directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, October 23, 2009

A New Lamp Has Been Lit!!

Light the Lamp has moved! Just type in in your browser of choice to find us!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jacket Backers viewing party tonight!

The Jacket Backers will also have a viewing party tonight. From their website:

Announcing our next Game Watching Party -
Join us for our first time at
The Bier Stube North to watch
the Jackets Trounce the Edmonton Oilers!
Thursday, 10/22 @ 9:30 pm

The Jacket Backers want to share their enthusiasm for Jackets hockey with fans all over Central Ohio. Join us in the Worthington - Linworth area at this laid-back neighborhood classic, the Bier Stube North, to enjoy big-screen hockey with a casual atmosphere.

The Bier Stube North is located at 2382 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43235, (614) 932-0214 next door to Valvoline. If the parking lot in front of the pub is full, per the owner it is ok to park in the parking lots of any of the businesses next door or nearby.

The Bier Stube will be projecting the game on the big screen, hopefully in HD if possible - and game sound throughout the game. The Jacket Backers will be providing door prizes and raffles throughout the game, including a chance to win a team-signed practice jersey from last year's playoff-bound team, which will be given away the evening of the event. The puck drops at 9:30 but we'll be getting there early to enjoy delicious appetizers, wings, subs/sandwiches, salads, calzones and/or pizzas for our late dinner or game-time snack, from the Bier Stube Pizza & Grill next door.

We will also be accepting contributions towards our Virtual Food Drive for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. See you there!


Stat of the day

Rick Nash is currently tied with a bunch of other players for 8th in league scoring with 11 points:

Let's hope I didn't just put the jinx on the monster!


Jackets Gamebox: @ Edmonton

@ Edmonton
9:30 PM EST

The Jackets bounced back well after losing an ugly one to San Jose with victories over Phoenix, Calgary and LA.

How will they respond tonight after losing ugly to Calgary when the face off against an Edmonton team who is 5-2-1 and winners of their past 2?

Dustin Penner of all players is leading the Oil in offense racking up 5g, 4a for 9p in 8 games. Then who is next on their scoring chart? This may be a surprise but it's Gilbert Brule who is off to a great start with 4g, 3a in 7. Of course there is Alex Hemsky who always seems to come alive vs the Jackets.

The Oil have some firepower but up front and on their blueline even without Souray. They aren't the most rugged bunch but with 30 goals in 8 games they are burning some holes in nets. They have 8 players with 5 points or more.

Contrast that to the Jackets who have just 4 players with 5 or more points, albeit it one less game, you can see who has the advantage here.

Brass and Voracek got it going a bit in Calgary and the Jackets will that to continue but guys like Huselius, Vermette and Umberger have to be more consistent offensive threats than they've shown recently. I'd also like to see more shots getting through from the blueline on net.

Edge: Edmonton

Now either it's the team defense or the goaltending or a combo but Edmonton has only give up 22 goals so far. That is good for 10th overall in the league. Just cruising the player stats they only have three minus players on the entire team.

For the Jackets it's fairly simple.. they have to right the ship at even strength. The balance of course is to know when to dump pucks out and knowing when to hang onto it and try to transition up the ice. The Jackets have been guilty of some bad judgement calls of late - especially in their own end.

Even with the 6 they gave up they are allowing slightly less goals than Edmonton and come in 9th overall in the league.

Personally I think this team is already missing Hejda and Commodore can't get back soon enough. Boys need to step up and they cannot allow the breakdowns they did against Calgary and expect to win.

Edge: Push

Edmonton has been getting solid starts from offseason acquisition Nikolai Khabibulin as well as a solid start from backup Jeff Deslauriers.

Bulin figures to get the nod tonight and both he and the Jackets have plenty of experience with one another.

Garon get's his 2nd start for the Jackets and will face his former squad. Garon was very sharp in Phoenix and will look to pick up where he left off... and besides, I can't pick against the the league leader in GAA and Save% according to can I?

Edge: Push (yeah, I copped out)

Believe it or not but it's been the Jackets special teams that have been keeping them in games. Believe it or not the Jackets PP is ranked 10th in the league while the PK is 1st.

The Oil meanwhile have the 20th ranked PP with the 13th ranked PK.

This is all fine a good but we saw even with top ranked special teams if the Jackets can't prevent even strength goals then it doesn't matter.

Edge: Jackets

The buzz words of this game are "even strength"! The Oil currently lead the league in even strength goals with 24.

The Jackets? They sit 21st with 10.

The problem is two fold. The Jackets haven't been able to score much even strength and they haven't been able to stop teams from scoring at even strength either.

