directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets hope to brew up a win in Beantown

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets hope to brew up a win in Beantown

Due to the fact I'll be up at 3:30 a.m. tomorrow to catch a 6 a.m. flight to Boston I am putting up my PGT (pre-game thoughts) tonight.

The 14-11-6 Columbus Blue Jackets will look to win their second game in a row as they travel to Boston to take on the 17-11-3 Boston Bruins. The Bruins dropped their last game against the New Jersey Devils and will also be looking to get back in the win column.

Keys to lighting em up

Not a lot of history between these two squads but they are a team that is ahead of them in the standings, albeit in the Eastern Conference standings, so the Jackets should have no problem getting motivated for this one. So the key here is to channel that motivation, play their game and get ready for a tough road game.

According to Puck-rakers Hitch is riding the hot hand between the pipes and is going with Fredrick Norrena. Just like the last game against Colorado, Norrena will have to make the saves he should and the team in front of him will have to get him goal support.

Take advantage of Bruin goaltender injuries. Both Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas are out with injuries. Rookie Tuukka Rask and new acquisition Alex Auld are manning the pipes for the B's. The Jackets must use this to their advantage and pounce. Auld has played decent so far as a Bruin and has a 2.97 gaa .901 save%.

Shut down Savard. The Bruins main offensive cog is Marc Savard. He leads the team in points with 37 points. Typically as Savard goes, their offense follows.

Nash needs to come alive. The monster has been quite on the score sheet the past 3 games. Time to awake the recently sleeping giant.

Identical twins. Both Columbus and Boston have given up 78 goals in 31 games played. Both teams play a strong defensive game. Boston has only scored 2 more goals than the Jackets with 83 goals for versus our 81. Key - this is gonna be a tightly checked game and both teams will look to be opportunistic, create turnovers and convert on PP chances. The Jackets will need to be just slightly better in those areas to come out with 2 points.

Special teams. The Jackets 5th ranked PK versus the Bruins 11th ranked PP. Whomever wins this game within a game will probably grab the two points.

On the flip side, the Bruins own the league's worst PK so the Jackets 20th ranked PP needs to take advantage.


This is only 1 of 3 road games of the month for the Jackets. They were able to knock off the Calgary Flames earlier so they will be looking to do the same versus the Bruins. The Jackets are 5-7-2 on the road. Hitch stated at the beginning of the season that for this team to really challenge for a playoff birth they will need to have a .500 road record -- tomorrow is a golden opportunity to pull within one game of that goal 3 months into the season.

Should be a fun one. I've been to the old Boston Garden but haven't been to the new building so I am looking forward to the experience.

Couple of small blue biscuits to share before I end this post:

- Puck-rackers shot down the rumors of a Boston-Columbus deal saying that the Jackets are not looking to deal anyone at the time.

- There was a pretty good sized trade today - the St. Louis Blues traded 37 year old center Doug Weight along with a prospect and 7th round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for 30 year old Andy McDonald. Both players have struggled but I think the Blues got the better end of this one by gaining an explosive offensive player - imagine he and Kariya, yikes! - while the Ducks basically cleared cap space to add Niedermeyer back to their lineup. From a Jackets perspective this deal sucks b/c I think the Blues just got better.

Go Jackets! Lets show these folks in Beantown this team isn't the same old door matt it used to be!


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