directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets need big win tonight

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets need big win tonight

The once comfortable pad the Jackets had in the standings only two short weeks ago has recently been closed to the point where they find themselves in a 5 way tie for 7th in conference with 22 points. One win tonight and the Jackets could vault to tie for 3rd - that is how tight the West is right now.

The Jackets face only their 2nd Eastern conference opponent thus far this season tonight in the Florida Panthers. The Panthers haven't visited Nationwide since 2002 and are coming off a win two nights ago versus the Washington Capitals. The Panthers are 9-12-1 with 55 goals for and 65 goals against thus far this year . They are certainly an up and down team who appears to be up right now. They are led by Oli Jokinen with 23 points and Nathan Horton with 15 -- kind of their versions of Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev if you will -- granted all four players play a different style.

Keys to lightening em up

Jackets have to find a way to beat goaltender Thomas Vokoun. Vokoun has a respectable 2.95 save% and .908 goals against average. He's had a lot of success versus the Jackets when he was with the Panthers.

In the same light, Pascal Leclaire needs to shut down Jokinen and Horton and make the saves he's supposed to.

Stay out of the box. The Jackets have been burnt recently on the PP, especially 5 on 3, so they need to play their way within their system and not take stupid penalties.

Jackets need to find some motivation and energy for a team they don't typically face in the Panthers. I suspect the team that comes out stonger and gets on the board first will win this game.

Secondary scoring. Nash and Z can't do it all. Need guys like Vyborny, Chimera, Brule, Manny and co. to contribute on the score sheet.

Win in regulation. Lets not even get to a potential shootout and close this game out in regulation.

The road doesn't get any easier tonight with games against Minny on the road Friday and Detroit back at home on Saturday. Jackets need these two points.

See you all at the Rbar!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think you mixed up GAA and Save % for vokoun. just fyi :) great blog!