The Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to Upstate New York tonight, to take on the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres came into the game, losers of two straight. The Jackets are coming off their first win of the season, last Tuesday night. In the end, this game pretty much looked like seven or eight losses, this year…
The story of this game was goal-tending. Sabres goalie, Jhonas Enroth, was outstanding. Enroth stopped 42-44 shots on goal. Meanwhile, Steve Mason looked shaky on three of the goals he let in, for the Blue Jackets. Mason faced 26 shots.
Scouting reports have documented Steve Mason’s glove side as a weakness. That aside, it’s been his inability to see the puck – to stay with it – that has cost him lately.
On the Sabres first goal, they had a mild 3 on 2 rush. As the puck switched wings on the pass, Mason over committed, lost sight of the puck, got on his heels, and Brad Boyes threw a knuckle puck that easily found the far side of the net. Columbus out-shot the Sabres 17 to 13, but were down 1-0 after the first period.
In the second period, the Sabres scored just over 4 minutes in – Jason Pominville’s scored after Mason gave up a huge rebound from Thomas Vanek’s slap shot from the high slot. Here’s the problem – Mason over committed again, almost playing the shot as though it was coming from the right face-off circle. While he made the initial save, he gave up a juicy rebound, left a gaping cage, and he had no chance to fight for the rebound.
After a goal by Vinney Prospal, the Jackets trailed 2-1, after 2 periods.
Things didn’t get much better in the third period. YES, the CBJ rallied to tie the game at 2 a piece (goal by Fedor Tyutin), but Mason again looked off balance and surprised when a long dump in caromed off the corner wall, and ended up in front of the net. Instead of staying up on the shot, he lunged forward (was late and off balance), leaving the top 2/3rds of the net wide open. Patrick Kaleta flipped it through all three CBJ players to secure the win for the Sabres.
Goaltenders have been the difference this season. This game should have been a 2-1 win, for the CBJ. Instead, Columbus is back to their losing ways. Final score 4-2.
About the Author
Written by Dennis Patchett
Huge NHL and soccer fan! Love Columbus, Ohio sports! Buckeyes, Crew, Blue Jackets! Also, the Washington Capitals are my new adopted NHL team!