Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
DRW.com analyzes Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals
It’s pretty simple; the Wings dominated the special-teams aspect of Game 2. They had a lot of help, with the Blue Jackets taking 13 penalties. The Wings’ three goals on eleven extra-man opportunities might not look that good percentage-wise, but it gave the Wings a commanding victory. The Wings could have scored more on later power plays in the third period, but coach Mike Babcock rested some of his regulars – thus inflating the numbers on the stats sheet. At the start of the series, it was evident that the Wings would need to get traffic in front of Columbus rookie goalie Steve Mason. Their job was a whole lot easier when the Blue Jackets were a man short.
What about Chris Osgood?
The Wings’ netminder is playing as if the regular-season never happened. Osgood turned in another incredible performance Saturday night, turning aside 25 shots to capture his 14th career playoff shutout. He didn’t make as many of the highlight-reel stops Saturday as he did on Thursday, but he didn’t need to. Osgood was solid all night, turning aside all the long-range shots and cutting down his angles whenever he could. The Wings should feel confident in their goaltending situation after back-to-back standout performances. The fans noticed – chants of “Ozzie, Ozzie” rang down from the Joe Louis Arena stands throughout the night. And the building was at it’s loudest when Osgood was named first star of the night.
The Blue Jackets showed their inexperience late in the game, and they looked rattled. As mentioned previously, the Jackets took a lot of late penalties – nine of their 13 came in the third period. Antoine Vermette, one of their top-line centers, took a four-minute roughing penalty halfway through the third, putting his team even further behind. Defenseman Mike Commodore got a 10-minute misconduct for his actions in front of the Columbus goal. These are all signs that the inexperience is starting to surface, and now the Blue Jackets are down 2-0 in the series as they head back home. Not to mention the fact that Mason, who experts said may steal the series for the Jackets, has allowed seven goals in two games. It will be interesting to see how he responds on home ice.