directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: First extended road trip of the season

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: First extended road trip of the season

The schedule has been relatively kind to the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. So far the longest road trip they've had to endure is two games. That changes starting tonight as the Jackets take on the Edmonton Oilers as they begin their first 3 game road trip of the season that will also swing through Calgary and Vancouver.

Keys to lighting em up

The Oliers are currently tied for the worst record in the Western Conference with Los Angeles Kings. They are 9-13-1. The Jackets admittedly get up for teams above them in the standings but tend to have let downs against teams below them -- they must end this trend starting tonight.

The Oilers have also given up the 3rd most goals in the league which would seem to translate that A. their goaltending has stunk or B. their defense stinks or a combination of both. The Jackets must take advantage of this.

Jackets must win the battle of the special teams. The Oil have the worst PP in the league and they'll be going up against 4th best PK in the league. Similarly the Jackets only have the 19th best PP in the league while Oil have the 10th best PK. Now is not the time for the Jackets PK to falter and the PP has been on a roll of late - need to keep that going.

The Jackets have played well on the road so they'll need to play that style and avoid the let downs we've seen often after emotional wins like the ones they had over Detroit and Edmonton. Hitch will have these guys focused but it will be up to the players to execute.

Also on a side note there are a couple of Edmonton connections with the Jackets. Kris Russell, who is expected to play tonight, is from that area and of course our new GM Scott Howson was originally with the Oilers as an assistant before we plucked him. Also Jason Chimera was originally drafted by the Oilers and spent a lot of time in their system.

Another big 2 points on the line. With the West as tight as it is the Jackets must win games like this against teams below them in the standings.

Wouldn't it be nice to see Russell get his first goal as a professional tonight?


No comments: