directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets drop penalty filled affair in OT

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jackets drop penalty filled affair in OT

The Jackets played a strong hard fought game last night but ultimately came up with only 1 of 2 points as they lost to the Ducks in OT yesterday evening.

Lit it up

5 on 5. The Jackets were very strong 5 on 5 last night and unfortunately the refs (more on them in a sec) decided the game should be spent mostly on special teams. The Jackets came out with a lot of energy and a strong effort. Ultimately they just didn't get stops or timely goals to close out the game.

The Ducks special teams. They scored 3 powerplay goals and added a short handed penalty shot. Their PK, while not spectacular, did only give up 2 goals on 9 PP chances included a 5 on 3 advantage for the Jackets.

Nikolai Zherdev continues to light it up lately. He scored his 5th goal in as many games and more importantly again played excellent hockey on both sides of the puck. At times it really appears this kid is putting a stick handling clinic on out there.

Correy Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Jackets needed to bottle these two up but were unable to. Perry had 2 goals and Getzlaf with 2 assists. Getzlaf was particularly impressive last night and Perry drew a couple of key penalties.

Dim the light

The PP did manage to score a couple of goals but was not great as they only converted on 2 of 9 powerplay chances which included a 5 on 3. The PP did look much better though controlling the play well in the offensive zone and I attribute a lot of that to Duvie Westcott's presence on the point. Still though, with 9 chances you've got to win the game with your PP and 2 goals wasn't good enough last night for the win. Step in the right direction though.

Leclaire played a good but not great game. He made the stops he should but did not make that "key" save to bail the Jackets out. Probably the most noticeable being the penalty shot Pahlsson scored on in the 2nd period. I hate to put more pressure on Leclaire but he's basically got to play great every night for this team to win these close games.

Nasher has been held pointless the past two games. He did make a key play on the first goal with a borderline hit on Rob Niedermeyer that led directly to a Jackets PP goal by Klelsa. For the most part though he was held in check. He did draw a couple of key penalties from Pronger.

Michael Peca was absolutely brutal through the first two periods. Broken sticks, sloppy play on the point of the PP and just generally bad. He picked his game up in the 3rd, especially when he won 3 straight face offs in the offensive zone when the Jackets had a 5 on 3 and did collect two points but overall we need a better 60 minute effort from 19.

Beech with another solid effort and collected a goal. I also like Hejda a lot last night - nice hit that sent a Duck over the boards as well.

Busted bulbs

The refereeing was horrible last night - on both sides. Many of the calls they made were questionable at best and then the ones they should make went uncalled. How they could call Jared Boll for roughing after he was jumped by Hnidy after a hit on Platt was a complete joke. Boll did nothing but turn and turtle because he can't fight due to a swollen hand. I could maybe see the 2 for boarding but 2 more for roughing and an issuing powerplay for the Ducks....puh-lease.. maybe in a bushleague. That's not even getting into the pick Schneider had on Nash or the call in OT on Wescott (not sure how you can call that in OT but "technically" it was a penalty).

PK. What typically is a strength of the Jackets was anything but last night as they gave up 3 PP goals. Unfortunately as much as the PK has bailed out this team this season the PP was unable to do it for them.

Ron Haisnsey. Brutal.

Sergei Fedorov. I've noticed some people think this guy is playing well -- I have yet to see it. Maybe their expectations have lowered but last I checked this guy is getting paid to score and create -- I haven't seen any scoring or any creating. Who cares how good he is on the PK? Last I checked this guy has been beat out this year for the #1 center position by a guy who was not even in the NHL at the beginning of the year (Beech). Fedorov is on cruise control - end of story. I can't wait until he cruises right out of a CBJ uni.

Shelley had him....but for some reason did not finish of Parros and aloud him to climb back into the fight and Jody payed the price for it when Parros connected on a couple of solid swings that dropped #45.

3 bright lights on the night

1. 5 on 5 play - Jackets were strong
2. Nik Zherdev - 5th goal in 5 games + strong 2-way play
3. Physical play - Jackets came ready to battle last night

Michael Arace had a really good blog entrylast night over on Puck-Rakers that sums up about where I stand right now with this team. The Jackets are maintaining. They aren't out of the hunt like they've been in every December in their history but they aren't exactly pulling away and guaranteeing a playoff spot at this point either.
That can all change with a winning streak or they could implode. Personally this is where I agree with Arace the most, this team is not going to implode -- they pretty much are what they are at this point which is a hard to play against team who is giving themselves a chance to win just about every time out....and that Jacket fans represents a GIGANTIC step forward from where this team has been even just a short year ago. As the saying goes, Rome is not built over night. This organization has gone over an extreme foundation makeover in short period of time and we are already seeing results even if on some nights those results are translated into "W's".

If the Jackets fan finish up this month strong and get around that 40 - 45 point mark at the new year they'll still be right in the hunt. They are 13-11-6 for 32 points. They have 9 games left in December which will put them at 39 games played. If they go say 5-4 over that span that will give them 42 points -- not great, especially considering how many road games they have in Jan/Feb but they'd still be in the hunt. Ideally they need to grab 6 or 7 wins over that stretch.


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