Hitch flips the switch

CBJJackets 6, Senators 2

Quite simply, I have never seen the team play so well as I did last night. What a perfect game it was to initiate my six-year-old daughter as a Jackets fan. It was her first game, and the nonstop excitement was ideal for her short attention span. We arrived at the game, picked her up her very first jersey (she wanted the 2nd jersey), & headed up to our center-ice/upper-bowl seats for the game.

Eight seconds into the game, Anson Carter pinned a player to the boards, and the tempo was set. The pace was frenetic, the hits were hard, and the siren sounded a half-dozen times. About five minutes into the first period, I had to explain to my daughter why Shelly was pounding on McGrattan (it was a rough clip). “Why is he hitting him?” *punchpunchpunch* “Well, sweetie, see number 45 there?” *smash* “He’s the good guy.” *poundpound* “He got clipped. That means someone tried to hurt his legs. You don’t do that to number 45.” *smashbonkgruntOOF* “Oh, cooollll…” she said. “He winned! What’s he doing now?” “Going to the penalty box, sweetie.”

Gotta love the innocence.

Both Nash and Fritsche were in position for hat tricks by the end of the second period, and Hainsey and Malhotra picked up the other two goals. Five of the six came on power plays – a new CBJ record.

It was quite interesting to see the new lineups. Not seeing Fedorov take the opening face-off was a bit odd, but Sergei had a fantastic game nonetheless, getting an assist on one of Nash’s goals and wreaking havoc elsewhere. Hitchcock is still playing with the lines, and whatever he’s doing is working. All the lines have been playing with increased chemistry for the past half-dozen games or so.

The usual bad news about a game this fast and rough is the number of injuries that occur… and the Jackets had some unfortunate ones. Adam Foote was taken away during the first period, suffering a “lower body injury.” That could be code for “back,” or it could be code for “balls.” Who knows yet. Anson Carter got hurt too, but I heard on the Jackets post-game radio show that he was okay.

The worst potential injury came from LeClaire… he was taken off the ice after an awkward stretch in the second period. It was hard to tell what happened, it just looked like he stretched “funny.” An MRI was scheduled today. After hearing that the Jackets issued an emergency recall of Ty Conklin from the Crunch today, I’m guessing the news from the MRI isn’t so good.

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