directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets run wild, Leclaire earns record setting 6th shutout

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Jackets run wild, Leclaire earns record setting 6th shutout

The Columbus Blue Jackets finally got a win this afternoon in Minnesota by blanking a very hard to beat at home Wild team 4-0. Leclaire was huge in net stopping all 32 shots including 8 powerplay chances by the Predators. Peca, Vyborny, Fritsche and Nash collected the tallys for the CBJ.

Lit em up

Really no other place to start other than Leclaire. For a guy who wasn't expected to start tonight he definitely righted his game in a big way by collecting a team record setting 6th shutout of the year. Leclaire has struggled a bit in his past a few starts with the worst coming off his last outing against Florida -- some of which can be contributed to Pascal, some of which to the team play in front of him. Hopefully this is the start of a good stretch for him although he'll face powerhouse Detroit in a back to back start tomorrow night unless Norrena feels better.

Michael Peca. I got to thinkin...what is this team's record with Peca in the lineup b/c it seems like when he's in, we win? So I did a little diggin.....they are 8-4-2 with him and 2-4-2 without I think its pretty easy to see where Michael stands with this squad and he was just as important tonight notching the first goal of the game, an assist, +1 and went 9 for 15 in the face off circle...he's got 2g, 7a for 9 point in 14 games so far this year. We just need him to stay healthy.

Rick Nash. What more can you say about this guy - he's just having a monster year. He notched another goal and an assist. He's got 27 point total which puts him in the top 10 in the league....he's got 16 goals which puts him tied for 2nd in the league in that department. This guy has been fantastic and I still don't think we've seen the best from him yet.

Speaking of faceoffs... Fedorov went a whopping 11 for 12 in the circle while Malhotra went 10 for 14. I think faceoffs are one of the most underrated areas of hockey and this team is really excelling at it.

Special teams. The powerplay seems to be finding its groove. The team notched to PP goals in 5 chances. The PK also got back on track killing off all 8 Wild powerplays including a 5 on 3. Oh...and we can't forget Fritsche's shorty (thanks for the early gift Burns!)!

Dim the light

After being rightfully demoted to the fourth line David Vyborny got on the board with his second goal of the season. Perhaps this will light a fire under #9.

Defense as a whole looked much better tonight blocking shots, taking away the lanes and generally keeping the Wild and their speed to the outside most of the night. Also a tip of the hat to Adam Foote for sticking up for Jiri Novotny as he blindsided by a guy who just happened to come out of the box as he was rushing up the ice looking the other way. I don't want to call it a cheap shot because it was legal and if the roles were reversed I would expect a Jacket player to do the same -- really just an unfortunate situation for Novotny, hopefully he's okay.

Busted Bulbs

Had to feel a little bit for the Wild -- their game completely reminded me of some of the Jackets' games the past few weeks. Its not that they really played that bad of game, they drew tons of penalties and skated hard...but they just couldn't connect on passes, convert on their special teams and could not hit the net for the life of them. Also like the Jackets, they got off to a nice start but have since cooled significantly. That said, glad its them and not us who got shuout!

Uhhh....I know the Wild needed a shakeup but why Todd Fedorok? I'm sure the Wild fans quickly saw why this guy has been the biggest prostitute in the league since for the last couple of years when he took a ridiculous cheap shot at Jarred Boll after the whistle and after he was already called for another word - bonehead. He won't last in Minnesota long and you've got to think this dude has used up about all his NHL chances.

Shelley vs. Boogard - yawn.

Young guns Brule and Russell scratched. Both were the right moves for Hitch to make....hopefully both players use this as motivation and learning experiences and not in some other way. I really think the organization should consider sending Brule to the AHL to regain some confidence but that's for another story another day.

This was a huge 'W' for the Jackets. I thought the Florida game was a must win but this win certainly eases some of that pain. It would be gigantic if the Jackets could take 2 more points from the slumping Wings tomorrow night but it won't be easy... The Wings are coming off a loss and had today off. The Jackets need to lay off the turkey leftovers tonight, put this win quickly behind them and start focusing on this Wings team. We saw the last time these two met that the Jackets can hang with em if they play their game.
Also a big tip of the hat to Ken Hitchcock's one year anniversary as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets. What a long way this team has come in a year!
Hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Great win today boys!!


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