directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets hit the road

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets hit the road

The Columbus Blue Jackets kick off a stretch tonight where they'll play the next 20 of 29 on the road. Its all starts in Anaheim against the defending cup champions tonight at 10 p.m.

Where December was deemed as a make it or break it stretch where the Jackets absolutely needed to finish way above a .500 record the next two months the Jackets want to stay at least .500 or better on the road and collect as many points as they possibly can. December didn't make or break anything as the Jackets went 7-5-2...tonight we'll start to see what all these road games have in store for us.

Keys to lighting em up

Road Warriors. The Jackets who are just 5-9-2 on the road this year need to come out and play their same energized game on the road that they do at home. Hitch has been quoted as saying this team has actually played better on the road this season than at home but hasn't been rewarded. The time to get some rewards starts tonight.

Limit offense by defense. The Ducks have arguably the best defense in the game led by Pronger, Niedermeyer and Schneider. They can really generate offense from the backend and the Jackets will need to be ready. That starts primarily with limiting the Ducks powerplay chances.

No stupid penalties. Pretty simple. You give this team alot of PP chances, especially 5 on 3 chances, they'll make you pay. What does suprise me is that Anaheim only ranks 21st in PP percentage (one better than the CBJ) but with Scott Niedermeyer back in the picture that number could quickly go up.

Keep special teams special. The Jackets PP has been wonderfull of late scoring 4 straight games with the man advantage -- PP goals are even more important on the road, need to keep that streak alove. They also own the 4th best PK in the leaugue -- they will need that firing on all cylinders again tonight against this Ducks club.

Watch Perry and Getzlaf. These two lit up the Jackets last outing. Can't allow a repeat of that performance. Getzlaf leads in assists with 26 and points with 40. Perry leads the team in goals with 20 and is second in points with 31.

Rick and Nik Show. Anaheim will be keying on these two but they'll need to fight through it and generate chances. Both players are smoking hot right now. Nash fresh off his hat trick and Z has 6 points in his past 2 games.

..and as always, score first.


Unfortunately no local TV for this one. I'm still trying to figure out if the local blackout of Center Ice will be lifted. I'll keep you all posted.

Jackets get a chance to make it 3 in a row tonight and getting a win right off the bat as they kick off this road trip will be huge!!

Also just a quick note, Manny Malhotra will return to the lineup tonight. They can certainly use him, especially on the draws!



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