directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Darth Vader is dead!

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Darth Vader is dead!

It finally happened. The Columbus Blue Jackets finally solved the Nashville Predators and ended a 12 game losing streak agains that team. They had not beaten the Preds since April 3rd, 2006.

After beating the St. Louis Blues the night before in a very spirited game the Jackets faced a rested Nashville Preds team, while visibly tired at times, played a hard tight checking game and were able to pull out the 2 points off a shootout goal by Nik Zherdev.

Lit em up

For the second time in as many night the Jackets failed to score first yet won the game. This team is showing signs of turning the corner in terms of being able to win games after getting down on the scoreboard. That is big.

Pascal Leclaire. Rebounded off an average outing against St. Louis to win his 2nd game in as many nights. He stopped 26 of 27 shots and stopped all 3 shootout attempts by the Preds to seal the win for the Jackets. Leclaire was fantastic last night and earned the 3rd star of the night on - a nice big thank you for the all-star snub NHL.

Nik Zherdev. This guy is just flat out unbelievable for the Jackets this season. Not only did he single handidly create the turnover and then feed Rusty Klelsa a beauty of a pass which resulted in the tying goal, he scored the lone shoot out goal that gave the Jackets the much needed extra point. Our best players needed to be our best players to end this losing streak against the Preds and Zherdev was that guy last night.

The little things. The Jackets out hit the Preds 26 to 7. The won 56% of the face offs. They killed all 3 penalties. The supported Leclaire getting to lose pucks. They won battles on the wall. All that added up to a much needed win.

Rusty Klelsa. Led the team in ice time with over 27 minutes played and of course had the only regulation goal for the Jackets. That's a ton of minutes for Rusty and at is a sign that at age 25 he could becoming into his own this season, his 6th full season in the NHL.

Dim the light

Loved Marc Methot again. Dude is a huge presence back on that blueline and had some big hits, in fact he is credited with 4 hits. His ice time already increased from the night before to over 17 minutes. He and Russell looked like a natural pair and Methot's play has really solidified that 3rd pairing.

The speed line. Fritsche-Manny-Chimera may not have gotten anything on the scoreboard but they were a force all night. I thought they were our best offensive line hands down.

Crowd. Just over 16k for a Saturday night to watch the hated Preds. C'mon Cbus, we can do better than that!

Busted bulbs

"De-fense ** De-fense". I love the drum line but I hope to NEVER hear another football chant at a hockey game. Horrible.

Fedorov. With his improved play of late I actually was dissapointed Feds couldn't go last night. Hopefully he's not out long.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Nikolai Zherdev - made play to set up tying goal plus shootout winner (he's 4 for 4 in shootouts)
2. Pascal Leclaire - stood on his head in a game where one mistake could cost your team a win and stopped all 3 attempts in shootout
3. Consistantcy - Jackets showed up ready to play on the 2nd night of a back to back

Jackets improve to 21-18-6. These were two huge home games this weekend that the Jackets had to win to keep pace and the answered the call. Next up is Vancouver on Tuesday. How big would it be to take 3 of 3 on home ice? Can we say momentum?

For now I'm gonna just be happy that Vader is dead.

Have a great Sunday Jacket fans!


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