As Hitch has alluded to the Jackets are getting too cute with the puck. They want to play with more puck possession but I think that has backfired a bit on them early in this campaign. They need to shore up their decisions and make the safe play if there isn't a play to make.

I'm also interested in seeing what Filatov looks like after a few weeks off. Although I'm not getting my hopes up that his leash will be much longer.

Edmonton has been a very tough team to beat at home as they are 4-1-1 there. The Jackets have another big challenge on their hands and they most certainly need a better start than the disaster in Calgary. Garon will need to stand tall and make some big game saves.

No live blog tonight as I am putting the finishing touches on the new lamp which will finally be lit tomorrow!



R Bar viewing party tonight!


Thursday, October 22nd

Bud Light CBJ

Hockey Helmet Beer Holders

& a big 24oz Bud Select can...

only $4 for the mug and first beer & $3 per can after that!!!


The Leafs are screwed and Hitler knows it . . .

Hey MTM here. Toronto is still winless . . . Think Rick Nash is happy he re-signed with the Jackets? Well I came across this video, and Hitler is still ticked off about it. Apparently he is a Leafs fan and is coming to grips with his team in turmoil. As you can tell, he is not a happy camper.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


That wasn't exactly the kind of 6 pack I was hoping for last night. Let's jump into it.

@ Calgary
Score: Flames 6 Jackets 3

* Rick "The Monster" Nash (somebody needs to make a vid to the Monster Mash with Nash highlights...someone? anyone?) with this second career 5 on 3 goal. That goal single handily at least made this a game through the first 40 mins.

* The PP looked good for the most part. It converted on 2 opportunities including another 5 on 3 and did a real nice job on entries and quick puck movement. The only downside is with how crappy this team was 5 on 5 they needed even more production from it.

* Great to see Brass get a goal and another helper. Even better was that he had some of the best shifts I've seen from him thus far this season.

* Sammy Pahlsson.. the lone plus player for the good guys.

* He didn't show up on the score sheet but Kris Russel played one of his finest games of the season. Had a beautiful breakup on that 2 on 1... some nice puck movement.. and really it was he who created the first PP goal (I think it was the first one) with his hit in the offensive zone which caused the turnover.

* Another fun night on the live blog... thanks to the 70 or so of ya who joined in!

* Jackets PK did it's part again.

* Voracek wasn't bad.. another guy that was good to see get a non-empty net goal... he was buzzing around fairly well out there.. unfortunately he was about the only one on his line doing so.

* I give Dorsett some credit by trying to send a message late in the 3rd with the game clearly out of hand.

* The Jackets hung in there twice battling back from 2 goal deficits... the Flames were just too much and the Jackets too little in the 3rd.

* Stralman with his first helper as a Jacket. I continue to like where this kid's game is heading.

* Where to start... I guess with Mase... an off night for the sophomore (understatement). Had a bad bounce on the first goal.. didn't control the rebounds well (Bouwmeester).... wasn't ready for shots (Phaneuf)... no big game saves (Iginla)... overplayed pucks (Sjostrom)... need to quickly erase this game from all short term memories and press on.

* Even strength used to be the Jackets strength... not any longer... all 6 Flames goals came at even strength.... the Jackets collectively payed for it by going a combined -26.... you know this more than anything is just gnawing at Hitch today.

* Sloppy is good word... way to many turnovers.. too many odd man rushes.. too many players coasting... Jackets let guys like Phaneuf go coast to coast without even putting a stick on him... they had about as bad of a start as you could possibly imagine... just a bad night.

* Kristian Huselius might as well have taken the night off... the Jackets would have been better off for it.

* Tyutin has some bright spots but he had a bad gaffe that lead directly to Iginla's goal..

* Vermette was caught being a passenger as he watched Langkow score..

* Not containing Iginla who had a 3 point night.

* Surprising to me was that there wasn't a whole lot of rough stuff in this game... a lot of special teams play however.

* Umberger was quiet minus his work on the PP.

* I don't recall Boll playing.

* I'm sure there is a helluva lot more that belongs here but time to move on!

* Nasher's shorty
* Brassard gets on the board... so does Voracek
* PP & PK

It's very hard to win in the Saddledome but the Jackets did a lot to beat themselves in this game.
There is a a lot of mess to clean up and I have no doubt Hitch has the mop out as we speak.

I expect Garon to get the start in Edmonton and we've heard Filatov will be in the lineup... my guess its in place of Boll.

Clean it up and move on boys. You're still sitting pretty with a 5-2 record but need to bounce back strong in Oil town.


