And Your Third Star Of The Night Is…Grant Clitsome!
The NHL may have a new fan favorite and although Columbus Blue Jacket fans may have typically opted for a #61 Rick Nash jersey, that may soon change thanks to Grant Clitsome. The 24-year-old 9th round pick in 2004 was called up for Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks and made those in attendance familiar with his name early and often.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t always a good thing.
Things looked good for the newest Blue Jackets defenseman in the first after he recorded an assist on both of the team’s opening period goals; the first coming on a borderline “suicide” breakout pass from behind his net which worked out favorably after an great individual effort from Andrew Murray, and the second after a dump-out from his own zone took a favorable bounce off the boards, past a Canuck defender, and right on the stick of Antoine Vermette, who just managed to sneak the puck past Roberto Luongo.
It wasn’t pretty, but we will consider this to be the positive part of his night.
As for the negative, that includes losing his man in front of the net on the Canucks’ first goal of the evening, 3:40 into the second period, and a horrible give-away on Vancouver’s third goal of the night, which would tie things at 3-3 with only 5:19 left in the third. The Blue Jackets eventually lost this one in overtime.
When it was all said and done, Clitsome finished with two assists (three if you want to include the one for the other team), a +1 rating, 2 penalty minutes, 12:20 of ice time, and was awarded the game’s third star. Not bad for an NHL debut. Hopefully the Blue Jackets front office will look at those stats and consider keeping him up. You know the fans will be pushing for it.
Here are the highlights (Assists at 0:53 and 1:44, lost man at 3:05, and give-away at 6:10).
Hat Tip Image – [Deadspin]