directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Oh what a night!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Oh what a night!

Things weren't looking that way early on as Edmonton Oilers played a very hard and competitive first 40 minutes. In fact, I thought the Jackets were real lucky to be tied at 2 heading into the third.

Enter Rick Nash.

Its been a while since big #61 found the back of the net, 8 games in fact, so after Nash scored a short handed goal in the 2nd you just had to feel he was going to get fact he got two more for his second career hat trick and first ever in front of the home crowd. His 2nd goal with just over 3 minutes remaining was the game winning goal and then he completed the hatty with an empty netter to seal the 4-2 victory for the Jackets.

Lit it up

Jiri Novotny. I know Nash had the trick but I really thought Novotny was the best player on the ice last night. He once again led all forwards in ice time, had a goal, an assist and was a +2. He played in every situation. Guy knows how to drive the net...and has great hockey sense. This signing is looking really good but a lot of credit has to go Hitch's way for getting the most out of the cards he's been dealt.

Of course there's Nash who scored his 19th, 20th and 21st of the year. He now has 35 points on the year....the good news is hopefully last night's outburst will signal the end to the scoring funk he found himself in the past month. The Jackets will need more offense from him on all these road games coming up.

Z. What else can you say about this guy. Another two assists and is really playing well...especially with Novotny...

Westcott. Won the game with his patience on the point with the man advantage. He played well on the PP all evening in fact.

Defense. Klelsa, Foote, Hejda, Hainsey. All played some solid shut down D last night. Kept a lot of pucks to the outside, took hits to make plays and were key contributors towards killing off all 4 PPs against.

PP. Another PP goal for the 4th game straight. Really come on and just in the nick of time with all these road trips coming up.

Another fine event thrown by the RBar last night. You guys (and gals) rock!

Dim the light

Leclaire played well. He did let in a bad goal off a hard slap shot from Steve Staois but he made key saves when needed, stopped 26 of 28 shots and he got the goal support when needed. As Hitch says, an NHL team should win if they only allow two goals against.

Refs pretty solid again last night. Like I said, credit where credit it due.

About 16,500 in attendance. Not bad. Spread the word about this squad Jacket fans.

How about Joakim Lindstrom. He started off a bit rough but thought the more ice time he got the better he played. He collected an assist on the PP. Would like to see him get more time in the top 6 or 9. Definitely more time on the PP.

Busted bulb

Fedorov. Played 17 minutes. Only time I noticed him is when he turned the puck over with some terrible passes. What gives with this guy. Only thing he's really doing well lately are face offs.

A bit of nit picking but Hejda took a bad penalty when he covered his hand on the puck. Very avoidable penalty in a tie game.

Vyborny out again with sore groin. I'm not so sure this year could go any worse for #9.

The Oilers' PP. Thanfully it was and looked the worst in the league last night.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Rick Nash - 2nd career hatty
2. Jiri Novotny - goal, assist and just another solid all around performance
3. Fans - representing well and how about that shower of hats...well done!!

The Jackets improve to 18-15-2 and now sit tied with St. Louis for 2nd in the Central with 42 points. They finished off the month of December 7-5-2 -- not the best but certainly could be worse. They are 1 point out of the 8th and final playoff spot. This is the first time they've been over .500 entering a New Year. This team is right in the mix for the first time ever and we should all be super excited about that.

The playoffs are not an easy goal to attain and things don't get any easier for the Jackets. Next up are 20 of 29 games on the road. A crucial stretch for this team and they will need to do better than their 5-9-2 road record if they want to remain in the hunt. The good news is that some key Jackets like Nash and Z are heating up and some of the walking wounded like Manny Malhotra and Michael Peca should be returning. The team could really get a boost if they could get Freddy Modin back.

The road to the playoffs beings tomorrow night in Anaheim.

Happy New Year everyone!


1 comment:

Pub said...

Fedorov sucks!!!! :)