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

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets vs. Vancouver

Biggest news of this game is that Vancouver's goaltender Roberto Luongo will not be playing tonight. Instead backup Curtis Sanford will be given the start apparently because Vancouver wants to rest him for the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night. Not that the Jackets really care one way or the other but this is just another sign of NHL teams still taking the Jackets lightly. Hopefully the Jackets make them pay hard for that decision and take full advantage of a goaltender whose only action has been in relief of a struggling Luongo.

Dan Fritsche will be back in the lineup tonight as Jody Shelley will again sit. It appears that Duvie Westcott will also be scratched again as reading between the lines a bit, the coaching staff obviously hasn't been happy with his performance to date.

This is another huge game for the Jackets (they are all huge right?) as they look to continue their winning ways early this season. Vancouver is no slouch but they are off to slow start going 3-4. Their offense is similar to ours in that it doesn't lack alot of punch only scoring 20 goals in 7 games but their usually strong defense and goaltending has been suspect giving up 25 goals.

Keys to lighting em up:

They must continue to do the things that have worked thus far - team defense, strong PK, checking, outstanding goaltending and timely goals.

They must shut down the Sedin twins and take advantage of a cold goaltender in Sanford and get plenty of pucks and traffic in front.

Clearly the Canucks already have their eyes on the Hurricanes tomorrow so it would be in the Jackets best interests to use that to their advantage and dictate the game and play a full 60 minutes.

It would really help if players like Vybonry/Fritsche/Brule were able to contribute offensively but at a minimum Nash/Z/Peca/Chimera need to keep contributing offensively.

Its really to bad Luongo is sitting out today because I don't know about you, but I haven't forgotten his comments the last time we beat Vancouver when he said "we can't lose to a team like Columbus". I hope the Jackets' players haven't forgotten those comments either....and "a team like Columbus" makes this team from Vancouver (which thanks to the large VANCOUVER word mark on the front of their unis - nobody can mistake) makes em eat those words.



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