Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
It is tough to swallow. There is 1 minute, 34 seconds remaining in a 5-5 game. The crowd is doing something beyond booing—howling with anger, you might say. The Detroit Red Wings—who to this point have scored two power play goals in the game and six in the series—are given a man advantage with 94 seconds remaining in a potential elimination game.
“To lose an elimination game, when there were no holds barred, on a call by a linesman . . . It’s just not right,” defenseman Mike Commodore said.
With 46.6 seconds remaining, Johan Franzen scores a power-play goal to win the game and complete a sweep of the series. The fans in Nationwide Arena are livid. They toss cans and bottles on the ice, with much of the debris aimed at the officials.
Once I got out of the Jackets’ room, I headed straight for the area near the officials’ dressing room. I hoped to find Kevin Collins, and ask him about the call.
“I thought the second period was more of a free-for-all than the third. I was really proud of the players today; they gave everything they had today. I was really proud of the fans. The fans were great, even when we were down 3-1 or 5-3, they weren’t leaving us. The fans, when we were down 5-3, brought us back as much as the players brought us back. I saw significant impact of people in the building; how they can impact the team’s fortunes. We got some energy because of (the fans).”
-Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock after game 4 tonight. Many more post-game quotes at ColumbusBlueJackets.com (including the Detroit side).
Crazy game, Wings had a 2 goal lead twice tonight and the Blue Jackets batted back to tie it each time.
One of the stories of the series, Columbus never had the lead in the four games.
added 10:12pm, To answer the 20 or so emails I have received regarding the Too Many Men on the Ice penalty Columbus took late in the 3rd period that lead to Franzen power play goal, the penalty had to be called, no matter the score, the time left on the clock, etc.
If the Columbus player who came onto the ice had not played the puck before the player he was replacing was on the bench, the call would probably have not been made. It is a call that is made 100% of the time, no judgment involved in that type of call.
added 10:20pm, Video of the game highlights below…
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
When I arrived in costume for the game at Nationwide Arena, one subtle Jackets fan waiting to get in saw me and yelled “PRRRRROOOOOOTOOOOOHHHHHHHH!” while Red Wings GM Ken Holland had a good giggle at my expense when USA Today writer Kevin Allen told him who just passed them in the bowels of the building. And in the press box during the game’s first intermission, Gary Bettman good-naturedly came up and told me that I should look like I did if I lost a bet.
I couldn’t disagree with the NHL commissioner; that was all part of the fun. And my night was made easier by team employees – including Jackets PR man nonpareil Todd Sharrock and his staff – as well as fans and the players themselves, chiefly because they all were gracious enough to stifle their laughs until I was out of earshot.
more with a photo of Adam in full Cival War dress!
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Goloborodko, a native of Russia, admits to throwing his third octopus in the past four seasons in Nationwide Arena on Tuesday during the closing minute of the Red Wings’ 4-1 win in Game 3 of a Stanley Cup playoff series.
He lobbed a 2 1/2 -pound octopus nicknamed “Homer” over the Plexiglas and onto the ice. Yes, Goloborodko names his octopuses for Red Wings players—the latest in honor of forward Tomas Holmstrom.
Goloborodko said he was detained by arena security, threatened by angry Jackets fans and enjoyed a chance encounter with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before being escorted from the building.
“As I was being held downstairs, Gary Bettman and his security guys walked by,” Goloborodko said. “Like any good hockey fan, I recognized my commissioner and yelled out, ‘Hey, Commissioner.’
“I heard Bettman say, ‘I’m not happy about this one bit.’ I don’t know if he was responding to me or talking about something else.”
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
It might have been the most boisterous Tuesday night in the city’s history. It didn’t seem to matter to anyone that the Red Wings had easily disposed of the Jackets in the first two games in Detroit. The Columbus franchise had to get through 658 games to get here. It was time to relish a moment in the city’s sports history….
Most of the 19,219 who had tickets made it inside the arena early, but the party was just beginning. A video of season highlights was played on the scoreboard and the fans went crazy. John H. McConnell II, grandson of the team’s late owner, carried the flag and the fans went crazy. The Blue Jackets took the ice and the fans went crazier, maybe offering up the loudest ovation in the building’s history.
It was a grand party, at least until the game started. One minute, seven seconds in, while most of the fans were chanting “Let’s go Jackets” in their outside voices, Tomas Holmstrom scored to give the Red Wings a 1-0 lead.
added 10:35am, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
But with their playoff debut Tuesday night, and the buzz filling the area leading up to it, the city made it clear it has embraced the Blue Jackets. And playoff hockey.
“I think we’re turning a corner here as a franchise. . . . The buzz in this city is that we matter a little more now, we’re more in the fabric,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We have our time of the season like OSU has their time. We matter right now. That’s huge.”
There was no doubt they mattered when the packed house provided a vibrant, loud atmosphere during early action. There was also no doubt there’s still a long way to go on the ice.
from Michael Arace of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings put a 4-1 whipping on the Jackets at Nationwide Arena. With that, the Wings took a 3-0 lead in the series. It is, for all practical purposes, over.
The Jackets know what they are up against. They’re not going to quit. They’ll come out hard in Game 4 Thursday night. No one would expect anything different.
“We’re down 3-0 and we’ve got a lot of things to clean up,” forward R.J. Umberger said. “It’s not over yet. You’ve got to win four games. We still need the first playoff win in franchise history. The crowd here deserves a win. They need to see it. This city needs to see it. . . .
“Crazier things have happened.”
Fox Sports Ohio with the call…
added 10:12pm, Watch the Fox Sports Detroit view below…
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
Hockey fever has officially arrived in downtown Columbus at Nationwide Arena in anticipation of the first Stanley Cup Playoff contest in team history on Tuesday night.
“I don’t think anybody considers you a legitimate franchise in the NHL until you’ve played in the playoffs,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re in there now and we’re a young team that has a lot of talented players, who, in my eyes are just going to get better. But you still have to be playing this time of the year to be considered legitimate and we’re here.”
Update 4:45pm ET: From Puck Daddy—
How much of a boost will playing the first postseason home game in franchise history have on the Jackets? We looked back as some other “expansion era” playoff home debuts for comparison—including two against the Red Wings.
Game 1 (April 16, 1997): Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 4, Phoenix Coyotes 2
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
If you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, the first two games of the team’s series against Columbus have been bliss. If you’re just a neutral observer, the first two games have been depressing.
Why? Because Detroit is too good.
Now I’m not ragging on the Wings; I just hope the Blue Jackets can harness what will surely be the awesome energy of Nationwide Arena when the teams square off again Tuesday night. As far as the Jackets should be concerned, one goal in two games does not a series make.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org