Category Archives: Off Topic

Jackets 4, Sabres 0

This may have been the most gratifying CBJ game I’ve attended this season. As could be expected, the arena was overrun with drunken, chanting hordes of Sabres fans (As an aside, whenever the Sabres make one of their rare appearances at Nationwide, I rethink a little more my desire to have the Jackets move to the Eastern Conference). And the Jackets just took them out of it and quieted them down.

It was not really a dominating performance by Columbus in terms of the run of play. The lopsided score was mostly down to a poor goaltending performance by Patrick Lalime, starting with the weird goal scored off a half-ice dump-in by Milan Jurcina, which bounced off the boards, hit Lalime on the back of the skate and went in the net. It can happy to any goaltender (as a former goalie, yeah, it’s happened to me), but it did pretty much set the tone for the night.

At the other end, Steve Mason was looking much more like last season’s Calder winner. The “You’ve been Mase’d” graphic made an appearance on the scoreboard, and a couple more saves could have merited it. Mason did get some good luck as well, the crossbar saving one goal, and his defense bailing him out when he got caught out behind the net.

Just one of those nights when everything goes right for the Jackets and wrong for their opponents. All the sweeter when it happens in a sold-out Nationwide Arena that’s 40% full of fans of the opposing team. The “Go Home Buffalo” chant rising out of the crowd in the final minutes was the icing on the cake.

For those who keep track of such things (why?), last night was the first time all season I’ve paid to park in the garage. Made it all the way to February parking on the street. And I didn’t even really try to find a place on the street. It was also the first time this season I bought food at the arena, as Chipotle looked packed at 5:15. So the most gratifying game of the season was also the most expensive for me (although on a pure dollar per minute basis, the St. Louis game I went to a couple weeks ago, bought a $9 beer and left halfway through the first period due to being in a state of utter meltdown about some work stuff…well, better not to think too much about THAT). Glad that worked out.

On an off-topic note: seriously, run out to your local record store or your internet downloading machine, or however you kids get music these days, and get RJD2’s new album. Listening to it right now as I write this.

Claude Noel now 2-0 as Jackets coach. The Jackets remain in fourteenth place.

Montreal Pre-Game Odds & Ends

Random thoughts:

So, I did manage to stay awake for the rest of last night’s game. Jackets did get another goal to make the score look somewhat respectable, but really, that was not a respectable performance by any stretch of the imagination. They were just bad. But it happens in hockey. It’s a long season, and every team is going to lay the occasional egg. No time to dwell on it, though, as the Jackets play again tonight in Montreal. The Habs are another team behind where they might have been expected to be at this point, but as we’ve seen of late with the Wings, Preds, and Rangers, that’s no reason to take them lightly. Also, this is the only game on the schedule tonight, and is being shown nationally on TSN and RDS in Canada, so no doubt the Canadian-born Jackets will want to put on a good show for their family and friends watching at home.

The Jackets move on to play Ottawa on (American) Thanksgiving, but won’t get to face off against former Jacket Pascal Leclaire. He is out for a month with a broken cheekbone, the result of being hit by the puck while he sat on the bench. I always did like Leclaire, and I still think he has some real talent, but the guy has just been snake-bitten by injuries throughout his entire pro career.

I was intending to take in a film tonight, but given that I’m still a little hobbled by this virus (although greatly improved over yesterday), I’ll be staying in to watch the game. Hoping for a better one than last night. Got myself psyched up for a game in La Belle Province by watching Les Boys III today. Okay, so maybe it didn’t psych me up all that much. It was an okay movie, but about half an hour too long. The first movie in the series was pretty funny and enjoyable, though, and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend searching it out.

Having spent the last couple days at home, in between my hours of judge show watching, I’ve had lots of time to surf the web, and dug out some worthwhile hockey stories:

After all the sturm und drang about Hitchcock’s coaching style after Filatov went back to Russia, there have been a couple of stories in the past couple days that point to Hitchcock having a good effect on young players. NHL.com on Rick Nash and his growth into the captaincy in Columbus and Tom Reed in the Dispatch on the blossoming of Rusty Klesla.

Meanwhile, speaking of the prodigal Filatov, he’s happy to be back with CSKA and playing well. But he’s still saying the right things (publicly at least) about Columbus.

And not Jackets related, but this Buccigross piece at ESPN about Brian Burke’s son Brendan, and his decision to come out publicly, is a must-read. And it speaks well to the character of Enrico Blasi and the program he’s built at Miami, so there’s something in there for the Ohioans.

And it sounds like something interesting might be happening on Judge Mathis, so I leave you with those thoughts. à bientôt.

