The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/19/11 at 08:52 PM ET
Yesterday’s game started with a ring; vulcanized rubber rang off the Jacket’s post and made its way behind Mason and out the other side. This is when the cold sweats start. Out of the line-up was Atkinson, Calvert, Carter, Sanford and Methot but it didn’t show. Columbus skated hard to the puck but eternally left the front of the crease to the Stars.
The first period was very exciting with the Jackets shooting the puck 12 times, one less than the total shots of their last meeting with Dallas. This was the game, you could feel it. Midway through the period a shot from former and now again current Blue Jacket defenseman Aaron Johnson went through the five-hole of undefeated Star’s goaltender Lehtonen. What a start, but wait…the goal was waived off. No video review, no calling Toronto, just waived off. Why? The referee claimed Derek Dorsett was in the crease during the goal.
Two things about this just doesn’t sit right with me. First, Derek wasn’t in the crease at the point the puck was in the net. His heels were in the crease while he was leaving the doorstep. Secondly, did he stop Lehtonen from making the save? Oh God no, he was straight up beat. He was in position and dropped to his knees. It was a good old fashioned clean old school slapper goal. The only contact made was Lehtonen hitting Derek with the blocker seconds before the shot. Plainly put, the Jackets were robbed of a goal and momentum. When was the last time you’ve seen this call? Seems like forever.
The period ended with a fight. Remember when I said to expect Cody Bass in the box? Well he put himself there with an extremely short fight. He had two big swings that landed so I guess he’s not too upset. It should have been the referee he was fighting instead of Jake Dowell; Jake started this one after a helluva body check was landed on him from Cody.
The second period was tragic. The Blue Jackets responded to the scoreless game with a strong forecheck after getting a goal waived. They were unable to stop the odd man rushes on their end. A cross-ice pass to the outside gave a clear shot to center Steve Ott. Goaltender Steve Mason had the angle closed and his glove up. The shot flew just barely under his glove to give the Stars the lead. The rest of the period was full of passion in the shots of Columbus.
Ryan Johansen was pushed into Lehtonen and was called for interference creating the first penalty kill. The Jackets survived and did rather well. The entire game they let two shots on the Stars’ power play; both of which Mason saved. Steve was taking a beating by the way with a highstick to the helmet and Steve Ott interfering in the first period. Columbus shot 12 more times with period and remained scoreless. Between periods Antoine Vermette said “it’s very frustrating”. Again the Jackets keep playing catch up.
There was lots of action and chances in the third period for Columbus. They held the Stars to 11 shots in the first two periods and tacked more onto their already 24 shots. Lehtonen was hot and they were throwing everything at him.
Early in the period Jamie Benn got through two Jackets, who didn’t go for the body check at all and got a lucky bounce off a skate to put himself alone in front of Mason. Steve went for the poke check but Benn went around him and popped it over his unsure glove. Luckily on a power play from a cross checking call gave Columbus a chance to get on the board. They did just that with our hero Rick Nash drilling the puck toward the net and Derek Brassard scooping the puck under Lehtonen for the second powerplay goal of their season and 2,000th goal in franchise history. 2-1 with over 16 minutes left, there’s still a chance if you believe the Jackets have the ability to hustle.
It’s shocking how fast that was put to bed with a deflected Stars deflected shot only a goaltender would be lucky to save. Two down and pissing their pants for a win Columbus pushed on. They responded with six shots and allowed two. Vermette almost had his first of the year but was stopped at the post by Lehtonen. After some back and forth play and shots from all angles Kris Russell boldly slapped the puck from 40 feet in the slot; he beat Lehtonen and put the game within reach with 2:55 left in regulation.
The next few minutes of play were intense. Mason was pulled in the last minutes and Columbus didn’t give Dallas a chance on net. They were aggressive with the puck but only got three shots off in two minutes. The Stars defense did a great job blocking any chance the Blue Jackets had. It boiled down to the last second and became the sixth straight loss and six straight game with two Jackets goals. Unlike the last game against Dallas the shots were 40 for Columbus and 18 for Dallas which currently gives 178 shots for the season and have seen 165.
Now Columbus is getting impatient. I am hopeful that once the two goal curse is broken they will break out in an incredibly high scoring game. What better time to do that than Friday against the Detroit Red Wings? I hear from Wing’s fans that Columbus always “shows up and plays hard” against Detroit, well I hope you’re right. Personally I think Red Wings underestimate Columbus when they are beaten by the Jackets. On the flip side, when Columbus loses to the Wings it always looks like they forgot how to pass and stop thinking about shooting the puck. As long as the referees don’t intrude on this game I think we’re in for a good one Friday. Sadly they won’t have former Jacket and current Red Wing Mike Commodore kicking goals in for Columbus. This will be a preview of the team without Wisniewski and with him on the 25th.
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