was, replays will show you that even if Modin had waited the extra 1 second it would have taken JV to reach the bench (or this so called buffer zone), there would have been absolutely NO difference in the outcome of the play. NONE. There were no Detroit players within striking distance to make a run at that puck at that time when the call was made. So with as many no-calls that were overlooked due to the 'spirit of the law' that ACTUALLY GAVE THE OTHER TEAM AN ADVANTAGE, it is just excruciatingly disappointing to have that call made, at that stage of the game, where the offending team gained NO advantage at all whatsoever. I equate it to calling a carry on Steve Nash while walk/dribbling the ball up the backcourt with 20 seconds left of 4th qtr being down 1 point in game 4 against Denver in a must win game. Yep, a carry is a carry. But are you really going to make that call then?

Yes, it was a penalty.

By the letter of the law, but come on, can anyone blame any of the Blue Jackets fans for crinkling up their eyebrows for a call like that after what had just been witnessed? And not just in the Red Wings / Blue Jackets series. Every series I have been watching has been called more to the 'spirit of the law'. This may be tough to do unbiased, but try to put yourselves in those shoes. If that had happened to your team, under those circumstances, honestly ask yourself if you would be absolutely fine with that call. And then on top of that, to have Blue Jackets fans coming back and telling you "Well sorry, but technically, that was the right call." Thats all I am saying.

Sucks to lose a hard fought game like that. Would much rather have lost in OT on a Hossa slapshot from the wing 5 on 5, than like that. I am not crying or whining. Detroit won, we lost, simple as that. We'll get them next year. Everone has to agree that losing like that is a sour pill to swallow. So hows about a little slack till the sting goes away?  Please.  Frown

Regardless, Detroit still wins series. Columbus had GREAT season, and we are looking forward to next year. Future looks bright. Good luck to Detroit in rest of playoffs!



Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2009 10:07 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2009 3:18 pm
 

Goodbye Columbus

Anyone who says that penalty was a bad call just doesn't know hockey, period. If you really feel you must have a scapegoat Columbus fans, BLAME MODIN! He should know better than to play the puck while the man he's replacing is still 8 feet from the bench! Hockey 101.

OK, crying time is over. Nice season for the Blue Jackets, but in the playoffs the cream usually rises to the top. And it did in this series.

Let's go RED WINGS!


Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 2:01 pm
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itsjustme
Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:45 pm
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Since: Apr 24, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:41 pm
 

Goodbye Columbus

Muleskinner ... Oh, what a bias sample of opinions.  Sure the Blue Jacket players are going to think it was a controversial call.  Also, say if Rick Nash says that he shoots the puck about 90 mph every shot, would you believe him as well?  Point being that Voracek is trying to provide validity to his opinion that the refs somehow miss the same call 5-6 times a game but decided to screw them in the end.  By the way, I've never heard of anyone being huled down before, maybe hauled down, but then again, I'm not as smart as other people I guess.

BOTTOM LINE - If this happened in the first 5 minutes of the game and Detroit ended up winning by this one goal margin, it would NOT have had the same amount of attention.  I hate how people get all pissed off at the refs for calls that were absolutely, positively, by the book.  If it was some crap obstruction call or something like that, then I could see their case.  What's lost in all this is the two Blue Jacket idiots who are responsbile for the penalty.  The guy coming off the ice should have hustled off and the guy coming onto the ice should know the freaking rules of the game.     



Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:28 pm
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itsjustme
Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:15 pm
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Yeeeeesh
Since: Jan 4, 2009
Posted on: April 24, 2009 12:23 pm
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Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: April 24, 2009 11:20 am
 

Goodbye Columbus

Hey. dont believe everything you read in the Toronto papers. I know he is from Brampton an grew up a Leafs fan but Nash is very happy where he is and they will pay him what he's due. He isnt going anywhere pal.

Go and draft your own team.....

I know the call was right, but in a game when everything goes, (and it did) why decide a game on that?  That call seemed very minor compaired to some of the other things that were let go in that period.

I know it sounds like sour grapes, and the Jackets were not going to win this series anyway but that call should have been let go with all the other non-calls in that period in an elimination game.

 

 



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