directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets vs. San Jose

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets vs. San Jose

The 5-3-1 Jackets take on the 5-4-1 Sharks tonight at Nationwide at a 5:30 EST start.

The Sharks lost a bad one last night to the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 5-1. They were utterly dismantled and were badly out shot 39-11. Needless to say this team, in which many considered to be a legit Stanley Cup contender, is not gonna be a happy one and will look to rebound against a Jackets team that in the past was the "cure all" for teams struggling.

Keys to lighting em up

Shut down Joe. The last time we faced the Sharks in our building we shut them out 3-0. Thornton is off to a bit of a slow start only scoring 10 points (3g, 7a) in 10 games played. Heck, San Jose as a team has only scored 24g total and has given up 25g over that span. In contrast in just 9 games Columbus has 26 goals for and 19 goals against. If they shut down Joe, there's a good chance they shut down the San Jose offense.

Now is the not the time to be complacent. The Jackets are off to their best start in history and have won two consecutive big games against Central division opponents. Now is not the time to get complacent and be satisfied with an above .500 record. San Jose will come out of the gate strong and the Jackets need to maintain composure, play their system and come out with a lot of controlled energy of their own and build on this winning streak.

Bury your chances. Nash has scored in his past 5 games so he's burying em. Now is the time for guys like Brule, Chimera, Frtische and Malhotra to get on the board and help this offense. Heck its been a while since we've had a defensemen contribute a goal (outside of Tollefsen's empty netter) so we need to get it goin from the blueline as well.

Special teams. The PK has played lights out and must continue that performance. San Jose has the 14th best ranked PP in the league while we have the 16th best. We have the best PK and they have the 7th best. This game is likely to come down to special teams so we need to shut their PP down and convert on our chances - simple but effective formula if executed.

Leclaire gets the start tonight. All of his wins have come on shutouts. I don't think he needs to keep up that pace to win games (although I'll take it) but he'll need to continue to make the saves he should while the team in front of him needs to do their job keeping chances to the outside and help to clear rebounds.

This should be another battle tonight in Nationwide. The buzz is slowly starting to build for this team and now is not the time to throw up a stinker in front of what is sure to be a better attended game on a Saturday evening.



No comments: