directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets @ Chicago

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets @ Chicago

Sorry the late post on this game so I won't make this to long as we've all got a game to watch here shortly.

The Blackhawks are off to a fabulous start to the season with a record of 5-3. That puts them at #2 in the Central behind only the Red Wings. They are 3-2 at home and a more impressive 2-1 on the road. They've scored 22 goals and given up 19. In shorts, at least in the early going, the 'hawks are a much better team this year.

Keys to lighting em up
Outside of the Colorado game the Jackets have played very well as a team, especially defensively and on the PK. The most obvious key to this game is that the Jackets must convert on more scoring opportunities. They are drawing the penalties but aren't capitalizing on them - they can't go 1-10 on the PP and expect to win. So they must get more bodies in front of the net and players not named Nash have got to go to the dirty areas to score.

Limit the 'hawks rookies. Both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are off to hot starts for Chicago. The Jackets have to play these two physical and tough. They caught a break with Martin Havlat out so the focus to shutting down the 'hawks offense is shutting these two down and if they are gonna get beat it will have to be by the likes of Lang, Samsonov, Ruutu and Sharp.

Take advantage of Chicago's defense. Chicago doesn't have the best defense in this league and the Jackets need to exploit that.

This is the first Central division matchup for the Jackets so its their first chance to directly make up ground in their division. With a win tonight the Jackets can jump St. Louis and be one point behind Chicago with a game in hand *but* I'm putting the cart waaay before the horse as they have to win first.

Fredrik Norrena gets his first chance to earn a victory between the pipes. He's played well in his two starts thus far but he just hasn't gotten the goal support.

The Dispatch had an pretty ugly stat that the Jackets are the worst team in the league at scoring goals at even strength - that trend has got to end.

More support from the forwards. Nash can't do it all. Vyborny, Fedorov, Peca, Z, Chimera, Brule all need to get it going offensively.

This game won't be a cakewalk tonight. The Jackets will need to play a similar game as to what they did at Buffalo. They've rebounded well so far off of losses so hopefully we'll see a similar effort tonight.

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