And as such, 2009 sputters to an undignified end before a sellout crowd.
Jackets looked great in the first period, buzzing the net, working hard, getting chances. Crowd was into it. Garon was very strong in net, and for a good long time, it looked like he might make Torres’ goal stand up as the GWG, even as the momentum crept more and more towards the Preds in the second and third.
But then Fedor Tyutin got lackadaisical in the Jackets’ end, and — surprise, surprise — it was in the back of the net. And then in OT, more confusion behind the net, Legwand able to stand unmolested in front of Garon, and it was over. Another migraine-inducing loss in a season full of them. 2009-10 feeling more and more like every other CBJ season except for last year (and to a lesser degree, the inaugural season). Gaah!
First in-person look at the new guys tonight. I liked Clark’s hustle and forechecking; he seems like a worthy wearer of #11 (is he the first Jacket to wear that number since Dineen? I can’t find an all-time numerical roster on the ‘net but I can’t think of anyone else off the top of my head). Apart from the penalty in the second, I didn’t notice Jurcina much at all, but that’s a good thing for a defensive defenseman.
It was a surprisingly quick game, without many stoppages. I checked my watch at the end of regulation and it was only about 9:10. Lots of flow, just those breakdowns and mistakes killing the Jackets again.
One of the big Twitter memes of the day has been #10yearsago (another big Twitter meme of the day was various people promising money to charity if Alex Picard netted his first NHL goal. Unfortunately didn’t happen tonight, but he looked good out there). Looking back on December 31, 1999, I was living in Kingston on a grad student income; I was a Senators fan, and I’d been to a grand total of four regular season NHL games in my lifetime. So yeah, it is kind of amazing to reflect on that and realize that now I have an NHL team in my home state, a mere ten minute drive from my house, a partial season ticket package, and attendance at enough NHL games over the past decade to be able to become completely jaded. I really want to keep appreciating how lucky I am to be in this situation, but damn if they don’t make it tough a lot of the time!
Happy New Year, everyone! Hope it’s a good one for Jackets fans everywhere. And that ten years from now, as fans of a perennial playoff team and Stanley Cup contender, we can look back on this and laugh…