directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: THN Vol 61 No. 2 Jackets Team Report

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THN Vol 61 No. 2 Jackets Team Report

I subscribe to The Hockey News and every issue they have team reports on all 30 teams. These team reports cannot be found online unless you subscribe so as part of this blog I will update just the Jackets report going forward. Each of these reports are written by Aaron Portzline so at least they come from a knowledgeable scribe.

So without further adu here is this editions reports:

Pressure on Zherdev to turn it around

Brurning questions1. Are the country club days over? The Jackets will have an eye-opener when they experience their first Ken Hitchcock training camp and new GM Scott Howson completes the makeover. How the players respond to the tough love is the key.

2. Who's the No. 1 center? Sergei Fedorov is the presumptive choice to play between Rick Nash and David Vyborny, but it's hardly a lock. Michael Peca, though not an ideal No. 1 could get a shot, too. Two wildcards: Dan Fritsche, a headstrong young lad who opened eyes at right wing last season; or rookie Derick Brassard, the most skilled center in the organization.

3. Is Nikolai Zherdev ready to complete? Last season was a disaster for Zherdev, who dipped from 27 goals to 10 and drew the ire of the coaching staff. Howson traveled to Ottawa before camp to meet with Zherdev and mend old wounds, but the proof will be seen on the ice.

Good stuff although I wouldn't be so fast to pencil Nash and Vybes together quite yet. Sure they have had some great chemistry but Vybes and Modin also showed that nice chemistry towards the end of last season. I personally think Modin (pictured right) can use the better setup guy as he's more of a pure sniper. Nash can create his own chances although it would be nice to see him with a setup a guy as well as Fedorov certainly has been a disappointment thus far in that area.


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