by professor ggrib
Friday, 7 AHL Lake Erie Monsters plus several Monsters to be, cruised down Lake Erie to play the NHL Buffalo Sabers. For one and a half periods they absolutely stunned the Sabers, and still ended the 2nd period leading 5 to 0. Yes, it caught up with them a bit and the Sabers ended up drawing close at 5-4, but they hung on to beat the NHLers 6-4. Then they quietly pulled on their fins and swam back to Cleveland to get ready for the AHL season. And make no mistake, this was in vast majority the AHL Monsters.
Saturday, the NHL Blue Jackets hosted the Nashville Predators, eking out a 7-1 win and playing a damn good game doing it. Scoring was again lead by the top line, but the scoring went up and down the line up and everyone contributed, a team game. The goal tending, was well- Bob.
In two nites, the Blue Jackets announced to the Hockey World that their time of being league patsies was officially over. Technically it was not a loud announcement. The acquisition of Branden Saad put the remainder of the league on notice that the change, “she’s a commin”. There is no more flying under the radar. It’s all out there in neon lights.
The top line will be seeing a lot of each teams top defensemen, but the following lines are very capable of making them pay for that tactic. And it was shown that waiting in the wings is a second wave of gunners, just itching for their chance to be top gun.
The Jackets new so called “top line” has only played together for 3 games. They have played well together, exhibiting skill and some of the so called “chemistry” of veteran players. But as Ryan Johansen said, “it’s still only preseason”. But I can assure, other teams are making notes right now on how the trio of Saad, Foleigno and Johansen are doing and how they might deal with them. In a way, I am glad so see that they get attention. I think they have the skill and the smarts to deal with it, and it will open chances for the other lines. The 2nd and 3rd lines are good enough to have been the first line on previous Blue Jacket teams. Thats good news for Jacket fans, and not so much for opposing teams.
In addition it is very likely that any of the players on the top two lines of the Monsters, would be starting for the big club in the past. This year, it’s more a “try to get better, cuz your turn is coming” year for them. The blacksmith may be still fine tuning these new weapons, but the older ones are poised for lethal work.!