The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 11/16/11 at 06:32 PM ET
Columbus 2 – Minnesota 4
The Blue Jackets took to the ice as if they were the team we expected after the off season trades. Columbus put up 18 shots and 2 goals in the first period, something that had me on the edge of my seat. An early Blue Jacket lead can be trepidatious, I’d rather be down a goal going into the second period… What you would expect to happen did; the Blue Jackets folded after the first period when two quick goals were potted on Mason in the second, twenty seconds from each other.
Congrats to Vermette on his first goal of the season and how it happened. His effort on this shorthanded goal was almost luck, lucky that he found the rebound and didn’t get called for tripping. I’m happy the refs are looking for dives. The first line (Umby, Nash, Carter) didn’t do as hot and was held pointless the entire game and each collected a -2. Newly acquired Nikita Nikitin continued his point streak with his second assist in both games he has played for Columbus with Letestu potting his second goal in three games too. Both of their points last night were on the power play.
Since countrymen Nikitin and Tyutin were paired together we’ve seen 2 points; you can expect this trend to continue. Throwing Umberger on the first line was a mistake in my honest opinion. He hasn’t tallied a point since the Duck’s victory while collecting a -6 since then. I want to see Matt Calvert on the first line for a game; this is all about experimenting right? He’s got the grit to be a star and has the chase that Rick Nash doesn’t have.
Again we saw Rick on a 2 on 1 rush and lost the puck. It seems like he’s forgotten how to deke through players but refuses to stop trying. He’s becoming Lebron James very very quickly. He needs to quit trying fot the highlight reel and needs to do what he does best, shoot. I’ve seen you Rick when you get a look and take the shot. You know where to put it, when you’re outnumbered fake a deke. Make the opposing team think that you’re going to blast through them, like you always attempt, just long enough for a play to align itself.
Last night there must have been three wide open net opportunities. Two came on a wrap around backhanded attempt by Prospal. It left his stick and sailed laterally across the crease. It went to Vermette and he missed it too. The other is Rick Nash who blasted a puck into the net but a Wild player dove and got a stick on it. The puck was redirected into the post…
The goals on Mason were created by way of crashing the net and one power play. After a shot the rebound becomes a riddle when you have five skaters in your crease scrambling for the puck. Both goals were almost identical in how they came to be. After the first goal the Blue Jackets were figured out and were exposed. Columbus held on with their shots and outshot the Wild 45 to 24 in this game, this was a season high for the Jackets.
Okay so we’ve seen time and time again that the “shot on net” problem from the last couple years has been solved but why are they still losing? Again that has to be due to the quality of shots. I’m still seeing a lot of shots on the goaltender’s logo, something that I think will never change. On the other hand our new pickups are doing just fine, is it because they haven’t felt the Blue Jackets’ shame yet? It’s obvious this team is frustrated and borderline suicidal but a quarter of the team should be able to score on their shot alone.
I’ll hand it to you that you’ve faced some of the best goaltenders in the NHL so far. Players like Kari Lehtonen 11-3-0, Pekka Rinne 10-2-1, Craig Anderson 8-6-1, Jimmy Howard 8-4-1 and Jhona Enroth 6-0-0 but you have to figure it out. Get that goaltender out of position, crash that net; it’s seriously time to start playing dirty. Every game from here on out should look like a playoff game to you; Mason already sees it this way and he’s scared.
Steve I’m going to miss you because you’re probably on your way out. This isn’t coming from any rumors but hope for a winning streak. The masses are pushing the idea of picking of Nabokov from the Islanders but they aren’t much better off that Columbus; NYI has 4-8-3, CBJ accumulated 3-13-1. After the recent trades Columbus has freed up $1.9 mil in cap space and will probably do something useful with it; perhaps they will pick up Turco finally or even two solid backups. Hell even a trade with the Jets would be nice, I could deal with having two Masons. Even if Steve was traded and one bad ass net minder was place in the crease I still don’t see a goaltender being able to survive this onslaught without his defense bending over backwards to kill plays. Yea Columbus is keeping the puck down ice and shooting like an AK-47 and led takeaways last night with six but they had four giveaways; the Wild had no giveaways, does that tell you something?
Relax today before the hung-over Stanley Cup champs put shots on you in Boston. If you’re lucky Curtis Sandford will be starting in net and you won’t go home to bite your pillow. Here’s to hoping Steve, at least someone will still love you regardless of the score.
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