directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Powerplay = Powerpoop

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Powerplay = Powerpoop

The Jackets lost 4-1 last night to the Vancouver Canucks even though they out shot them 36-19. Their achilles heel - the powerplay - which went 1-10 on the night and only mustered one goal during a 5 v 3.

Lit it up

Rick Nash continues to be really the only Jacket who can actually put the puck in the net. He scored his 3rd goal in 3 games and really did about all he could to get the offense going. Somebody, anybody, needs to help this guy put pucks in the net.

From a shots and energy perspective really the Jackets didn't play all that bad of a game even though the score doesn't reflect that. They outhit Vancouver, didn't allow them any shots in the 2nd period (only the 3rd time that has ever happened to Vancouver in their history), drew 10 PP opportunities.

Kris Russell pulled 20+ minutes last night... he finished even, had 4 shots, 1 hit and 1 give-away. Really I thought it was his best performance yet and he's gaining more and more confidence out there every shift. I think we are going to see him supplant just everyone as the undisputed #1 powerplay QB on this team no later than half-way through this season - maybe sooner.

Dim the light

It was bound to happen but Pascal Leclaire had an off night last night. He only faced 19 shots and gave up 3 (the 4th was an empty netter). Really the first two shots are ones he should have had - especially the 1st one that Ryan Kesler let go a wrist shot from just above circle that was slightly screen by Adam Foote and somehow found its way through Leclaire's pads. Pascal knows he should have had those judging by his quotes in the paper this morning which is a good thing. He'll bounce back.

Nikolai Zherdev also played a light game last night - especially defensively as he was directly responsible for two goals against. The first when he didn't play Naslund strong on his goal and the 2nd being his turnover when our goalie was pulled that Kesler converted on. Hopefully this was just an off night for #13 and he'll come back strong against Chicago tomorrow night.

David Vyborny finally did get an assist last night so perhaps that gets him going.

Busted Bulbs

The key to the game - the dismal powerplay. Really, could it have been any worse? 1-10 on the PP is completely unacceptable. This team is anemic offensively as it is so when they get the man advantage they have to take advantage of it. The only player going to the tough areas to score is Rick Nash and that just isn't going to win you many games. David Vyborny, Sergie Fedorov and Nikoali Zherdev and other forward have to get into the dirty areas and make some plays -- no more of this perimeter crap. If you can't take a hit then take a hike out of the league.

I'm not sure about anyone else but I've had it with Sergei Fedorov. 2 points for your highest paid player this far is a j-o-k-e. I know the Jackets are saddled with him at least until the trade deadline but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I feel sorry for Hitch in having to play this guy - they way he is playing the only place he should be is the press box. He's a paycheck player right now and hurts this team much more than he helps.

Secondary scoring? Dan Fritsche/Giblert Brule/Jason Chimera/Manny Malhotra/Jared Boll/Jiri Novotny -- where are you guys? I still like the way the Chimera line is playing but they are now pointless in 3 straight. Rick Nash cannot do it all by himself fellas- he needs support - and lots of shots aren't good enough, we need pucks burried.

Ron Hainsey is not a PP QB. I realize he's one of our few options back there but this guy is just brutal carrying the puck up the ice and finding the open man. To his credit I think he's playing solid positional defense but as a PP QB I'm waiving - not carrying - the white flag.

Again I really thought the team played better than the score would dictate. Hope for the season is not lost fans - this team has already shown their ability to bounce back after tough losses. The bottom line is we need to put more pucks in the net. Leclaire is not going to shutout teams every night and there will be games where he is going to need goal support. If you can get our goaltending 3 goals on average per game -- on most nights this defense and goaltending is going to get you the win.

Not to jinx us but hey, at least we haven't been shutout ourselves yet.

Time to put this one behind them and get ready for a much improved Blackhawks team @ Chicago tomorrow night. The Jackets cannot take this team lightly they are legit this season.


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