by Bethany on 03/25/09 at 02:57 AM ET
The Jackets are leaving Florida with three out of four points and have a firm grip on sixth place in the Western Conference.
But, let’s talk about the game tonight.
The Jackets looked they were ready to get back to Columbus. They didn’t seem like they cared to be at the game, and really it was a tough game to watch.
And, apparently they had that same feeling at morning skate today.
About 20 minutes into the morning skate in St. Pete Times Forum, Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock brought practice to a screeching halt with the blow of his whistle, summoning all the players to center ice.
What followed was a expletive-filled tirade that could not be printed in a family newspaper, much less a family newspaper’s blog.
Hitchcock did not like the approach to practice, the soft, off-the-mark passes and half-hearted shots on goal. That’s how the coach saw it, anyway. One could surmise that, after giving the Blue Jackets an entire day off on Sunday, the coach was just waiting for a reason—maybe even looking for it—to grab the players attention.
Maybe he didn’t yell enough? I don’t know, I can imagine what was said.
The game was scoreless until the third period when Jan Hejda scored one of the ugliest goals of the season. Then the Lightning were able to score on the power play to tie the game. You could feel from then on that the game was doomed to go into overtime.
Which it did. And, it appeared that St. Louis had scored but it was ruled a high stick so it didn’t count. Then, he ended the game. St. Louis is one of the good guys in the NHL. He is always fun to watch and even though the Jackets didn’t win.
Mike McKenna looked really good tonight. He had some good saves and was able to stop 33 of 34 shots…keep in mind they weren’t all quality shots.
“There’s no such thing as a bad point right now. Not when you’re in a playoff race. We took three out of four points this trip. Yeah, we had a chance to get a fourth point – we could have easily won this game tonight – but it’s a pretty good trip.”
I guess Rick Nash doesn’t mind losing that extra point, so I will try not to dwell on it, but with the way today has gone with their morning skate and then the game tonight. Something has got to give.
Also of note, the Predators and Ducks went into OT today and the Preds lost, pushing the Ducks into a playoff spot, and the Preds out.
The Canucks beat the Stars tonight and are now four points ahead of the Blue Jackets and tied with the Blackhawks.
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