Jackets 5, Capitals 4

Wild one this afternoon. For a time I thought I’d be writing about a Jackets’ performance that was not what we’ve gotten used to of late. Then I thought I would be writing about more of the same. Then they proved me wrong. Then more of the same. Then…you get the picture.

This was a fun game to watch. Sometimes there are games that you wish your non-hockey fan acquaintances could see, because they would surely convince them of the merits of the sport. This was one of them. The tick-tack-toe passing on the first Caps goal, and then the individual effort by Nash to tie it up were both just gorgeous, hockey at its best. Umberger’s goal to make it 2-1 was less pretty, coming as it did on a funny bounce off the end boards with Theodore out of the net. But hey, crazy bounces are part of what gives hockey its charm as well.

The third period was when it went all goofy. The Jackets looked to be heading for the win when — shades of Friday night — Brooks Laich scored a couple quick goals to make it 3-2 Caps. And the black cloud of despair started to descend over me yet again. Then Raffi Torres, Mr. Clutch for the CBJ, tied it up, and the mood lightened. Then more despair as the defense broke down and the Caps took the lead late. Same old Jackets — wait, there’s Torres again, tying it up with seconds to go! And then Umberger finished it off in OT. What a game! Vaults the Jackets back into a playoff position, at least temporarily (Vancouver plays later tonight and will put them back in ninth with a win). And lifts my mood considerably after Friday night.

And now for a video…which has nothing to do with hockey, but I’m listening to this CD right now and thinking about how much I hated it when I first heard it, but later it became one of my all-time favorites. Kingston’s own Luther Wright and the Wrongs:

Jackets 2, Wild 3 (SO)

Well, the magic in Buffalo faded quickly. But the Jackets managed to push a pretty good team to the shootout, and if not for a big save by Backstrom on Huselius in OT, might have come away with the two points themselves. As it is, I can settle for the loser point on the road. The Jackets dropped back into ninth place, but there’s a four-way tie in points for places 6-9, so they’re still very much in the thick of things.

I watched this one in kind of spotty fashion, mostly had it on in the background while I did internet research on what I might want to see next weekend in Los Angeles — I’m heading out to see the Crew play for all the marbles. The Kings do have a home game on Saturday, and I’m tempted, but I think I’m going to opt for sightseeing instead, as I’m only there for a short time and have never been there before. Unless someone can convince me that a Kings home game is such a transcendent experience that it’s worth it for my only evening in Cali.

Oh noes, Part 2

I attended a Columbus Clippers minor league baseball game last week. We were given coupons for free McDonald’s coffee upon entering the stadium. OMG! McDonald’s is on the verge of going out of business! And I don’t even want to think about the collapse of the bread industry — after all, there was that game a couple years ago where they gave us two loaves of bread apiece when we were leaving.*

* This is true. Actually, if I’d asked them, they probably would have given me four loaves of bread. They were just that desperate to get rid of it. Which just goes to show that bread in Ohio is dead!

Duvie to be placed on waivers, bought out

I think we all knew this was coming. It’s too bad, because Duvie seemed like a good guy and hard worker. But he just never regained his form after his injury shortened 2006-07 season, and with young guys like Rome, Methot, and Russell challenging for roster spots on D, Westcott became superfluous to the team’s needs. I wish him the best of luck in his hockey career and other future endeavors.

Also in this morning’s Dispatch, Mike Arace raises the spectre of the Jackets moving as a roundabout way to call out J.P. McConnell for not sitting down to an interview with the paper. Stay classy, Columbus.

Finally, on the off topic tip, it’s Comfest weekend in Goodale Park. Which also means it’s the weekend when my hits spike because people are searching for “comfest topless”, of which I am still the fourth result on Google. Stay classy, Columbus.

And here’s a picture of Ron House from Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments performing last night at Comfest. Not topless, though. Sorry.

Photobucket

Vs. toys with me

I finally got around to watching the NHL Awards show this evening. I was out of town when it was on last Thursday, and a heavy Euro 2008 schedule has kept me busy the past couple days. What did I discover when I did finally fire up the recording of the NHL Awards? That Vs. had pulled the wrong satellite feed from the CBC and shown a couple minutes of Coronation Street in place of the opening of the Awards.

For those who don’t know, I became hugely addicted to Corrie when living in Canada, and have lamented its non-presence in the U.S. ever since I moved back in 2002. I get to watch a few days worth here and there when I’m in Canada visiting, and occasionally check in on the websites to see what’s transpired (did you know that Vera died?! I didn’t!).

And so Vs. had the nerve to tantalize me with a few stolen minutes — why was Ashley sleeping on Sally’s couch? Why did Hayley seem so troubled while Roy was extolling the virtues of Fair Trade tea to her? I’ll never know, because Vs. cut back to Ron Maclean and the NHL Awards. Dang. Now I don’t even feel like watching it. I already know who won…