I joined the 10,000 or so fans last night to watch the Blue Jackets play the Sharks. And I don’t think I saw the same game as the writers of The Dispatch and a few others.
The only point I will agree on is the fine play of Steve Mason, although I thought he might have played the first San Jose goal a little better. It reminded me of the goal he gave up to Sidney Crosby last week, a shot that he had initially saved, but didn’t focus enough to complete the play. It looked to me from my seat that again he stopped his focus too early. But overall his play was excellent last night and he looks like the guy who saved the franchise last season.
As for the rest of the team, they just didn’t look like they were in it to win. Maybe they were thinking about the new casino going up a few blocks from Nationwide, or that their employer is losing a lot of money, enough to sound the alarm. The best defenseman last night was Kris Russell and that says it all. Jason Chimera played with speed and discipline. Voracek had some moments, but he couldn’t get something going when the team needed him to. Umberger, Pahlsson, Tyutin, anytime you guys want to show me what you got, I’m ready. I’m sure Jan Hejda will play better after a few more games.
Oh, I forgot. There was this fellow out there, number 28. Filatov or something like that. Man, he was really fast and created some nice offensive chances. I hope they use him more. I heard Ken Hitchcock mention something about track meets and I thought he really only has a few players who can run that kind of meet and Filatov is one of them.
The last thing I disagree with is the announced attendance, 13,401. Did they count all the scalpers, parking lot attendants, restaurant customers, etc? Not good, Columbus, even if you accept the higher figure. When the game started, I thought to myself that Nationwide looked just like it does when they have the State High School Hockey Championships, empty.