Mike Ratchuck highlights

I'll have some comments on the deal that was made Tuesday to bring Mike Ratchuck into the Blue Jackets system but for now here are some highlights via youtube:


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Live Blog Tonight!

Time for a Change

At the end of July, 2006, the Blue Jackets and the Syracuse Crunch extended their affiliation agreement for a minimum of four years (starting in 2006-’07). In the joint statement announcing the deal, issued by Crunch owner Howard Dolgon and former CBJ Executive Vice-President Jim Clark, both spoke highly of each other and of a mutually beneficial relationship moving forward.

As we prepare to enter the second month of the young ’09-’10 season, four years since the big announcement between the CBJ and the Crunch, we have come to the point where the agreement must be reexamined. Much has changed in the status of the relationship between the two organizations. In that light, it may be time for a change.

First, let’s look at the status of the relationship before the ’06-’07 agreement. Between 2000, when the Crunch disassociated with the Canucks and joined up with Columbus, and 2006, the Crunch had a .545 winning percentage (220-177-43-33-7 record in 480 games). The six seasons prior to the affiliation with Columbus saw Syracuse putting up a .444 winning percentage (180-234-53-13 record).

Meanwhile, we all know the turmoil that encompassed the Columbus Blue Jackets during this time. The on ice produce was somewhere between terrible and abominable, and the franchise was often run like a fantasy team owner on crazy pills. Frankly, the best thing the franchise had going was a strong relationship with its AHL affiliate and its beautiful arena . . . and a young kid named Nash.

The 2006-’07 season stands as the crossroads of the franchise in Columbus. Gerard Gallant was fired on November 13, 2006 and Ken Hitchcock was hired by the late, great John H. McConnell on November 22 of the same year. At the conclusion of the season, Doug MacLean was canned, Mike Priest was brought on as the Jackets’ President, and Scott Howson was chosen to serve as the team’s General Manager. Jim Clark was phased out and eventually not retained, and Chris MacFarland became the Assistant General Manager in 2008.

It is somewhere during this transition that the apparent relationship between the Crunch and Blue Jackets changed. It has become apparent that the Blue Jackets organization, from Scott Howson through Chris MacFarland, has a much different (better) feel for how to internally develop players. The problem is, this development has often seemed to be at the expense of the Crunch (especially in the eyes of their fans and one particular Syracuse newspaper columnist).

To be frank, I understand the frustration of many of the Crunch fans. Syracuse is an excellent hockey market. The city has a deep history in the sport. War Memorial is a special place to watch the game of hockey, and the city itself has roots in the AHL and around the Calder Cup dating back to the Syracuse Stars in the ‘30s. As a matter of fact, Syracuse was the first Calder Cup champion in 1937. How frustrating must it be, in the eyes of Crunch fans, to have a historically inept franchise dictate how the Crunch players must be coached and used only to then see these very same guys removed from the roster without equal replacement (see Nikita Filatov, Dan Smith, Steve Mason, and most recently, Stefan Legein)?

With that being said, I find little to no fault in the inner workings of the Blue Jackets (with the exception of the Filatov situation), and am gracious to actually have a front office that knows what the heck they are doing when developing talent. There have been more up-and-coming success stories in the Howson and Hitchcock years than we saw during the entire PEI-MacClean-Clark era.

So what is there do? The Blue Jackets will not stop swinging trades like they did this afternoon, shipping off “damaged goods Legein” for a prospect they believe in at the expense of the Crunch. They will not resign the Dan Smith’s of the world if they feel it will take ice time from their younger prospects with “more upside.” And they will not hesitate to recall a blue chip prospect like Filatov if they feel it will keep him in the States and will help him to absorb anything that will help the Big Club in the future. These are the facts, and the facts are incredibly and understandably frustrating for Crunch fans.

Thus, I think it is time to sever the link between the two organizations. Frankly, the Syracuse market wants more autonomy and success and the Blue Jackets franchise is missing a tremendous opportunity to develop its own brand elsewhere.

The Blue Jackets must find a way to affiliate with the Lake Eire Monsters. From a business perspective, it is a no brainer. Cleveland is an untapped hockey hotbed, and the Jackets need to do whatever they can to bring more of the Cleveland marketplace under the Columbus umbrella. A perfect counterpart to the Indians-Clippers relationship, the further joining of the sports communities in Central and Northern Ohio can only stand to benefit the CBJ.

The Monsters do not have the passionate, respectable, and knowledgeable fans like are found in Crunch. This is a shame. The city knows the game, and Cleveland has all the makings of a great hockey city (as it was before Columbus even came on to the hockey map). The only way to further cultivate this relationship and passion is to grow the Jackets market through the eyes of the Monsters fans.

