The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/26/11 at 08:15 PM ET
Alas presence in front of Columbus’ net exists! Steve Mason, in his purple pads that were later auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research, stopped 30 shots and caused the fans in Columbus to lose their minds. The monkey is off their backs and pants got tighter last night after dominating the Red Wings on all ends of the ice. The keys to this success was killing the movement of Detroit, Mason denying great scoring chances and Jackets following through with checks that were never attempted in the previous 8 games; most of all was collecting loose pucks.
Who would have thought that the Zero would have plagued the Blue Jackets this long?
James Wisniewski returned after a 12 game suspension from the preseason and boy did he ever play last night. He was on the ice longer than any skater on both sides with 27:21 played. What he provided was enthusiasm and a chance to start the next chapter for this season; one filled with intensity from Columbus. His ability to start the passing off on the fore check was impeccable but that was just the beginning. He was out there interrupting passes and hounding players down. His presence with the puck was something to be feared for the downtrodden Red Wings coming off a 7-1 loss from Washington.
The game started with the second line sparking the momentum with a goal in the first 21 seconds and R.J. Umberger’s first goal of the season. From there came frantic play from both sides. Detroit’s Darren Helm answered with a puck that squeezed by Mason hugging the post giving him his first goal of the season. Play continued and the first Jacket’s power play came about from a too many men on the ice call against Detroit. Bertuzzi served it and from the box he witnessed Ryan Johansen’s first goal on that power play and what a goal it was. He dished the puck from behind the net and banked it off of goaltender Conklin’s skate right in the back of the net. The period ended with Columbus outshooting Detroit 14-6.
Detroit more than doubled their shots in the second but you couldn’t tell with their lack of control on the fore check. Columbus was doing a fantastic job actually blocking pucks and destroying anything that would be considered a good shot. Sure there were drives but they were surely covered by Mason alone but the pain that was being laid on Detroit was taking its toll. Columbus had 30 total hits against 20 from Detroit. The most exciting moment of the period was a chance by Ryan Johansen rushing to the net with Antoine Vermette. Ryan took the shot himself with speed but was stopped; the puck trickled behind Conklin and landed on painted metal.
I almost feel bad for the former Blue Jacket; not for his poor performance the last two games but for being forced to start after Jimmy Howard took his leave for his family. The period wound down with John Moore slapping a puck from 58 feet out over Conklin’s shoulder. This was the fourth first goal of a season for a player in this game. Scott Aniel was stunned that it was going this well.
The last period of this monumentous game started with a 3-1 Jackets lead; that alone spawned excitement in the arena that night. Two things are worth noting in this period. The first is that Rick Nash almost died. Behind the net and against the boards players were fighting for the puck. Behind Nash came Jonathan Ericsson who stuck his stick under Rick and lifted it. Nasher fell which whipped his head onto the ice and into the boards. He was stunned and took his time getting up; when on the bench he removed his helmet to ease the pain. This resulted in a tripping call which enabled another huge chance for Columbus. Brassard has a perfect open door shot but would involve a backhand to forehand shot. On the transition to forehand the backhanded drag on the puck was held up on the post. If the net was inches wider the score would have been 5-1 at this point.
The game ended with an empty netter from Derek MacKenzie which gave us the fifth goal of the game and the fifth “first goal of the season” for a skater. A 4-1 win for Columbus and the throats of fans everywhere were destroyed.
From the stands:
After the game with Scott
Today Post practice
Rick Nash became the first Blue Jacket to play 600 games in his last game with Ottawa and is four points away from 500. The next shot he takes against Buffalo will he his 2,000th shot.
Fedor Tyutin also hit a milestone of 500 games in his NHL career last Saturday versus Ottawa.
Vinny Prospal is 14 games away from 1,000 games played and 12 points shy of 700.
Antoine Vermette is nearing 300 points with 7 to go.
R.J. Umberger continued his franchise record of consecutive games played with 256, dating back to Oct 10th, 2008.
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