directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: The stuff rivalries are built from

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The stuff rivalries are built from

The Jackets broke out of their slump last night beating the streaking Blackhawks 4-2 last night at Nationwide Arena. This win had just about everything you could ask for....goals from Nash, Chimera, Fedorov & Fritsche...hits....saves...fights on the ice....fights in the stands...teams staying on the ice jawing back and forth after the game...yep if your a hockey nut you had to love the bad blood brewing between these two teams...this folks, is how true rivalries are built.

Lit it up

Nash with a goal, Nash with an assist and Nash with a fight -- yep he had the second Gordie Howe hat trick of his career. Is there any doubt at this point who is the leader of this team? As Nash goes the rest of the team follows. To be honest though I was nervous as hell when he was in that fight with Vandameer at the end of game - you don't want your star player injured in a the same time it was nice to see Nasher lay it on the line like that after a game and stand up for himself...he puts up with a lot of cheap shots and Vandameer is known for that style of play. It will be interesting to see what the team does in response to Vandameer's actions next time they meet -- how about a Boll/Toews bout? What? Chicago wouldn't like one of our best fighters to go after their young superstar? What comes around goes around.

Lots of secondary scoring stepped up tonight. Sergei Fedorov continues to pile up some points (finally) as he now is the second leading scorer on this team with 12 points in 18 games. The line of Chimera-Malhotra-Fritsche combined for 4 points last night... Chimera is off to a career start collecting 11 points in 18 games thus far...same with Malhotra registering 9 points through 18 games.

The PK continues to shine...they killed off every 'hawk powerplay last night.

Adam Foote was just a rock last night. There were times when it didn't seem like he ever left the ice. In fact I know he stayed out and killed for a full two minute powerplay at one point in this game. The guy really is playing well in the role Hitch has defined for him which is a crease clearing shut down defensemen. He was woefully mis-used under Gallant and now we are seeing what Foote can bring to the table when properly utilized. He was +3 last night and had a helper.

The team shut down Toews and Kane and kept them off the score sheet -- you do that, and you'll win against this team most nights.

The team was finally able to come back from being down a goal. We had only done that once this season.

Dim the light

Pascal Leclaire had an okay game. He let in his softest goal of the year on the 2nd 'hawks goal but by that time the game was well in hand. He finished off the night stopping 16 of 18 shots and for once it was nice to have the boys in front of him give him some goal support. No shutout needed for this win.

Jody Shelley actually looked pretty good last night. The line of Shelley-Brule-Boll did a nice job all evening adding some energy and even put some pressure on the 'hawks and created some scoring changes. Heck, I think Shelley topped his season playing time total in one game -- he played 8:50 minutes last night -- good for #45!

Attendance was a little better last night with over 13,600 there to see a game on a Wed night.

I thought Duvie Westcott looked solid last night in his first game back since suffering from a concussion a few weeks ago. Nothing fancy from Duvie just solid play and solid decisions with the puck. I think that's what Westcott will need to play until he regains his confidence - keep it simple.

The Glencross-Novotny-Zherdev line couldn't get much going last night....but chances are not every line will be on for every game. They should bounce back in St. Louis.

Busted bulbs

Still not terribly excited about our ability to transition from the back end. We are good defensively but when we cause turnovers we just don't seem to have enough skill to really make solid reads and tape to tape passes to our forwards for quick transitions. At this point, unless a trade is made, its a team weakness that we are probably gonna have to just live with and compensate where we can for until it can be addressed in the offseason.

How about the two idiot Blackhawks fans in section 102 that started a melee that at its height probably included about 15 fans. I saw the whole thing and it started when the woman with green hair started physically assaulting a fan around her -- from there it grew -- as other fans tried to break it up they were immediately sucked into the mess and starting exchanging blows of their own. The Dispatch reported that 5 fans were arrested and from what I could tell they grabbed the folks who started the whole thing. Message to the 'hawks fan - dude, work on your right about some sissy punches...if you could even call em that..looked more like some kind of tomahawk chop.

So this was a huge win for the Jackets. It vaults them back to 2nd in the division and more importantly breaks them out of their four game slump. Next up is the Blues at St. Louis tomorrow night. The Jackets have shut them out both times they've faced them so you can bet the Blues are gonna want to make a statement tomorrow night - things don't get any easier.


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