On the flip side, Syracuse is a market that deserves something different than what the CBJ will provide. It is obvious that many fans are disgruntled. They are likely to be better served through an affiliation with an NHL franchise that will allow the Crunch to be more autonomous. Similarly, a larger-market team who could afford to pay established AHL veterans without hindering the future seems like a much better fit than anything that could be provided by the CBJ.

Only time will tell if the great handshake between Syracuse and Columbus will finally end. Let’s hope so, for the sake of both organizations.

Pic of the day

BAM! That's gotta hurt.

This pic of TJ Oshie getting his ass handed to him by George Parros of the Anaheim Ducks was sent in from Chris via Dallas Texas.

Hey LTL, carrying the flag down in the Dallas area, I'm unfortunately out of touch with most of Jacket Nation. So I'm not sure if everyone up there shares my hatred of TJ Oshie (and all the Blues for that matter) however many months after the fact, but I stumbled upon this picture that brightened my day.

I couldn't stand everyone picking St. Louis as the up and coming team in the Central before the season, and hope to see a lot more of that ^...and a lot more points separating us from them.

This email made my day. Not only is Chris representin the Jackets in the lonestar state but that my friends is passion...

That email had me "good gaming" and "GO JACKETS-ing" anyone who walked by my cube... (let's hope HR understands).

You can bet ole Captain Columbus hasn't forgotten about TJ Oshie and it makes for a nice little subplot between these two squads. Mark your calendars for November 30th which is the first time the Jackets will play the Blues this season...

...and yep.. it's a home game!

Thanks for the pic Chris!!


Jackets Gamebox: @ Calgary

@ Calgary
9:30 PM EST

The Jackets kick off another 4 game West coast swing tonight in Calgary.

The bad news? The Jackets have lost 3 of their past 4 in Calgary including both game last season.

The good news? At least one of those losses last season was in OT.

The Pengrowth Saddledome is a tough place to play. The Flames only lost there 10 times last season which was tied for the 6th best home record in the NHL.

As a fan, I enjoy the helluva out these games as they are so damn confrontational... I'm not sure if it's because their styles are so similar or it's just as simple as they just don't like each other but the players on both sides are like bulls locking horns.

Same ole same ole.. Iginla leads the Flames and Nash leads the Jackets. The offense the Flames can generate on the backend really seperates these two squads.

Iginla though is off to a very slow start. In fact he is tied for 6th on the team in scoring with only 4 points. Pahlsson and co. will need to make sure he's stays bottled up and the entire team needs to make sure they limit the chances from the Flames blueline. They were successfull in their pervious meeting but can they do it again..... this time on the road?

As far as the Jackets O they need the rest of the top 6 to start playing to the level of Nash. If they can get some production out of guys like Voracek, Brassard, Juice, Umberger and Vermette I like their chances.

This Flames team can score.. they've thrown up 30 goals in 8 games... they'll have the last line change and a very good home crowd behind. They get the edge.

Edge: Flames

As I stated the last time these two teams met on paper you'd think the Flames were the better defensive squad. However defense isn't just the names on the blueline.. it's the buy in from the goalie on out and I have no doubt the Jackets are much tighter in this area right now than the Flames.

To illustrate this look no further than the goals against. Through 8 games the Flames have given up 28 goals while the Jackets have given up just 12 through 6.

Hitch and Murphy will need to work the matchups and guys are gonna need to get out on those points and sacrafice their bodies. Don't give up the odd man rushes.. get sticks in the lanes and everybody needs to be responsible in all 3 zones. No breakdowns or unforced turnovers.

The d corps played well against LA with each guy picking up a share of the minutes lost when Hejda went down. The battles will be much more physical for this one and this corps is going to have to elevate their games even further.

Basically the Jackets just need to keep doing what they've done thus far and they'll be fine.

Edge: Jackets

Mase got the better of Kiprusoff the last time they met but both played well.

Mase is sitting on a .925 Save% and a 2.35 GAA.

Kiprusoff has a .902 and a 3.26 GAA.

The Flames have been giving up a lot of goals but how much of those have been on Kipper? Judging by the Tuesday loss I couldn't fault him for either Jacket goals.

This will be an interesting matchup and Mase has turned in two steady games in a row and I like where his game is currently at. He is going to have to be sharp at tracking those shots from the points and not giving up juicy rebounds.

Edge: Jackets

Not that this is much of a stretch but for me this game will be decided on special teams.

The Flames have the #2 PP in the league vs. the Jackets #1 PK.

The Jackets PK won round 1 by blocking shots, getting sticks in lanes, winning board balttes, clearing the crease and forcing shots wide...but are they up for round 2? This time without a Jan Hejda?

