There were two things I noticed in last night's Blue Jackets game.
1. The Atlanta Thrashers fanbase is close to nonexistent as the attendance at the game was only at 8,461. This was Atlanta's second record low in 15 days.
2. Mathieu Garon continues to have the Thrashers' number. Coming into last night's game, Garon was 4-0-0 against the Thrashers, having a goals against average of one. Well, last night was no different.
Garon posted his second shutout in as many games as the Blue Jackets cruised to a 3-0 victory in Atlanta. Garon even took a slap shot to the mask that looked to rustle the 32-year-old netminder, but it did not seem to affect him throughout the rest of the game. Garon stopped 25 shots and is now 4-0 with three shutouts in Phillips Arena. This was the first time that the Thrashers have been shut out this season.
Atlanta was not able to get a lot of quality shot attempts, but what shots they did take, Garon was able to defend them with ease. The Blue Jackets defense should get a lot of credit for the shutout as well because they eliminated almost all quality attempts and were able to stay out of the box for most of the game, only taking two penalties.
As the game went on, the action really didn't pick up until the second period.
After a very even first period, the Jackets came out in the second fired up and quickly were able to put points on the board. Four minutes and 46 seconds in, captain Rick Nash put a beautiful backhand in front of the net. The puck was deflected and ended up right in front of Derick Brassard who buried it for his fifth goal in six games, putting the Blue Jackets up 1-0.
Brassard would tally an assist later in the game when Marc Methot scored his first goal of the season off a blue-line slap shot that zoomed past goalie Ondrej Pavelec. The Blue Jackets forecheck was able to create a lot of traffic in front of the net and by the time Pavelec saw the puck, the Jackets were already celebrating with Methot.
The Thrashers, coming off a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Panthers on Wednesday night, looked tired at times as playing two games back to back most likely caught up with them.
Towards the end of the game R.J. Umberger scored an empty-net goal as he skated past what looked like a lost Thrashers defense, and put an end to any hopes of a Thrashers comeback.
The Blue Jackets have now won five of their last six games and have tied the division-leading St. Louis Blues with 16 points. Garon continues to shine and will probably be the starter against the Minnesota Wild this Saturday in Columbus.
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