The Lorenzi Line
In light of their recent downfall the Columbus Blue Jackets have given its fans a couple distractions. When there’s no glory in a losing streak to open the regular season with you might as well give the fans what they want, rock music and an intro to the season that has already began. I can’t tell you how amped and overjoyed I am to see the video they played on the jumbotron during the opening ceremony. A few minutes in and I’ve already forgotten the first loss to Nashville, the beatdown by Minnesota and the crime committed during the Vancouver game. It’s a new season and another chance for Columbus to prove to North America that when this team is at their best they can beat a real threat.
It’s almost a week into the season and the Jackets turned me into a hermit. It’s been six days since the home opener at Nationwide Arena and six days since the Blue Jackets looked like the team from the preseason and what we’ve all been hoping for. The great power play we were to have this year hasn’t potted a goal yet; accredited to the overkill of an eight game suspension we are without the most important power play component, James Wisniewski. What has the goaltending aspired to be? Exactly what you expect, Mason is getting massacred with a lack of an aggressive defense. I don’t even want to know the passing percentage. So let’s break this down now and get this over with.
Much has happened since the year 2000 but we failed to see any signs of Columbus housing the Stanley Cup…until now. After ten seasons the Blue Jackets have reshuffled their deck in the best possible way. What do we have to look forward to this season? We’ll have Antoine Vermette shooting to top his career high of 65 points two seasons ago. A look at MVP and First-Team All-Star of the NCAA’s Hockey East, rookie Cam Atkinson blasting from the blue-line toward the net in a Blue Jackets sweater. Not to mention if Matt Calvert takes his career and steers it toward being a top 6 scorer. Mark Dekanich, a backup goal tender who has only seen 1 actual NHL game. A hard working 26 year old defenseman, Grant Clitsome, who could be playing possibly his first complete season in the NHL after proving himself last season when needed with 19 points in 31 games.
Last night the Columbus veterans dished goals to the prospects. First for Columbus was Cam Atkinson who buried the biscuit with a tight backhand to the five hole after excellent passing from Rick Nash and David Savard. From there Maksim Mayorov and David Savard both notched a goal and an assist. In any case the Capitals knotted the score at 3 and brought it to overtime. 2:36 into the OT Alexandre Giroux slapped in a power play goal for the win and the small crowd went bazonkers.
Last night the Jackets took Winnipeg by the ears in Nationwide and ran them to a 5-1 victory. Two Jets goals were waived off due to goal tending interference but it was still a clean game. The exact type of game you want to see your prospects play, staying out of the box. A nice slapper from the blue line and Nick Holden notched a goal. The next came Mayorov popping one in. Both players have had their chances to play for the Blue Jackets in the past but were sent back to the minors to cook some more. More so for Mayorov than Holden. The newbie on the ice, Boone Jenner, scored his first goal in a Jacket’s uniform. To even the ratio two goals by two jackets, Antoine Vermetter and Sammy Pahlsson came to end the scoring for Columbus and a win. Naturally the only Jet to score was the upcoming Evander Kane.
Further west the Jets did the same to the Jackets achieving 6-1. Unfortunately it was untelevised most everywhere so here’s the recap:
The roster for the game at Nationwide are as follows:
Can you feel, hear or even taste it? The puck dropping to gracefully dance on the ice for a split second before it’s batted away by a curved piece of wood. I’m having trouble sleeping so I am writing this at 3 in the morning. It’s like before the first day of school or Christmas. There is no way to describe exactly how long the summer feels to someone when they are not a hockey fan. I hope that this feeling lasts every year till I’m old and dying but we’ll let Gary Bettman decide that for now.
After a very exciting Owner’s Tournament for the Jackets they will be experiencing a rare occurrence in the NHL with a split squad game tomorrow. Their opponent will be the Winnipeg Jets, even though most of the coverage online still has a Atlanta Thrashers logo still in place. At the end of last season and after more than ten years the Jets returned to Winnipeg after the Thrashers ran into financial hardships. Tomorrow the citizens of Manitoba will be glued to their television sets and radios as the puck finally drops again in Winnipeg an hour and a half after it does in Columbus.
As for Columbus, hockey is burning in our hearts. The turnout for the Owners’ tournament was massive.
After the 7-3 blowout start against Detroit the Columbus prospects ended the tournament with a 4-3 loss in overtime against St. Louis. For Columbus the star of this tournament came to be Ryan Johansen (3-3-6, 5+/-) who placed second overall coming close behind Phillip McRae (4-3-7, 3+/-) for St. Louis. The Jackets prospects placed fourth which is good enough for me. You don’t expect much after four straight losses last year. Hell, they even ended with more GA than GF this year. 16 GF and 14 GA compared to 8 GF and 23 GA last year.
Our prospects end up coming home to some good news about their team’s security.
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