directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Fedorov & McKenzie score but Jackets lose to Sabres in shootout

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fedorov & McKenzie score but Jackets lose to Sabres in shootout

Sergei Fedorov and Derek Mackenzie (pictured right) each notched their first of the preseason and Pascal Leclaire stopped 20 of 22 shots but it wasn't enough as the Jackets fall to the Sabres 3-2 in a shootout.

It was another physical game between these two teams who will play just once this year in regular season play. Andrew Peters, the Sabres tough guy, had two bouts; one against a 19 year old Jacket looking to carve a role for himself in Tommy Sestito and one against Jody Shelley. Sestito had a rough go and Shelley showed Peters what its like to fight a seasoned tough guy in this league.

The Sabres dressed 13 regulars while the Jackets had just just 6 as they have a number of veterans on injured reserve at this point. Considering the experience level, the Jackets group played well as a whole and continued to play with a sense of urgency and intensity. Goaltender Pascal Leclaire was sharp in net but let the first two shooters in the shoot out get two by him stick side to seal the win. Adam Pineault and Sergei Fedorov failed to convert on their two chances.

Unfortunately I was not able to make this game in person (daughter's b-day) but these were my impressions and some of those who made the game that I spoke with:

Lit it up:
By all accounts Kris Russell continued to play well and looks well on his way towards making this team. He played over 22 minutes notching 2 shots, 2 hits, blocking two shots and was even on the night. He continues to see oodles of power play time and has the hockey sense of a 10 year veteran in this league.

Kris Beech also played his strongest game of the presesaon and besides the shootout Leclaire had a good night as well.

Also lets not forget Jody Shelley who did his job well tonight cleaning up the ice with Andrew Peters. I'm Jody's blood was boiling ready to get out there after that guy.

Dim the light:
Good to see Sergei Fedorov get on the board with a goal. He played close to 20 mins, had 3 shots, was a -1 and went 56% in the face off circle. He appeared to elevate his game last night after a miserable preseason up to this point.

Busted bulb:
Nikolai Zherdev did not have a strong game and continues to struggle. He played right wing with just over 20 minutes of playing time. He registered two shots and 3 give aways which of course led the team. He just doesn't seem to fit the style of play and direction this team in headed in.

Its not looking good for Joel Bouchard who is with the team on PTO (pro try out). With the emmergence of Russell and some respects, Marc Methot, he looks like a long shot to earn a contract here.

Jackets get the day off today after 5 total preseason games up to this point. According to the Dispatch tomorrow is a "team building day" and then they get back to work. Coach Ken Hitchcock said there is still a lot of work to do which is good to hear because even after a pretty good set of games thus far it sounds like Hitch expects a lot more - the bar continues to raise every day for this organization.

Expect a couple of more cuts to be announced today or tomorrow.

Next game is Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes. It will be the Jackets last home game of the preseason before their opener October 5th.


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