directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets light the lamp..count em...7 times!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jackets light the lamp..count em...7 times!

Well it sure wasn't a pretty defensive game....but the good news is that the Jackets found their scoring touch tonight vs. the Chicago Blackhawks as they beat them by the score of 7-4.

Five Jackets had multiple points games with Rick "The Monster" Nash leading the way with 2 goals, 1 assists for a total 12 points on the season. Nash didn't score his 12th point until his 16th game last year -- he's done it in 8 this one.

Lit it up

The offense finally came alive. This isn't your typical coach Ken Hitchcock win or ideal game but I'm sure he'll take it. The Jackets scored 5 even strength goals, 1 power play and 1 shorthanded goal for a total of 7. The Jackets came into this game with the lowest even strength goals scored in the league at 6. They had only scored 16 in 7 games overall....that total just took a giant leap to 23 goals scored....and now they are at 19 against.

As mentioned Rick Nash was huge again tonight collecting 3 points. Novotny came up with 2 goals... Dan Fritsche and Gilbert Brule finally got the first points of the season with Dan collecting 2 assists and Gilbert with 1. Zherdev, Fedorov and Tollefsen got the other goals. Lets also not forget Michael Peca's 3 assists or Klesla's two on the night as well. Hell, even Norrena got in on the offensive action collecting an assist on Tollefsen's empty netter. Hopefully this game jumpstarts a number of players -- I was really happy to hear the Brule - Novotny - Frtische line playing well tonight - that line desperately needed a good game to gain some confidence.

Speaking of Peca....he's really making a strong case for that #1 center position isn't he? Seems to be meshing with Nash quite well and keeping it simple - get the puck to Nash near the net or with some open ice to work with - then let him score. Peca's has 5 points (1g, 3a) all of which have come over the past 3 games centering Nasher.

Penalty kill came into the game as the #1 PK in the league...they left this game as the #1 PK in the league. They killed off 6 of 6. They've only given up 3 PP goals so far this season. Talk about lighting it up.

I've got to give a shout out to the Blackhawks rookies who put on quite a show tonight. 1st overall pick in the 2007 draft Patrick Kane put up 2g and 2a for total 13 points thus far (that's just sick numbers) while Jonathan Toews scored a goal to move to 8 points on the season. These kids are for real and are really going to be thorns in the side of the Jackets for years to come. Don't forget though Jacket fans that we have our own group of rookies in Russell and Boll this year....and highly skilled guys like Brassard, Voracek, Mason and Legein all in the pipeline to complement Nash/Zherdev/Leclaire/Klesla/Brule.

Dim the light

Well where the offense shined the defense was certainly not as solid as its been in the past. Now b/c I could not watch the game (it wasn't televised) I have to go by the radio but there were some bad turnovers, some weak goaltending and some odd man rushes. Now what I'm not sure about is if the offense was pressing more tonight and got caught out of position or were the 'hawks offense really that explosive? Regardless I'm sure Hitch will have some "teaching points" for this team defensively.

The powerplay went 1 for 5 on the night. The good news is that they got a goal but the bad news is that I would have liked to have seen the PP covert even more and really put this game out of reach.

As alluded to above I think Norrena just had an average game. He let in 4 off of 28 shots and from the sounds of it, should have had at least two of those. Now in contrast to Khabibulin who let in 6 off of 25 shots (the 7th goal was an empty netter so it doesn't count IMO) Norrena's numbers don't look so bad. I read this on HF but thought it was good point -- who would you rather have for 6 million - Fedorov or Khabibulin? They've both been busts with their newest teams. I'd go with Feds b/c this is the last year of his deal!

Even though rookie defensemen Kris Russell didn't score tonight...he blocked a team leading 4 shots tonight and played 15 minutes. Kid keeps getting better every game.

Michael Peca, Nik Zherdev and OK Tollefsen all finished +3 on the night.

Busted Bulbs

Really the defensive play, outside of the PK, could go here but I'll cut em a little slack tonight. The worst news of the night, and I read this off of the Dispatch blog, is that Duvie Westcott left the game with a head injury. As we all know Duvie has a recent history of concussions so we can only hope its not serious but I have a bad feeling about this one. Stay strong Duvie!

Penalties. This team took some dumb penalties at the end of the game that could have really hurt this team. Luckily the PK bailed them out.

The only line that didn't get in on the scoring was the Chimera-Manny-Boll line. Not that they played bad but on night like this you'd figure one of em would register a point. The good news here is that with four lines that can actually play now this team can afford for an off night for one of the lines as long as the others pick up the slack.

Lack of television coverage. It figures right, the game we actually put up some good number offensively and the damn thing isn't televised....

Next up is St. Louis on Thursday at home. The Blues are hot winning again tonight to improve their record to 5-2. The Jackets will need to overcome this win one, lose one pattern they find themselves in and try to get on a bit of a roll and string a couple of wins together.

Oh and one more kind of important note -- the Jackets are now officially off to the best start in their 7 year on ice history with a record of 4-3-1.


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