Jackets Earn First Win Over Detroit
The Columbus Blue Jackets finally found a way to get a win last night, and that reason was the Detroit Red Wings playing a sub-par game. R.J Umberger, Ryan Johansen, John Moore and Derek MacKenzie scored for Columbus and Darren Helm replied for Detroit in the 4-1 win by the Jackets.
Ty Conklin had another stinker in net for Detroit. Columbus had 32 shots on net compared to Detroit's 31, but Conklin let in two goals that would have never gone in if Jimmy Howard was playing. I have never been a huge Howard supporter, but he has played great early on. Conklin - not so much.
I noticed that his positioning was really off and he was not tracking the puck at all. If he made a save with his left shoulder and the puck went flying up to the left, he would look down and right. It didn't seem right and it showed when Umberger scored a squeaker 21 seconds into the game and also when Johansen got his first career goal by banking it in off Conklin's skate.
Other than goaltending issues, Detroit didn't have a jump at all. Helm's garbage goal in the first period was the only sniff the Wings got. Columbus bottled up the neutral zone to great effect. They were obviously aided by James Wisniewski's first game back after an eight game suspension (he led the Blue Jackets in ice time).
I also had a beef with Jonathan Ericsson (no surprise there). The guy is doing nothing for this team. Nothing. $3 million-plus and he gets to sit on the bench. And when he is on the ice, he is a non-factor. I really don't understand what he did to deserve this contract. He literally has no potential from what I'm seeing.
The only thing Detroit did well was shutting down Rick Nash completely. For some reason, Nash never performs well against the Wings, and that might be due to the fact that he has no one around him to pick up the slack. Imagine if Nash was on a team with some other talent; he would be a goal scoring machine.
While Detroit keyed on Nash, it left other guys open like Umberger and Antoine Vermette, and they made them pay. Columbus was clearly the hungrier team and it resulted in their first win of the season.
Steve Mason played all but 2:33 of the game, where he left with a minor injury and 4th stringer Allen York took over, but didn't face a shot (Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford are out with injuries). There are also rumours that ex-Wing Manny Legace might get a shot with Columbus (he is in the AHL with their farm team ,Springfield, on a tryout).
Detroit's next tilt is Friday against the San Jose Sharks.