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Friday, January 11, 2008

Jackets answer

After suffering the worst loss of the season to the St. Louis Blues just 3 short days ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets answered in a big way downing those same Blues by a score of 6-4.


Give the Blues credit though, after falling down 3-1 they battled back to tie the score 3-3 early in the third. That is when the penalty kill once again answered the call for the Jackets killing off a 1 min+ 5 on 3 Blues advantage and completely changed momentum in the game. The Jackets then proceeded to score 3 consecutive goals, two of which were by Zherdev who wasn't even supposed to play tonight, to close out a much needed win and end a two game losing streak.

Lit it up

Let me be the first to say. WE ACTUALLY WON A GAME IN WHICH WE DIDN'T SCORE FIRST! WHOOO!

Okay..with that out of the way....

The Jackets came to play tonight. Unlike the last game against the Blues it was the Jackets who outhit, outshot and outplayed the Blues.

Rick Nash. Yeah he got a goal but that's not why I put him here. Nash played his most complete game in quite sometime. What impressed me most was his play on the PK. He played over 3 minutes shorthanded and at times completely dominated the play in the process. Nash also led all forwards in minutes played with over 21 minutes.

Nik Zherdev. This guy wasn't even supposed to play. Yet all he did was score 2 key goals including the goal that put the Jackets ahead for good....and gawd...how about some of those passes he made like that behind the back pass to Vyborny in the first...

Physical play. Not sure if it was the blowout or the callout by Portzline in the Puck-rakers blog but the Jackets came ready to battle tonight. Good on them.

Sergei Fedorov. Guy is hot lately. He played really well tonight. Nash's goal was only made possible by a sweet pass by Feds to break him in. He had 2 helpers on the night and played over 17 quality minutes.
Much better music in Nationwide these days. Keep it up game ops!

Special teams. Powerplay had a couple including a key 5 on 3 goal in the first to put the Jackets up 2-1 in the first. The PK, while giving up a goal, killed off two 5 on 3 man power advantages for the Blues and was HUGE when it needed to be, especially in the 3rd period.

Dim the light

David Vyborny. I personally didn't like his game all that much but he finally got something going tonight in the points department collecting 3 assists and he also made a couple of good defensive play. We can only hope a game like this gets 9 going. He still seems like a different player to me, just a step slower than he used to be.

New comers. I thought both Brassard and Methot had good debuts. Nothing spectacular from either player but Methot played over 10 minutes, even getting some PK minutes, and I thought was really big in the 3rd with Foote in the box and made some really good defensive plays. I really like Methot's size. Brassard got just over 6 minutes and was definitely eased in. You can see the skill ooozing from this kid and he looked good on the PP from the point I thought played solid in all 3 zones.

Jan Hejda. Played maybe the best shift of the game when Foote was in the box in the 3rd. He leveled Tkachuk and then layed another hit. He was a flat out rock back there. He finished with a +2 and over 19 minutes played.

Speed line. Chimear a 1g and 1a. Fritsche 1g and 1a. Malhotra 1a. This line made an impact tonight and got rewarded with some late PP time. It was really nice to see Chimera get one...that guy really needed it. Hopefully he can build from it. All three played through the final whistle and even got involved in a big scrum at the end.

Adam Foote. Guy was a beast tonight. Was huge on the PK, was physical and stood up for his teammates whether it be giving to the refs (who were brutal). He also collected three assists and had a couple of real good looks at the net. He did take some penalties, some very ill-timed, which moves him from "lit it up" to "dim the light".
Leclaire. Looked average tonight. Was shaky early...and his puckhandling was terrible. Not sure what was going on with that final goal by St. Louis. Need a sharper Leclaire in nets if he goes tomorrow against Nashville.

Not sure what the final attendance was but it looked good. I'd say about 15k to 16k in the Nat tonight and they were loud and into it. Well done!

Busted bulbs

David Backes. You hit one of our stars in Z....then you decline to fight. Jason Chimera specifically challenged him straight up at the end of the second and Backes skated away. Tenderfoot.

Refs...what in the hell gives when them in terms of these rush faceoff drops. All the games I've watched this year I've never seen the refs actually do that to teams. These guys were just brutal in the 3rd with some of their calls. Especially some of the interference calls.

That said... even though the refs were very suspect...they took way to many penalties. Luckily the Blues have one of the worst powerplays in the league or this could have been a completely different outcome.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Energy - Jackets came out ready for this one.
2. Zherdev - 2 goals from a guy who wasn't supposed to even play
3. Team scoring - lots of guys contributed tonight that we usually don't see including Foote (3a), Chimera (1g, 1a), Fritsche (1g, 1a) and Vyborny (3a)

Jackets improve to 20-18-6 on the year to pull 2 points ahead of tomorrow's opponent, Nashville, for 3rd place in the division. They sit 11th in the conference 3 points out of the final playoff spot in 8th place.

Another big game tomorrow as the Jackets try again to end a 12 game skid against those Predators.

-LTL

2 comments:

Matt said...

Best hit of the night had to have been Methot laying the wood to Backes so hard that -his stick flew up over the glass-. I jumped out of my seat and howled for that one!

Mark, I suspect, is going to stick with the team this year for good.

You were spot on about the attendance, too. Looks like about 15,800. I commented to the group I went with that attendance seemed -really- good last night. Hopefuly dollar dog night will push it up again tomorrow and we'll have a game worth watching!

Anonymous said...

I think the best part was Methot beating Backes to a pulp at the end of the game!!!