directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Flames look to continue hot streak against Jackets

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Flames look to continue hot streak against Jackets

No pun intended...but the Flames are hot...flaming hot right now. They have won 5 in a row on a 6 game road trip and are now 16-13-5 and find themselves with 37 points in the standings -- which is 3 points better than the Jackets.

For the Jackets the Flames represent another opportunity to bounce back from a bad game which saw them get blanked by the Bruins 2-0.

The Jackets currently sit 10th in the conference with 34 points and have fallen off the pace lately as other teams have begun to streak. A win tonight would only vault them into 8th in the conference so as you can see, the Jackets need to start putting some streaks together to keep in the race.

Keys to lighting em up

Find a way to limit Iginla and Huselius. Both of these players have absolutely lit up the scoreboard over the past few games. Both players have more points than Rick Nash who has really cooled off of late and still sits at 31 points. Heck even Langkow has more points than our highest scorer. The Jackets need to bottle these guys up.

Come to play. Its a dangerous pattern the Jackets have found themselves in in terms of showing up ready to play at a high level night in and night out. Typically they have responded well after a bad showing and will again need that tonight -- and every night if they really are serious about making a run. These games against Calgary are typically of the hard in your face variety so the Jackets need to be prepared for that kind of battle.

Wake up 61. Jackets need Nash to get it goin again. I know the guy is hurting but if he plays, we need him putting up points. Phaneuf typically goes at Nash hard so he'll have to battle through that as all go to players have to night in and night out.

Leclaire gets the nod tonight in nets. He'll have to be the team's best player.

Offense. Can't just be Nash. Guys like Chimera, Fedorov, Glennx, Fritsche and co. have to score.

Pressure on Kiprusoff. The Flames offense may be lighting it up with 101 goals for but they also are tied for 3rd in conference for giving up the highest goals against with 103. The Jackets must exploit this and put pressure on Kiprusoff....that means pucks on net, pouncing on rebounds and paying a price -- absolutely no permiter play tonight..!

This is quite a big request I realize -- but it sure would be nice to score a couple of PP goals in this one. The PP has dropped all the way to 24th in the NHL. The Flames own the 26th best PK in the league so the match up is there in the Jackets favor.


Almost the entire Northwest division is streaking right now with Vancouver being the only team on a losing streak (they've lost 2 in a row). Contrast that with the Central where only Detroit is on a winning streak (won last two) while the rest of the division has lost one or more. That is the biggest reason we've seen the standings jumbled as much as they have been.

The Jackets need to change that tonight by getting a big win and ending Calgary's 5 game road winning streak. Calgary is ripe for a loss and the Jackets find themselves in a fairly desperate situation here trying to salvage was has only been an average month of December (3-2-2) in what many were touting to be a make it or break it month for them.

They need to put together a streak starting tonight and finish out this month on a very high note.

Go Jackets!


No comments: