The Columbus Blue Jackets bled 20 minutes out of the third period desperate to get any kind of result out of the 3-3 tie. Then two and a half minutes into the overtime, they incorporated the same strategy, looking like a team more interested in going to a shootout than to try for the win.
That was until Brian Campbell tried an unsuccessful give-and-go with Jonathan Toews in the Columbus zone. The puck squirted to R.J. Umberger, who came down with a one-on-one with Matt Walker. Antoine Vermette barrelled down on Brian Campbell, Umberger put an area pass in the slot, Vermette somehow got the puck, and in turn, somehow got the puck past Cristobal Huet (doing his best playoff Ed Belfour impression) and Columbus picked up the extra point.
The ‘Hawks reversed their latest trend by scoring a minute into the game when Dave Bolland squeaked one past rookie phenom Steve Mason. The Jackets responded two minutes later when Huet made a lazy pass to Ham Sandwich. The puck ended up on Jakub Voracek’s stick and he fed it to Umberger who re-directed it into the net.
Columbus took the lead eight minutes later off a face-off when the puck pinballed around the boards and ended up on Derek Dorsett’s stick in the slot. The ‘Hawks responded six minutes later with a goal off a face-off in the Columbus zone. Troy Brouwer found Patrick Kane standing alone and he didn’t miss.
The ‘Hawks took their second lead ten minutes into the second period when Toews knocked in a power play goal from a Cam Barker pass. Of course, the Jackets came back forty seconds later and tied it when Rick Nash threw a puck to net from the goal line and Huet appeared to be distracted by the traffic in front. Nevertheless, it was a softie and killed any chance the ‘Hawks had of extending their lead.
In the third, Columbus was trying really hard to cough up the game to the ‘Hawks. They took three terrible penalties in the first ten minutes but with an injury knocking Cam Barker out and Steve Mason making some key saves including a toe save on Toews’ one-timer, the Jackets hung on to the precious tie.
A bright spot for the ‘Hawks was their penalty killing which killed off all five Columbus power plays. A major reason for that was deadline acquisition Sammy Pahlsson. He’s totally calm in his zone and never seems to get himself out of position. If this a preview of what’s to come, then consider the move a success, no matter what some buffoon behind the ‘Hawks bench thought.
If anyone had any doubts, the ‘Hawks are, in fact, in a slump. Getting any kind of point out of this game was a success. The other point would have been delicious, but at this point, we shouldn’t get greedy.
Quick Side Note– A week and a half ago against Colorado, I took Steve Konroyd to task for not noticing that Martin Havlat was hurt and not on the bench. I even went so far as to say that would never happen on Edzo’s watch. Boy, was I dead wrong. Cam Barker didn’t see a shift after about the twelve minute mark of the second period. Not only that, the ‘Hawks opened up with a power play in the third period and for some reason, Dave Bolland was on the point with Brian Campbell. Apparently, that didn’t seem a wee bit odd to anyone in the booth. Later, with just a couple minutes left in the game, they finally acknowledged that Barker was out for the rest of the game. This coming after several shots of the ‘Hawks bench and anybody paying attention would have noticed Barker was nowhere to be seen. So basically, all I’m trying to say is, “Sorry Steve.”