Friday Night Beer, Blue Jackets and Blues Blogging

(Pregame) — I’m starting off the drinking evening with a Bluegrass Brewing Company Nut Brown Ale from Louisville, KY. This is a real nice ale. Similar to Newcastle, but a little bit more chocolatey. Could there be a more wonderful concept than “similar to Newcastle, but a little bit more chocolatey?” I didn’t think so.

Start of the game is delayed by the Al MacInnis HHOF induction tribute. Al MacInnis is one of my all-time favorite NHL players, so I’m tolerant of the delay, but the Blues have been known to stretch these things out beyond all reason. Thankfully, this one is mercifully short, and the game gets underway just 20 minutes late.

But enough of a delay that I’m onto the second beer already…

(First Period) — In honor of this game being played in Missouri, I decide to try a Missouri beer, O’Fallon Smoked Porter. It smells like beef jerky when I open it. It tastes like beef jerky when I drink it. Good god. I can see myself enjoying this in the right situation, say if I had in front of me a beef brisket sandwich with hot sauce from Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City Olathe. I think this beer would go real nicely with that. But with nothing to eat and a hockey game on TV in Columbus, Ohio? Eep.

As for the first period itself, I was concerned the Jackets would come out flat after the delay between the warmup and puck drop. But they looked pretty good to start the game, got some good chances on Legace. Really pretty much dominating, until a penalty on Novotny gave the Blues a PP during which the Jackets were completely unable to clear the zone.

Legace stopped a couple semi-breakaways by Fritsche and Zherdev and, yeah, we all know where this is heading…Paul Kariya scored for the Blues, sending the Jackets to the break down 1-0 after playing pretty well in the period. Bah.

And so far I’m two for three on the most annoying commercials that run constantly during Jackets games: we’ve seen the Donato’s Mozzarella pizzas and Jim Tressel exhorting me to call Time Warner and ask for the Big Ten Network. Those cursed Ohio Lottery signing reindeer can’t be far behind, can they?

And the smoked porter? I couldn’t finish it…

Hopefully the second period will be more fruitful both in terms of Jackets’ goals and my beer consumption.

(Second Period) — After that unfortunate excursion into Missouri for the first period, I decided to switch back to an Ohio brew for the second. Great Lakes Nosferatu. It is high time to finish off the Halloween beer, seeing as it’s almost Thanksgiving. This one is pretty bitter. And strong, too. 8.0% abv. It does get rid of both the lingering taste and memory of that beef jerky beer, I tell you what.

Another back and forth period. The Jackets get some chances again, but still are unable to get anything past Legace. Nash falls on a breakaway. I just have a bad feeling that the rest of the game is going to be like this, and the Jackets are never going to score a goal. They do get to start off the third on a brief power play, but the PP honestly hasn’t looked too hot tonight.

I haven’t seen the singing reindeer yet, but they just played the Donato’s Mozzarella commercial again. Maybe the lottery spots are being pre-empted by the Joe Nuxhall memorial spots, which make me sad, even though I’m not much of a baseball fan. The lottery ads don’t make me feel sad, although they do send me into a murderous rage…

(Third Period) — After a couple of beers that were a bit too much, I switched to something easy for the third period, good old Hudy Delight.

Jackets finally got a goal, by Curtis Glencross, after a long delay while the play was reviewed. For once, a decision from Toronto goes the Jackets’ way. Apart from that, they still played well but couldn’t get anything past Legace…a long five on three where they kept the puck in the offensive zone came to naught. Frustrating.

I knew St. Louis was eventually going to get the go-ahead goal, and they did, late. And then added the empty netter. Nash made it respectable with five seconds to go, but too little, too late.

Aggravating game, on the whole. The Jackets played pretty well on the road, but just couldn’t finish their chances. Legace has to get credit for a solid game, but then there were those missed chances on breaks by Fritsche and Zherdev…Nash losing an edge and falling on the breakaway…etc. Just frustrating. And they don’t even get to come home with the loser point to show for it.

And FSN did finally show that damn reindeer ad.

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