Jackets Avoid OT, beat OilersNovember 6, 2008
“To be quite honest with you,” Hitchcock said, “this is just our team. When you play young, skilled players, you’re going to go through peaks and valleys during a 60-minute game.”
So those off-season acquisitions of skilled, seasoned, competitive players have given way to using young, skilled playes, eh? The evidence was there last night as I watched Derick Brassard and Jake Voracek skate around like they’ve been in the NHL for five years. They were controlling the play, possessing the puck, and making Kristian Huselius look better. Sure, Voracek commited a give away that led to the second Edmonton goal. But it was a higher-priced veteran who left Kyle Brodziak alone to score the fourth Edmonton goal. So if this is the team, I’ll go with the kids.
As for Steve Mason, he was acceptable. He made the saves he was supposed to make and did not overplay the puck. The guy hasn’t even played five games since last spring, so he will only get better. But in reality, this was a game that even another Jacket goalie would have won.
Two more tests coming this weekend, Montreal and Calgary. The Calgary game on Saturday will be televised by CBC as part of Hockey Night In Canada. Do everyone a favor, Columbus fans, and show up for the game so we look like a real hockey town to our friends up north. You can record the OSU-Northwestern game and watch it later. This is a chance to see a good game against a Western Conference foe, a game that will mean something in April.