What a strange, topsy-turvy world we live in that the Ottawa Senators could come into Nationwide and I would expect the Jackets to win. But there’s where we find ourselves in January 2009 — the once high-powered Sens are flailing about looking for answers, and the Jackets have an air of legitimacy about them for a change.
It was a fairly defensive battle, as can be inferred from the score line. Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley were pretty invisible much of the night — although Heatley did get a great chance in the third, only to be stoned by Steve Mason. Seventh shutout for Mason, who didn’t have a whole lot to do in the first two periods, but was spot on in the third when he needed to be to save the game. Much to the appreciation of the crowd.
And what a crowd! Having been incommunicado for most of the first three months of the season, I don’t know exactly when it started to turn around, but the people and the atmosphere have returned to Nationwide Arena! It was a near sellout last night, and even with the somewhat somnolent play, they were into it. It brought back memories of the team’s honeymoon years. If the Jackets can keep up their end of the bargain and make it to the playoffs, I think many of the questions about whether or not Columbus can be a “hockey town” will be answered.