Here are the ten things we learned in tonight's 3-2 win in Columbus:
1. No one goes to Columbus games. On a holiday. When Vancouver is in town. And the moon is waxing gibbous.
2. Marc Methot made us all hate Marc Methot when he drilled Henrik Sedin on the numbers against the boards midway through the game. It did seem like Methot let up on the replay but those hits are exactly what the league is trying to crack down on. But making it worse (well besides the two minutes for boarding and nothing else) was...
3. No one responded. Twitter blew up with Boston/Marchand references while the rest of us wondered if Weise (team high four hits in the game) or Volpatti - the two most obvious candidates - were going to send a message that hitting our captain from behind isn't kosher. This moment never came. I'm not a fan of message sending (unless the message is an actual win), but watching no one respond to the hit with well over half a game left was disheartening. Update: Iain MacIntyre said Volpatti and Bieksa challenged Methot but no dice. So there you go.
4. Cory Schneider got the start (cue the trade rumors!), played strong and made up for his nap during the Prospal goal when he stoned Maksim Mayorov on the penalty shot. He also made some strong plays on Nash and Carter before it was all said and done, but the Mayorov save was the game changer. After that stop the Canucks took over and Ginger Jesus locked down his 19th career win.
5. The second line remains a head scratcher. Hodgson played strong again and scored the equalizer when he tipped home a Dan Hamhuis pass. But his linemates - Sturm and Samuelsson - were largely invisible and aren't offering the rookie much to work with. Sturm needs a score to get the monkey off his
jello knees back.
6. Steve Mason was either (a) diving around every time he was touched or (b) kept getting shot by a sniper. Whichever it was, it wasn't enough to stop Burrows from whacking home the winner midway through the third period.
7. The defense was largely out of sync all evening. For the first time (ever?), Tanev looked painfully out of his element. Edler had his PP shots blocked routinely and Bieksa was a goat on the Prospal goal. To be fair, it's lame to nitpick during a win this early on, but if they play like that against Philly it could get ugly.
8. If you said "Sami Salo" to the hypothetical question of "I wonder who blocked the most shots tonight", you win. Three blocks for the brittle vet. He leads the Canucks with five in two games which means, yes, he'll explode by the end of the week.
9. The first two periods saw a lazy, almost disinterested Vancouver team. In the third they woke up and outshot the Blue Jackets 12-5. Are the cardiac kids back and, if so, is your liver ready for a long winter of harsh abuse?
10. Money's line was quietly efficient. Both Malhotra and Higgins got twisted around in their own zone allowing the Cam Atkinson goal in the first, but I thought they got stronger as the game progressed. I'm interested to see the scoring chances to see if they were above water, but if they can start contributing a timely score here and there it'll be easier to stomach the anchors around Cody until Kesler returns.