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Friday, September 21, 2007

Jackets top Sabres 4-1

Steve Mason stopped 20 of 21 stops in his first NHL start and Gilbert Brule (pictured right) scored two goals as the Columbus Blue Jackets topped the Buffalo Sabres 4-1.


It was a slow first period in the scoring department but not in the physical department. Jarod Boll and Tommy Sestito both were in first period scraps and Steve Mason held off an early barrage from the Sabres in a sold out stadium.

The second period saw the Jackets come out and score two powerplay goals in 24 seconds. Kris Russell notched his second goal of the preseason off a 5 on 3 two man advantage with Derick Brassard collecting his 4th assist and Sergei Fedorov collecting his first. 24 seconds later Gilbert Brule notched his first of the preseason off a beautiful pass from 2007 first round selection Jakub Voracek. Duvie Wescott also collected an assist.

The 3rd period was more of the same for the Jackets as they kept the powerplay churning (they went 3 for 8 on the night). Rick Nash collected his 2nd of the preseason off a chip in front of the net. Rusty Klesla collected his first assist of the preseason and Jason Chimera collected his 3rd assist. The Sabres, in their first preseason game, were able to get on the board off a tip from Macarthur from a shot from the point. Finally Gilbert Brule notched his second of the preseason (and evening) with Westcott and Chimera both collecting their 2nd assists of the night.

Lit it up
There are lots of candidates for this one but its the kids -- Gilbert Brule, Kris Russell, Steve Mason, Jarod Boll, Tommy Sestito, Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek -- who continue to shine in the preseason. Both Jarod Boll, Gilbert Brule and Kris Russell have very legitimate shots to make this team. Derick Brassard has collected 4 assists in 3 games and has certainly proved his worth as well. This group has shown it offensively and in the physical department and are a very exciting group to watch as a fan.

Jason Chimera and Duvie Westcott also continue to have strong showings. Chimera continues to roll notching his 3rd and 4th assists of the preseason for a total of 6 points (2g, 4a) in 3 games. Duvie Westcott also continues to improve his game notching another 2 assists for a total of 4 points in 4 games. He has looked great on the PP next to Russell on the PP.

Two road wins. Any time this team wins on the road, especially two in a row even in the preseason, you have to take note of it. Hitch has said he wants the identity of this team to be a big hard checking team to play against. Checking, he says, is what wins game. Well I think we are starting to see signs of this.

Dim the light
Rick Nash notched his 2nd goal in 3 preseason games. From the sounds of it a solid game by #61. Maybe its just the performance of the young kids that is taking the spotlight right now but I don't think we've seen even close to what #61 has to offer this season.

Klesla and Hejda. Judging by the comments from the radio crew (Bill Davidge and George Mathews) it sounds like both of these players had solid games. Klesla notched a point tonight playing close to 19 mins while Hejda played close to 20 min, blocked 3 shots and had a hit. Steve Mason mentioned on the post game show how the defensemen in this league are big and made his job a lot easier back there with their play -- I have a feeling he was referring to these two.

Jiri Novotny. Again going by the comments from the radio guys they seemed very pleased with Jiri's game.

Busted bulbs
The Russians. Nikolai Zherdev continues to struggle. He's scoreless so far in 3 preseason games and I really didn't hear much from him tonight on the radio broadcast. Sergei Fedorov got on the board tonight still though didn't sound like much of a game from #91.

Next up is the Sabres again. The Jackets take on the Sabres this Sunday at Nationwide @ 5 p.m. in what should be another spirited affair.

The Jackets are gonna have some tough decisions to make as there are a lot of young kids legitimately stepping up, more than I bet even the coaching staff and management expected. We should see some of the roster decisions by Monday. I think we'll see Voracek, Mason and Sestito sent down but I think Russell, Methot, Brassard, Boll and Brule are here right up to the last minute. Exciting times to see all this quality competition in Jacketland.

-LTL

1 comment:

Matt said...

One encouraging thing about Zherdev: When the Sabres went after Boll in the first, he was one of the first guys to charge into the brawl and start swinging.

I don't think I can ever remember him doing that before.

I agree that he is not doing much as a scorer, but I think he's far and away acting like a much better teammate than the past few seasons.