Edge: Push

Jacket need to be ready for some IN YOUR FACE HOCKEY!

Jackets cannot allow themselves to get pushed out of this game. This is not LA which was a tennis match compared to playing Calgary.

The Flames loss in Columbus is still fresh and they are going to want some payback. Don't give them any early momentum that get's their crowd behind them.

This will be a 60 minute battle and anything less from the boys in union blue will equal a road loss.

Just a reminder that I'll have a Live Blog tonight! Stop on by!!



Legein... .gone.... in a trade.

Jackets Acquire Ratchuk For Legein

The Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Michael Ratchuk from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for winger Stefan Legein. Ratchuk, 21, has been assigned to minor-league Syracuse.

Ratchuk (5-foot-11, 186 pounds) has one assist in five games this season for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL. A second-round pick in the 2006 NHL draft, Ratchuk has 6 goals and 15 assists in 85 career AHL games.

Legein, 22, has 2 goals and an assist this season in six games with the Crunch. His time with the Blue Jackets will best be remembered for his decision to sit out the first half of last season, saying he had lost his passion for the game. The Blue Jackets second-round pick in 2007, Legein has 3 goals and an assist in 32 career AHL games.

Aaron Portzline will have more on this story later this afternoon.

-- Tom Reed

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pic of the day

Here is a speical note from Coryn's (Coryn is the little girl in the picture above) mom Cathy:

We had a great night and a thanks goes out to everyone who supported the Hats For Heroes program; bought a hat or t-shirt, made a donation or were just wearing a purple ribbon in honor of the fight. (and a special thanks to those that visited the 110/Front St entrance kiosk where the Lord family was stationed ;-) )

Coryn had a great night as you can see...

This was at the reception after the game for the Heroes and families. Kris, Jared and Jason stopped by and she got in lots of hugs and to spent some quality time with her favorite guys.

Of course another slash in the win column was icing on the cake!

That's what it's all about!!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random thoughts

Toronto is 0-6-1. Jackets 5-1. Think Rick Nash is regretting signing with the Jackets right about now?

Meant to comment about this a while ago... but anyone else notice that the NHL Network's "On The Fly" show has upgraded from their set that was straight out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High to a more professional looking one this season? This was long overdue.

Anthony has a new CBJ blog I wanted to point out. It's called Tea With Ms. McGill which is an obscure hockey movie reference. If you get a chance, give it a look here.

Have you see that will now have a Thusday night online "game of the week"? They are even using the CoverItLive software.

Gotta wonder how bad ESPN wants back in the NHL television picture. I may be in the minority but I'm perfectly happy with Versus and haven't forgotten the days when ESPN would use the NHL to wipe their feet with.

That said if Comcast can close the deal with NBC Universe Versus will become a major player overnight. That would be a tremendous boost to the NHL.

Ohio State Men's hockey scored a must have win on Friday night versus #3 ranked Denver with a 4-0 shutout. My boy Dalpe finally got on the scoreboard and sophmore goalie Cal Heeter stopped 39 shots to preserve the shutout.

This win could very well be looked back upon a season saver for this squad.

They hit the road next week with back to back games against Lake Superior State.

The Crunch went 1-0-1 this weekend.

They beat Norfolk on Friday by a final of 5-4. Mayorov, Aulin, Picard, Sestito & Legein with goals. Mayorov and Legein also had helpers. LaCosta with the win.

On Saturday they lost in a shootout 4-3. Sigalet, Sestito & MacKenzie with the goals. Clitsome with two helpers and LaCosta with the SO loss.

Through 6 games the Crunch are 2-3-1 for 5 points and 6th in the East division.

So much for my thoughts about the Jackets trading for Mike Van Ryn. It was reported last week that he is out for the season.

Now that Mike Van Ryn’s season is officially over, the hard-luck defenceman hopes to be able to salvage his NHL career.

Van Ryn said today that he will go under the knife next week at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic in his home town of London, Ont. to have osteotomy surgery on his left knee.

In the final year of his contract with the Leafs, Van Ryn will have to have a lengthy rehab of at least six months before he even can consider a comeback.

“You are hoping that a team will give you a shot, but that’s the tough part of the decision, not knowing the future,” Van Ryn said this morning as his teammates practised behind him at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence.

“I realize the spot I’m in is tough. You want to play, but at the same time, it’s also about quality of life down the road. (Walking) up stairs are starting to get tough.”

Van Ryn's a good player when healthy. What a shame he can't manage to stay that way. Gotta think Howson knew about this thus scratched his name off the list of possibles. Nice to have a GM who does his homework.