directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Two bucks locking horns

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Two bucks locking horns

That was basically the image I took away from the Jackets hard fought 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

There were only 35 shots total between the two teams with the Jackets edging the Sharks in that department 18 to 17. It was a defensive physical battle from the first drop of the puck and whomever created the least amount of errors was going to win.

Lit em up

Hats off to the entire Jackets team for coming out and competing from the first whistle. The Sharks were an angry bunch out to prove that their performance the night before against the Wings was a fluke. The Jackets countered their energy with a nice energy of their own and matched them hit for hit, shot for shot and save by save to ultimately pull this one out by a goal.

Leclaire continues to shine. Really he was a deflected puck off his own defensemen away from his 5th shutout of the year. The Sharks tried to get up in his face and has some very questionable run-ins with him but Pascal held his ground and made some very good saves.

The Chimera-Malhotra-Fritsche line finally gets one on the board. In fact it was Dan Fritsche, whose game has really picked up since his scratch, who scored his first goal of the year. Chimera got an assist while Malhotra picked up two and was very good again in the face of circle.

PK.....killed of all chances to remain the #1 PK in the league.

Novotny continues to stay hot...he collected another assist and now has 8 points in 10 games and is second on the team in scoring. Its early...but damn is that signing looking solid. This guy has really beena utility player and has played in every situations for us. Not sure if he can keep up this kind of point pace but just think -- his career high is 22 points in one season -- barring injury he's just about a lock to suprase that.

Physical play. The Jackets outhit San Jose 28 to 23 and in a game where the Sharks lookin for blood the Jackets didn't back down and played their own brand of physical hockey within their system. Chimere, Brule, Hejda and Boll really stood out to me in the hitting/physical play department.

Mad props to the RBar -- another great event for both the CBJ and OSU games with the outside project and grill. ....and wow could you not like the Rbar girls getting into the Halloween spirit and dressing up as the village people and then entertaining the crowd with some YMCA! If you've never been to the RBar it should be a mandatory stop on and game day night - home or away!

Dim the light

While the powerplay did manage to get a goal off a deceptive wrist shot from Sergei Fedorov it looked absolutely horrendous during a glorious 5-3 opportunity with the game locked at 1 a piece in the 2nd period. That could have been a big momentum changer for the Sharks but the Jackets kept their composure and kept on digging. The guys have to do a better job of creating chances (and hitting the net Peca and Z!) during those opportunities.

Alot of people are on Adam Foote for mistakes he made in this game. To his credit that was a fluke goal that went off his skate into the net and during a Sharks powerplay he lost his stick and ended up playing with Vyborny's. The problem here is that these two players use opposite curves thus Foote found himself not only playing with a short stick but also the wrong curve. So when it came time for him to clear pucks its obviously an issue. That said, if he's gonna shovel it, shovel it up the boards not in the middle of the ice - doh!

Attendance approached the 14k mark this Saturday which is obviously still not good but its getting better. The team is making some noise on the ice and now its time for the marketing department to really dig in and get creative to get the word out about this team this year.

Busted Bulbs

I'm not sure how the refs could have missed the high stick that Vyborny took at center ice. Out of the two refs and two line judges someone had to have seen it. The fact that went unnoticed and un-penalized is completely unnacceptable. Luckily though Vybes only missed a few shifts and like just about all hockey players, he returned after taking some stitches in the mouth.

I tell ya what Jacket fans.....sit back and enjoy this....we are now 6-3-1. This is the first time in franchise history that we are 3 wins above .500. Sure there are some things to improve on but lets not over scrutinize......Hitch, Howson and their staff have this thing finally pointed in the right direction and believe me Hitch knows better than anyone what needs to be worked on....he'll keep this team focused and improving.

So enjoy this....the fans here from the beginning deserve it!

Next up -- the LA Kings on Wednesday!


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