Hockey After Dark: Night Five, April 16 by DXTraeger

"...Where Insomnia Hits the Ice"
(Welcome to "Hockey After Dark," a late-night recap of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Topics will include scores, injuries, controversies, the Twitter-verse, and random jokes at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers)

Much has made about the playoff history of the Columbus Blue Jackets...namely, the utter lack thereof.

CBJ fans will see Halley's Comet a lot.
Columbus has amassed only 2 playoff wins since joining the NHL 17 years ago....so, if you do the math (and I did), the Blue Jackets will finally accrue the 16 total wins necessary to win a Stanley Cup in a chill 136 years (or, in the year 2153).

Put another way, Halley's Comet will come & go TWICE before the hapless hockey team from Ohio finally reaches 16 wins (at their current pace).

The Blue Jackets looked like they were going to buck their historical trend early on Sunday, and I do mean early: Cam Atkinson found a juicy rebound and flicked the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury a mere 11 seconds into the game, energizing the "Crosby Crying" mask-less crowd at Nationwide Arena.

Before the cannons could finish firing, the Penguins had answered, with Jake Guentzel notching his second of the series courtesy of helpers from Crosby and Ron Hainsey.

Cam Atkinson wouldn't stand long for a tie, and following a bad turnover deep in Pittsburgh's end of the ice, Atkinson found himself alone with Fleury, and when the Flower's desperate poke check missed, Atkinson turned his hands over and slid the puck underneath the sprawling netminder for a 2-1 Columbus lead.

Seconds later, Team Dad Matt Cullen was sent off for a weak slashing call, and the Blue Jackets' Zach Werenski wired a shot from the right circle into the net behind Fleury.  Werenski's shot was so hard, it
"NOTHING TO SEE HERE!  MOVE ALONG SIR!"
ricocheted underneath some padding, and Fleury tried to casually obscure the referee's eye to the buried puck, but alas, the goal counted and Nationwide faithful went into the first intermission feeling good with their Blue Jackets up 2-1.

Pittsburgh would roar out of the proverbial gates in the second, with Bryan "TINNNNNNN ROOF" Rust and Geno Malkin scoring to bring the Penguins back to a 3-3 tie.
Unsubstantiated home of Bryan Rust.

The score would remain tied until Brandon Dubinsky did a Brandon Dubinsky thing, and took an unnecessary penalty.  Pittsburgh would make it hurt, as Jake Guentzel scored his second of the game, this time off of a bank shot from behind the goal line.

Sadly, Dubinsky would then go and do a Dubinsky thing– this time of the timely goal scoring variety– and corralled a shot-pass off of Fleury's pads and scored with just under 5 minutes left to tie the contest and ultimately send it into overtime.

Ultimately, it would be another Sidney Crosby grand behind the net (is it time to rename "Gretzky's Office" to "Crosby's Pad" or something?  I'm open to suggestions here), distracting the Blue Jackets enough that Jake Guenztel took up residence right in front of Bobrovsky, and after quickly lifting the stick of the man marking him, Guenztel had a wide open look, and buried the Crosby feed for the Hat Trick and the Game 3 winner.

And what a winner it was.  If you want to draw a parallel to cinema, the obvious example is...

---"The Dark Knight Rises"  (Movie filmed in Pittsburgh)---

STARRING:   Jake Guentzel, BANE
                         Columbus Playoff Fans Hope (Team Mascot)
                     
ACT I, SCENE I:  The overwhelmed Columbus Blue Jackets desperately try to fend off the Penguins' attack
   
:::ENTER COLUMBUS FAN HOPE STAGE RIGHT:::              
   
     HOPEFUL FAN:  WE WILL FORCE YOU TO FIGHT, TO BEND YOU TO OUR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT...
     BANE:                  NO.  WE DIDN'T COME TO COLUMBUS TO WIN GAME 3.
WE CAME TO COLUMBUS...    ....TO BREAK THE BLUE JACKETS....TO...

Ouchies.
Abbreviated Hockey after Dark on account of Easter.  Hope you had a swell Sunday, and looking forward to seeing all of you next time!

Always looking for feedback, comments, questions, suggestions, recipes, and two-paragraph explanations on whether or not Joey & Phoebe were ever a couple on "Friends".  Communicate away @DXTraeger!



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