directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets look to make December the most wonderful time of the year

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets look to make December the most wonderful time of the year

After a terrible November that saw the Jackets go 4-7-3 the Jackets will look to douse some flames tonight and start December off with a win and set the tone for what could be a make or break it month for the 2007-2008 edition of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Its not gonna be easy though... the Jackets take on a struggling Calgary team who is losers of their past 3, are 10-13-3 overall and for a team that is usually almost unbeatable at home are only 6-7-2 in the Saddledome this season.

For the Jackets this game gives them a chance to salvage something off of this 3 game road trip which saw them come out flat against Edmonton and run into a hot goaltender in Roberto Luongo in Vancouver and get shutout for the first time this season. The Jackets have also lost their past two.

Both teams are looking at this game as must wins.

Keys to lighting em up

Don't let Calgary off the mat. The Flames are struggling. Historically the Jackets have been a great slump buster for other teams and they can't become that again tonight.

Goaltending. Kiprusoff is struggling - lets keep it that way. With a .885 save % and a 2.96 gaa Mika Kiprusoff isn't so hot so far this season. The Jackets need to use this to their advantage and attack, attack, attack! Fire hard and often. Norrena just needs to make the saves he's supposed to and watch out for the bombs from the point from Phaneuf, Regehr and Aucoin.

Score some goals! The Jackets have only 3 goals in their past 3 games. Rick Nash and Nik Zherdev need their line mates to help em out. They can't do it all.

Shut down Iginla. Iginla leads this team with 34 points. He is the key to Calgary similar to Rick Nash to Columbus.

Take advantage of a team that has given up a conference high 80 goals against. The once stout Calgary defense has some chinks in the armor this season and the Jackets need to expose it. Shoot, shoot, shoot.... go to the net.... get on those bounces and rebounds.. pay the price tonight!

Lets get physical. These two teams typically play a very physical game against one another. If the Jackets want to win they need to play their physical brand of hockey and take it to the Flames.

They have to mentally want to win on the road. Lately the Jackets just don't seem to have that swagger about them on the road. They look timid, intimidated and beaten before the 1st period even ends. Lets get that swagger back. Mentally they need to know they can win any game, any where in this league.


With 11 of 14 games at home in December now is the time for the Jackets to make their move if they truly want to make a playoff push. If they could get a big road win leading into a 5 game home stand that would be a big bonus. They need an .700 record for the month of December -- something like 9-4-1 -- because in January they only play 4 of 14 at home and only 3 of 13 at home in February. Truly, the playoffs start tonight for this team.


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