Ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ meeting with the Montreal Canadiens, coach John Tortorella had to catch himself. Talking about his team’s ability to be prepared to face top competition, Tortorella said the Blue Jackets were a “good f—“ and he paused, laughed and then continued on saying the Blue Jackets had a good team that could beat anybody.
Tortorella’s club showed that Friday night. Boy, did they ever.
In what will go down as one of the most insane games in Blue Jackets history, Columbus hung 10 goals on the league-leading Canadiens in a rout of literally epic proportions.
What might be most amazing about the feat is that the Blue Jackets didn’t score their first goal until there were nine minutes left in the first frame, and even still they managed to put up 10 goals in roughly 40 minutes of game time.
The scoring started with Cam Atkinson’s goal on the power play, was followed by a second goal less than one minute later and the lead was stretched to 3-0 with little less than six minutes remaining in the first frame. It continued in the second frame when Atkinson fired home his second of the night, and the lead grew greater with a pair of markers from Nick Foligno and one each from Scott Hartnell and Josh Anderson. In the third, the Blue Jackets hit the double digit mark with tallies from Hartnell and Anderson.
For the sake of expedience, you can check out goals No. 1 and No. 10 below:
That post-goal roar when Anderson scores is playoff levels, but not surprising given the Blue Jackets’ faithful was chanting, “We want 10!” in the minutes preceding the tally.
Now, the statistical breakdown.
On the evening, every Blue Jackets player save Lukas Sedlak and Ryan Murray registered a tally and eight players had multi-point nights. The highest scoring player was Alex Wennberg, who registered four assists, and each of Atkinson, Anderson, Hartnell and Foligno had two-goal nights.
As far as history goes, it was the first time the Blue Jackets notched 10 goals in an evening — the previous high was eight, three times over, and last in November 2010 — and it was a beatdown the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the NHL since January 1996 when the Calgary Flames dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning to the tune of 10-0. Overall, it was only the 34th time in league history that a team has notched 10-plus goals in a shutout effort.
And poor Al Montoya, who was stuck in goal for the Canadiens for the entire evening as Montreal played the first half of a back-to-back. He’s only the 24th goalie since 1987 to allow 10 goals against, and only the second netminder in the past 15 years to do so. Steve Valiquette, who allowed double digits in February 2009, is the other.
That said, Montoya fared well compared to other goaltenders who have let in 10 goals in a single outing, which sounds like the most bizarre thing in the history of goaltending statistics. His .750 save percentage — 10 against on 40 shots — ranks seventh of the 24 goalies to allow 10 goals, tied with Jeff Hackett and Wendell Young, both of whom allowed 10 goals on 40 shots against.
Oh, and one last thing: Nov. 4 is Canadiens coach Michel Therrien’s birthday. Quite the gift his team gave him Friday night.
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