directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Leclaire, Boll power Jackets to key road win

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Leclaire, Boll power Jackets to key road win

Well the Jackets almost gave me a heart attack as they hung on in the 3rd to collect their 6th victory in their past 8 and 3 of 5 on this latest road trip swing.
They did it though....mostly on the back of Pascal Leclaire who stopped all 30 shots from the 'hawks including 14 in the 3rd period alone.

Jarred Boll collected the lone goal for the Jackets whom moved into a tie with Colorado for that 8th and final playoff spot in West as they move into the break.

Lit it up

Pascal Leclaire. You know the All-Star snub who leads the league in shutouts and is second in both Save % and GAA. Its an absolute joke that he is not in the game and he threw it right back in the NHL's face with an exclamation point in the form of a shutout. Leclaire was the reason this team collected two points last night.

Team defense. Adam Foote and Jan Hejda were rocks all night long. The rest of the 'D' did their part as well and we can't forget about the forwards who were also digging and clearing pucks. Leclaire earned the shutout but as any goalie will tell you, its a team effort as well.

Jarred Boll. In front of his home town fans (Boll is from Illinois) Boll collected his 5th goal of the year which proved to be the game winner. Its was a goal that was created off of his hard work and forecheck.

PK. Did its job once again killing off all 5 penalties against including a double minor from Rick Nash. In a night where the first team that blinked lost the game, the PK once again held its ground. Oh btw -- PK is now #1 IN THE LEAGUE!

Nik Khabibulin. Chicago's goalie really played a great game as well. He stopped 27 of 28 shots and really deserved a win as well.
Dim the light

I thought Freddy Modin and Mike Peca had great games. Of course they didn't get on the board but they were both HUGE on the PK....digging pucks out, winning battles, smart positioning. I had forgotten how good Modin can be on the PK.

Z. Once again was our best offensive force. He rang one right off the post that could have really given the Jackets some breathing room. He also had a couple of beautiful setups -- unfortunately guys like Chimera couldn't bury them.

Tollefsen. Collected an assist but more than that he looked more solid last night. Made the smart plays, got under the skin of guys like Ruutu and generally a point to play against. Looked more like the Tolly of last season.

I liked Brassard again a lot last night. Hitch pulled him out of the game in the 3rd when the Jackets were holding the lead and couldn't afford any defensive mistakes but when he was out there he was making things happen. His role will continue to increase with more experience. He's certainly not going anywhere for a while.

Busted bulbs

Powerplay. Failed to covert all night including 3 early opportunities that could have given the Jackets an early lead.
Offense. They got buy with 1 goal last night but that will not get you a win on most nights. Need more goals.

Jason Chimera. Guy is killing me. Hands of stone..turnovers (which he leads the team with)....need Chimera to pick up his game.

David Vyborny. His season from hell continues. Missed two golden opportunities and was generally a non-factor again last night.
Faceoffs. Jackets only won 35% of their faceoffs last night... uck!
NHL for snubbing Pascal Leclaire. The best goalie in the league so far this year will not be represented.

3 bright lights on the night
1. Pascal Leclaire - 8th shutout...spectacular performance
2. Jarred Boll - 5th goal of the year in front of home winner no less
3. Team defense - everyone worked for that shutout

If you would have told me this team would bounce back from those Dallas and Colorado losses to pick up two straight wins on the road I would have called you a liar. This team did it though, they dug deep and got it done. They now find themselves tied for that 8th spot in the West with Colorado.

Fun stat I heard today on the radio driving into work. The earliest the Jackets have ever collected their 25th win was last season - March 2nd. They did that yesterday on January 24th. I'd call that marked improvement.

The Jackets take on Phoenix at home an Tuesday January 29th. Lets all get out there and support these guys!

Enjoy your break boys, you've earned it!


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