directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Burnside still not a believer

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Burnside still not a believer

Scott Burnside of the gave out his 1/4 season awards and this is what he had to say about the Jackets:

Bottom Falling Out -- Player Award
Pascal Leclaire, the talented young netminder for the Columbus Blue Jackets, won seven of his first nine starts and pitched five shutouts along the way to earn leaguewide raves. Lately, not so much. In his past five appearances, he has one win and has shown signs of coming back to earth. At 25, Leclaire is still the Blue Jackets' netminder of the future. He just may have to wait a bit for that Vezina Trophy.
Honorable mention: Nashville's
Radek Bonk, who had eight goals through the Preds' first 20 games, which is a career-best pace for the perpetual underachiever.

Bottom Falling Out -- Team Award
Speaking of the Blue Jackets, they have been one of the feel-good stories of the first quarter; they've hung around the playoff race in the Western Conference standings. Through Monday's action, their 22 points put them in a four-way tie for seventh in the conference. Heady stuff for a team that has never been to the postseason and which most predicted would finish at, or near, the bottom of the conference.

After years of dysfunction, the team appears to have turned the corner with Ken Hitchcock in his first full season behind the bench and GM Scott Howson learning the ropes and getting ready for a full-fledged spending spree next summer. But this is still a team that relies far too heavily on Rick Nash (his 23 points in 20 games was eight more than the second-highest scoring Blue Jacket, Nikolai Zherdev) and that paucity of offensive depth is what will ultimately cost Columbus a playoff spot -- this season.

Obviously Burnside has yet to believe.....funny enough no mention of the 4 shootout losses or how this team is top 5 in PK, goals against and face off percentages in the league. Heck they are only one win out of 3rd in the conference. Sure this last stretch (2-4-2) against the central hasn't been as successfull as our start but most teams will slump and then break out of it. Heck this team had every chance to win 5 of 8 of those games. I get the impression from Mr. Burnside that he thinks this team will continue to slump right out of the playoffs - this style this team has played night in and night out will keep this team in the hunt, there is no doubt in my mind.

The Jackets still have a lot to prove to the national press so they have to keep the medal firmly lowered to the ground and learn how to close out opponents at the end of regulation and even into the extra sessions.


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