directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Return of Malhotra and Novotny help spark 4-1 win

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Return of Malhotra and Novotny help spark 4-1 win

The Jackets beat the Colorado Avalanche for the 2nd time in a month (and first time ever beating them twice in a year) 4-1 in Nationwide Arena last night.

This was the lowest combined shot total in CBJ history. Both teams had just 16 shots. The Jackets were able to slide 4 of those past Jose Theodore. Malhotra, Boll, Beech and Fedorov (en) tallied the four scores for the Jackets.

Lit it up

I thought Fredrik Norrena was the best player on the ice for both teams. Although the Avalanche had only 16 shots there were many quality chances there and Freddy was there. It was nice to see Norrena get some goal support for a chance. His record now is 4-5-6 with a 2.44 gaa and .927 save%. Great numbers and combine that with what Leclaire has done this year and this is a position many "experts" said was going to be a weak actually has turned out to be quite the strength of the big team.

How do you not love Jarred Boll. It was great to see him get rewarded for his hard play with a goal. Boll seemed to hit a bit of a wall there for a stretch but is regaining his early season form. His play has even prompted Hitch to say "if the coach had a brain he'd play him more".

40 of 60. The Jackets played a very strong 40 minutes. Not the complete game we all want (which is damn hard to do in this league) but was enough to get a well earned victory over an opponent who has owned the Jackets since birth.

Jan Hejda. I thought this guy was outstanding last night and his numbers back that up. One assists, +3, close to 22 min, 1 takeaway, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot. He and Foote were excellent against the Avalanche's top line of Statsny-Smyth-Hejduk.

Don't want to overlook Foote here either. He was all over Ryan Smyth to the point I can bet he can tell you what kind of gum he was chewing. He also was a +3 on the night. He also made damn sure that crease was clear and not of that nonsense goaltender abuse that the Jackets took last game against the Avs presented itself again.

Return of Novotny and Malhotra. It only took 10 minutes for their return to show up on the score sheet when Malhotra deposited his 5th of the year off a great feed from Dan Fritsche. But it was more than that, both players really solidified the middle of the ice, added a much needed boost to the PK and were a combined +3.

Rbar was rockin last night - especially for a Wednesday!

Speaking of the PK - it rebounded nicely last night killing off all Colorado powerplays.

Kris Beech. Scored his 3rd goal and 7th point in 7 games for that Jackets. Its still a bit early to get super excited about this kid, but no way the organization can send this kid down right now. He's added some much needed scoring punch - I just hope he can sustain it.

The ushers in sections 122 and 120 - both nice friendly guys and play well with the fans! Great job last night fellas!

Thanks to you know who for the tickets last night! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Hitting. Jackets outhit the Avalanche 19 to 8. Seriously, want to know the biggest reason we can own this team this year -- look no further than that stat. The Avalanche are waaaay to soft. Play them physical in a tight checking game and you can win. Proof is in the pudding.

Secondary scoring. Beech, Manny, Boll - 'nuff said.

Dim the light

Rick Nash was bottled up again. The last 3 games the monster has really been bottled up and hasn't done much out there. He could be hitting a bit of a wall and/or some naggin injuries are catching up to him. May need to rest #61 for a game as much as it pains me to say it.

Faceoffs weren't pretty last night. Combined the Jackets won only one 40% of them.

Just over 13k in attendance last night. Still not nearly good enough Jacket fans. This team is worth paying for this year -- lets get the word out!

I really like Kris Russell's play. This kid had 2 or 3 golden opportunities to score. Keep on keepin on Russ, they will fall for you. I'm tellin ya, this kid is gonna be a special one after its all said and done.

Thought the reffing was pretty solid last night - especially compared to what we've seen lately.

Busted bulbs

The second period. The Jackets had just one shot - luckily it went in. Otherwise was a horrendous period.

Powerplay looked like its old self again last night. Not much of anything going on there. Granted they only had two opportunities.

Brule and Tollefsen scratched. Tolly I missed but did anyone really miss Brule last night? Send this kid down to regain his confidence asap.

I still don't get all this recent love for Fedorov. I mean honestly, I did not notice him at all last night until he scored an empty netter. He is basically Manny Malhotra right now making 6 million dollars -- except Manny is better on the faceoffs and is a better penatley killer. Dump this guy.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Freddy Norrena - best player on the ice
2. Jackets answer - end 2 game skid with solid team effort and secure two wins in a year against the Avs for first time ever
3. Jarred Boll - anytime this kid lights the lamp, he'll be a bright light on the night

Another big win heading into Boston on Saturday. A win they kind of got away with. A win that could have went either way and for once it went the Jacekts way.

They are 3-1-2 in December and have taken 8 of a possible 12 points in a crucial month for their playoff hopes. They have 34 points which puts them 7th in the conference. In fact team 5 through 8 all have 34 points. They are only 2 points out of 3rd so they are right in the hunt where they need to be.

They go up against a 17-10-3 Boston team who has won 3 straight heading into their game against New Jersey tonight. Another prime opportunity to gain two points. Best part about the Boston game - I'll be there in person to root the boys on!


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