directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets look to make it 3 of 5 on the road

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets look to make it 3 of 5 on the road

Columbus wraps up its final game of this 5 game road trip tonight in Chicago. Its the final game for both teams before the All Star break kicks in. For most players on the Jackets, that means 4 days off until their next game at home against Phoenix.

For the Jackets, who are 2-2 so far on this road stretch, its a chance to put together the most successful and important road trip in their history (no pressure right?). However they are taking on a streaking Chicago team who is 4-1 in their past 5. They are beatable at home though only having a 13-12-1 record there.

Keys to lighting em up

- Put everything on the line tonight. Big break coming up. A chance for both teams to get big wins against a divisional opponent. Jackets have to give it everything they've got. No passengers. No rubbernecks. No nights off. Everyone has to do their job.

- Play your game. The matchups between the 'hawks and Jackets tend to be of the run and gun style. The Jackets team is really not built for that type of game. The Jackets will need to stay disciplined, keep to their tight checking style of play and capitalize on their opportunities.

- Keep PP hot. The Jackets PP has been absolutely SMOOOOKIN lately. Its all the way up to 21st overeall. The Jackets will need to keep that momentum going and sting them when they've got the man advantage.

- The 'hawks have some offensive firepower. Its definitely less with Toews out but still the Jackets have to watch out for super-rookie Patrick Kane who leads the team with 45 points... Patrick Sharp whose having a breakout year and leads the team in goals with 22.. then of course there is off-injured Havlat who can be a game changer every time he's on the ice... Jackets need to do their best to shut these guys down.

- Rick and Nick show. Keep on keepin on.

- Russell. Now that he's got his first one...err two...out of the way, need him to keep that offensive momentum going as we need all the scoring from the backend we can get.

- Special teams. The 'hawks don't have that great of special teams. They are ranked 22nd in PP and 19th in PK. Key for the Jackets is not to let them be special tonight.

- Leclaire in nets. Needs to outplay Khabbibulin. He could also use some goal support.

- Speaking of goal support. Score first! It just makes me feel better!!

- Goals off the rush. Would like to see the Jackets do a little better off goals on the rush. I love the grind out goals but we've had some prime chances on mini-breakaways and odd man rushes that have gone for not. We need to capitalize on some of those chances.


Should be a battle. Jackets are up 2-1 in this series thus far this year. Both teams are gonna throw all they've got at this one. A win tonight would really be a big momentum pusher for the Jackets but they need to earn it on the ice.



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