The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 11/04/11 at 04:00 PM ET
Columbus 1 – Toronto 4
The Maple Leafs dominated Columbus last night. Right from the get go it looked as if they forgot how to play the game of ice hockey. Passes were flying everywhere, turnovers were made and there was no evidence of knowing how to forecheck when at even strength. The only real opportunity arose from a wrist shot from Aaron Jonson four minutes into the game. The player celebrated thinking they scored but alas it was banked onto the post and out toward the boards.
The goals by Toronto came in two periods and were incredible. The precision seen last night by Toronto would give nightmares to a goaltender. After eleven shots and four goals Steve Mason was yanked from the crease and replaced by Allen York. York started the game against Chicago and let four by him in 37 shots. He held up last night but was only tested with seven shots; he stopped all seven, which was the same number of saves made by Mason that night.
Columbus was unable to take advantage of their four power plays; this was the only glimpses of a Jackets forecheck. This was made possible by the horrible penalty kill from Toronto, who is ranked 30th with 71.7%; it was seen last night why they are ranked 3rd in Goals Per Game with 3.4.
The only goal from Columbus came a little too late for four more with twenty eight minutes left in regulation. It was a garbage goal by Ryan Johansen with Antoine Vermette dumping the puck into the crease. Ryan saw the puck coming toward him and he swept it in. Nothing to write home about; unless it’s: “Mom! We lost last night but I got lucky with a cheap goal that raised everyone’s blood pressure for a moment. You should have seen coach’s face, he looked pissed all night.”
They were so many slap shots from 50 feet out that I was starting to get sick; dump and chase wouldn’t work on the Leafs. But there were moments that the rookie goaltender for Toronto, Ben Scrivens, was tested. Rick Nash did his magic and created some opportunities but still nothing like when he was a few years ago. You could tell that the Toronto could feel the effects of the Columbus’s masculinity when a rush was being made, especially on the powerplay.
This was about the only notable thing about this game. Marc Methot returned after a shattered thumb in the Detroit game and the first win. Did he do anything? Not really but the usual “beat the hell of out anyone with the puck” thing; he racked up six hits and helped on the penalty kill.
Some things that are still current, and positive, about the Jackets is that they killed in the stats:
This win brought Toronto to the top of the NHL with 19 points.
This was a bad game for one player in particular, James Wisniewski. For the first time he racked up a -4 on the plus/minus. No points but he still held the torch for time on ice with 26:58. Him and Fedor Tyutin have been doing a fantastic job on the blue line, producing a combined seven points in five games since James Wisniewski’s return.
Let’s talk injuries. Center Jeff Carter is back soon, out with a fracture on the top of his foot. Goaltender Mark Dekanich is skating and will be playing in Springfield before his return to the NHL. Right winger Jared Boll is expected to return in 10 days to two weeks from now with a broken thumb. Columbus anticipates his return for his forecheck and grit; thankfully he announced that he might not be able to fight for fear of hurting his thumb. It’s great to know Boll won’t be sitting in the penalty box as soon as he returns, that’s one thing I despise Jared for. Left winger Kristian Huselius seemed to be on his way back from a projected four to sixth month recovery period. He practiced with the team but commented that the range in his shoulder was “not good”. It may be December when we see him and his sniper shots back on the ice. Lastly defenseman Radek Martinek has been out from a concussion dealt by Detroit’s Darren Helm and there is still no word on how long he’ll be out but it’s looking like a week.
The Columbus Blue Jackets (2-10-1) will travel to see the Philadelphia Flyers (7-4-2) this Saturday at 7:00. This will be the only time Columbus will see their former teammate Jakub Voracek this season. He was dealt for the now injured Jeff Carter. Hopefully we will see Carter return for this game particularly because of his being called out by flyer’s coach Peter Laviolette for not being on their “Dry Island”. Maybe Jeff will grab a drink at his favorite dive bar with Arniel.
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