If I were Robin the Boy Wonder , I would have certainly said ,”Holy puck pursuit , Batman !” after watching the game last night . I did not expect a severely injured Blue Jackets team to attack us with such a fury as they did . I don’t know that Our Stars expected that out of them to such a degree either .
We were out played for the majority of this game . The Blue Jackets out-worked us by a long shot . I was surprised that this game did not go into overtime .
We had some obvious breakdowns . In fact , we had enough on certain lines that Gulutzan benched a few players during the game (an entire line to be precise) in order for him to get them to go back to the work ethic that he wanted .
Everyone knew coming into this game that the winless , injured Blue Jackets needed this game . We all heard on Ralph and Razor’s broadcast that the Jackets were punished (during their practices) for their lack of performance in their last game against Our Stars . They sincerely and deeply wanted to win . They needed to win . It showed .
From the beginning of this game the Jackets came attacking in full force . Every Jackets player wanted to win this game . Nobody was a passenger . Our Stars have obviously bought into Gulutzan’s style of hockey because if they had not , they would certainly been overcome to the onslaught that the Jackets brought . There were times that every Stars fan out there was worried (I won’t lie , I was too) but we came through .
In the first period we did a pretty good job of keeping all of the shots to the outside despite the fact that we defended a little too much for my taste . I was also a little disappointed that simple stick defending was causing us so much trouble that doing a “one and done” in Columbus’ zone was all we could muster .
Again , we could not manage to get the referees on our side . They called a few questionable (at best) calls against us . One of those calls cost us a goal . Souray answered one of his costly phantom penalties with a goal that was sent home by Ryder .
The most astounding play of this entire game , and it will be replayed for years to come , was Jamie Benn’s goal . Already the internet is exploding with the video . He deked past four (4 !) defenders and the goaltender and still manged to plant it in the back of the net . This goal will certainly be one that they replay when young Benn retires in twenty years .
My three STARS ;
1. Kari Lehtonen : If you saw this game , then you know he deserved this .
2. Jamie Benn : Undressing five guys and scoring a goal in front of millions of fans earns this spot for him hands down .
3. Steve Ott , Loui Eriksson and Sheldon Souray : Ott , Eriksson and Benn dominated every time they got on the ice . They were the number one line , not Ribs , Morrow and Ryder . Souray earned his way here for being a threat the entire game and his intelligence in his own zone . While other defencemen were simply throwing the puck away when under pressure , he made wise choices .
Honorable mentions :
Adam Burish played an excellent game as well . His intermission interview with Razor alone earned him huge bonus points in my book .