I missed the home opener, so for all intents and purposes, this was the start of the CBJ season for me. First time seeing them play a game in person. First time at the arena.
Although the Jackets looked set to disappoint early on, this turned out to be a pretty good way to kick off another season of CBJ hockey for me. In the first period and some, the Jackets looked kind of sloppy and out of sync. Calgary went up 1-0 on a somewhat controversial goal by ex-Jacket Curtis Glencross. The Jackets were consistently outshooting the Flames, but Kiiprusoff frustrated them, as he often seems to do. It took a five-on-three goal, the first in a Columbus uniform by Anton Stralman, to get the Jackets on the scoreboard. They followed that one up shortly thereafter to make it 2-1, and Mason and the D held on the rest of the game for that to stand up as the winner. It appeared in the third that Vermette had given the Jackets a 3-1 lead, but the goal was called back, much to the chagrin of the crowd, who let the officials hear about it for the next several minutes. Vermette was seen in deep conversation with the officials during a couple of TV timeouts after that, as well, so clearly he felt it was a bad call. That ended up not mattering, as the Jackets held on for the win. Not the prettiest win, but enough to have the CBJs current sitting first in the Central.
Crowd was disappointing — lots of empty seats. That’s to be expected on a Tuesday night early in the year, I suppose, but it would be nice not to see entire sections empty. I will say that those who were there were definitely into the game. Better atmosphere, despite the low attendance, than a lot of other games I’ve seen in there.
Should be a good tilt on Saturday against the surprising Kings. Hopefully not the traditional October thrashing at the hands of LA.