Columbus, OH –
By Rick Gethin
It was a whirlwind 24 hours from the time that Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and when they actually joined the team in Vancouver. Hop on a plane, miss a connecting flight, hang out in an airport, get a hotel room, hop on another plane, arrive at destination and miss the first morning skate with your new team.
The players had a sense of humor about the ordeal, as evidenced by the image at right. Lepisto captioned it thusly, “@ScottieUpshall pregame napping at Airport yesterday! Maybe he should try this more often!! #laseeer“.
After arriving in Vancouver, the guys had time to watch some game film. A pre-game meal of doughnuts and a pre-game skate, then it was time for the game. Yes, the meal of doughnuts comes to you courtesy of Upshall himself. From his twitter feed, “@samilepisto lol. Resting the getaway sticks. don’t forget the 3 Dunkin doughnuts for pregame meal. #winning.” What was in those doughnuts?
Scottie Upshall’s debut was, by all accounts, a resounding success. He had 16:44 TOI, 1-0-1 and finished a +1, with 6 shots, 2 hits and 1 blocked shot. He spent 3:06 of his TOI on the PP. Impressive, for sure. But by dropping the “Bomb” on Dan Hamhuis (captured in all its’ glory by Fox Sports Ohio), he instantly endeared himself to Columbus fans.
Sami Lepisto was no souch in his debut, either. He had 21:46 TOI, of which he spent 2:29 on the power play. The one Vancouver goal allowed during regulation/OT came on his shift, but can be attributed to communication issues versus bad play. He finished the night at -1.