directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets blanked first time this season

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, November 30, 2007

Jackets blanked first time this season

At this point in the season a year ago the Jackets had been shut out 6 times. Last night's 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks marks the 1st time this season the team has been held scoreless.

That bit of a positive news aside the Jackets dropped their 2nd in a row and are 1-5-2 in their last 8 on the road. They are 4-7-2 for the month of November. After a 7-3-2 October their record in November has eaten away any goodwill their fast start created - at this pace they will not make the playoffs which should serve as a sobering reminder to the players on this team as they look at a season deciding home stretch in December in which they must play well above .600 hockey to stay in the hunt.

Lit it up

Robert Luongo. He pitched is 3rd consecutive shutout and with the few quality chances the Jackets did create he was there to shut the door.

Boll and Shelley. Hey, at least these two were doing their job out there getting their noses dirty and dropping the gloves when needed.

The PK continues to shine. It killed 4 of 4 penalties last night.

The Jackest won 62% of their face offs. With that kind of number that means they have possession in the offensive zone quite a bit and *should* be able to score.

Dim the light

Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev were completely bottled up last night. Both had a couple of decent looks but nether were dominate and at lot of the night completely neutralized by the Canucks checking line.

Fredrick Norrena wasn't terrible. He was the victim of a fluke goal off of Adam Foote's foot and the second goal was the work of some great cycling by the Sedin twins. This guy deserves a better fate than he's received - he needs some goal support.

The defense continues to play well at least defensively, the just aren't getting the support they need from the offense. They do need to do a better job transitioning the puck up to the forwards however.

Busted Bulbs

Speaking of support -- the Jackets offense is on life support right now. If Rick Nash or Nik Zherdev aren't scoring then no one is. The Jackets have just 3 goals in their past 3 games. Rick Nash has just one point over that span.

The powerplay is a complete wreck. Can't enter the zone with possession. If its dumped in they aren't winning the battles for control. If they do get control guys like Sergei Fedorov are missing what should be passes he should make in his sleep. The defense isn't making plays to keep pucks in the zone.

I need an APV put out for secondary scoring on this team. Where are the goals from Chimera, Malhotra, Brule, Fritsche, Fedorov, Vyborny, Peca? That's almost our entire 2nd and 3rd lines. Combined they have just 22 goals. Rick Nash and Nik Zherdev alone have 23 goals.

I'm not panicking but if this group can't pick up the slack I can see our 2nd and 3rd lines being completely revamped next season with guys like Brassard and Voracek filling holes and free agents brought in for the rest. Of that group I just listed 4 are unrestricted free agents - if they can't get it done (and they are given every opportunity to get something done) then why bring them back? Our offense must absolutely be more balanced if this team has visions of playoffs dancing in their heads.


As Rick Nash was quoted in the paper this morning, Calgary is a huge game on Saturday night if they hope to salvage something from this road trip. Only one problem, Calgary is in a worse slump than we are and have lost 3 in a row - think they are looking at Saturday as a must win game? They are a tough nut to crack at home as well. That game in Edmonton is really stinging at this point.


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