directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets make it 4 in a row!

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jackets make it 4 in a row!

The Jackets bent a little but did not break as they beat the LA Kings 4-1. This marks the 4th straight victory for the Jackets and 3rd straight on the road. The Jackets now are 4 games above .500 with a record of 7-4-1.

These times certainly are uncharted waters for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Lit it up

Got to hand it to the "speed line" of Chimera-Manny-Fritsche as they came up big tonight not only scoring (Chimera had two) but also doing a great job of changing momentum a number of times in the game by playing their speed game and cycle game in the corners. This has been the Jackets best line since its been re-united.

Pascal Leclaire - what else can you say about this guy? He's one locked in athlete at this point. He stopped 32 of 33 shots - many quality - as was absolutely stellar during a 1:40+ 5 on 3 two man advantage for LA. Tonight I think was his best game yet this season, including the 4 shutouts he's pitched.

Penalty kill still stellar. They did let in a PP goal tonight (only the 4th of the year) but they killed that 5 on 3 and and 5 of 6 total. Leclaire has been the key but guys are laying it on the line blocking shots, winning battles in the corners, clearing rebounds, winning name it.

Russell and Klesla. I thought tonight was also Russell's best game of the year. Boy was this kid poised...he hit a post...kept numerous pucks in the zone on the PP....made quick smart plays both at even strength and on the PP....had an assist and was a +2....he was fantastic. Klesla was another guy that I don't think I've given enough credit to this season...he's been a rock on defense....and he's always taking hits to make plays and getting his nose dirty in front of the net, in the corners, along the walls....he's been a horse back there and that was very evident tonight with his 24+ minutes.

It was good to see the Jackets come out with a lot of jump after their layoff - that was one area I was particularly worried about.

Dim the light

Gilbert Brule finally got on the board tonight with a goal. He only played a little over 5 minutes but that had to be a huge confidence boost for this kid. Frankly I'd like to see him get more playing time but its hard to argue with anything that the coaching staff is doing at this point (See record!)...

Even though the Jackets won 4-1 tonight really the score didn't tell the whole tale. The Kings had a lot of quality scoring chances and really grabbed some momentum about half way through the goal. The Jackets had some uncharacteristic turnovers and really sat back in the 3rd as Hitch said in his post game news conference......can't do that regularly b/c teams as talented as the Kings will eventually capitalize.
Rick Nash had a goal and assist tonight. The Rick Nash engine just keeps on chuggin. He really could have buried a few others as well. Good to see him keep getting his chances and piling up the pionts (16 now in 11 games).

Busted Bulbs

Really did not like that Zherdev-Novotny-Vyborny line tonight. They didn't create a whole lot. That said lets see if they can pick things up tomorrow in Anaheim. I'm really not impressed at all with Vyborny this season - he was probably the most invisible forward on the ice tonight for the Jackets and he has a history of not showing up on the road.

OK Tollefsen really didn't have a strong game either on defense. He made some boneheaded turnovers and seemed to have a whole in his stick tonight. Need better play by OKT.

At the end of the day the Jackets won a game I think LA could have easily won as well. I think our goaltender played better than theirs and that was the difference. One thing I always keep in mind with Hitch is that have a system and structure can win you games on nights when maybe the guys didn't have the jump they should have --- in other words, the boys can rely on the system on down nights. I think this game was a good example of that.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy (hockey) Halloween. Its damn fun to win isn't it! We are right back at it with Anaheim tomorrow night at 10 p.m.


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