directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Who's smokin, who's chokin

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Who's smokin, who's chokin

Time for another edition of "who's smokin, who's chokin!" Here we go.....

Who's smokin

The Jackets
Wholly smokes is this team on fire! They've won their last 4....they've won their past 3 on the that span they've only give up a combined 6 goals and scored 16....needless to say this team is off to by far their best start in franchise history!

Pascal Leclaire hot hoT hOT HOT!!! Throw this kid in a pool before he burns up....Dude leads the league in shutouts with 4 and GAA with a 1.25%. He is also 2nd in the league in save % with a .953. Can this guy possibly keep up this pace the whole season? I say backstopping a Ken Hitchock coache'd team you bet your blocker he can...these numbers aren't flukes as the team is playing this kind of consistent hockey game in and game out and there is no reason it won't continue.....and oh btw - Paslcal Leclaire was just named second star of the league for the month of October!!

Rick "The Monster" Nash
Nasher is 11th in league scoring with 15 points in 11 games. He is tied for 3rd in the league in goal scoring and over his last 5 he's got 5g and 2a. Guy has been a monster since the season began and quite frankly could have a lot more points if some of his numerous other quality scoring chances were buried.

#1 PK in the league by 4 percentage points killing a eye popping 93%.

Face offs
The Jackets rank 3rd in the league in face off percentage winning 54.2% of their draws. Both Michael Peca and Manny Malhotra rank in the top 5 in the entire league in this category.

The Speed line!
Chimera-Manny-Fritche re-unitetion <<--is that even a word!?....oh who cares...anyhow....has been back to their usual bag of tricks playing their straight line game, using their speed on breakouts and size and grinding ability in the corners....oh and that line has a combination of 7 points (3g, 4a) in the past 3 games since they were re-united.

Not a whole lot to say here but when you've given up only 21 goals against (which is good for
2nd best in the NHL) there is a whole lot of smokin going.....and its not just defenesemen..its
the forwards getting back hard to help the everyone blocking shots and pouncing on
loose pucks and its goaltending coming up with key timely goals. Its all clicking right now
and this team leads the league in GAA only giving up 1/82 goals per game.

These guys have really been clicking..not as much on the PP as you'd like although before last night's game they did score a PP goals in six straight...but even strength goals have picked up and right now the Jackets are ranked 13th in the league scoring 2.91 goals a game. That's pretty damn good....and the icing on the cake -- they have not been shut out this season (please don't let that statement jinx em tonight!)

Who's chokin

David "me not so" Vyborny
Vyborny is off a very slow start this year only recording 4 points in 11 contents. I'm not
sure if its the players around that are improving...or if he just doesn't fit well in this system or what but Vybes has been completely invisible most nights out there....I keep thinkin its a slump and he'll break out of it as he's known to be a streaky player but at this point I'm worried if its ever gonna come? Definitely concerning for a guy in a contract year.

Duvie Westcott
Its been a terrible early start for Westcott. He's got zero points and is a -5. Worst part about it is that he took a hard hit in the Chicago game that looks to be another concussion. Duvie has looked step behind this entire season and has a long road ahead of him to get his game back on track.

Columbus is ranked 29th out of 30 teams in attendance - not good. However the good news is that with winning comes attention and with attention comes the bandwagon and with the bandwagon comes higher attendance numbers. That and there has been reports that one Doug MacLean did indeed inflate the attendance numbers last whether that is true or not I can't confirm...but one would think that with his job in jeopardy reporting actual attendance figures certainly wouldn't have helped his case to retain his job and the keys to his little mis-managed CBJ kingdom. Having been to 80% of the Jackets home games the past few years I can tell you that the actual number of people in the stands this October compared to last is about the IMO there was certainly some fudging going on.

Now the marketing staff really needs to find its 'A' and really get out there, get creative and promote this quality on-ice product we are seeing now. I'm not talkin about just hitting up old season ticket holders who may have gotten fed up but go and market this team to new's the time to pounce!


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