directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Walking wounded back at practice today, now what?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Walking wounded back at practice today, now what?

Puck-rakers just said that everyone, besides Andrew Murry who is still out with a concussion, is back at practice for the Jackets.

So that's:
Fredrick Modin
OK Tollefsen
Curtis Glencross

That's great news but the question now is where in the heck do all these bodies go?

We know Modin is an abosolute lock for the lineup. Glencross and Tollefsen not so much. Here is my guess as to what Hitch will roll out tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks assuming everyone is healthy:

Nash - Fedorov - Modin
Zherdev - Novotny - Vyborny
Chimera - Malhotra - Fritsche
Brassard - Peca - Boll

scratched: Glencross, Shelley, Lindstrom

Foote - Hejda
Klesla - Hainsey
Russell - Methot

scratched: Tollefsen, Westcott


Its widely known that Hitch wants the two big men, Nash and Modin, on the same line. Feds has been playing well of late with Nash on his flank so that's a good solid line that can play in all 3 zones and can control the puck down low. Feds has two scorers of whom to work with.

Zherdev has had some great chemistry with Novonty and at times Novotny has been the best center on this team. I see him keeping those two together and with Vybes improved play of late he'll get top 6 minutes.

Speed line is kept in tact. The Chimera - Malhotra - Fritsche line has had a solid past two games. I can't see Hitch breaking up that line with the way they are playing.

Finally on the offense we get kind of the leftovers. Shelley is scratched in order to roll more of a 4th line. Boll is a lock. Peca gets shuffled down to the 4th but will see plenty of times on special teams. Brassard is in b/c he's one of the Jackets best pure offensive talents and he needs to continue to gain experience. He's pushed to the wing initially but could be shuffled up and down the lineup depending on how the game unfolds. He'll see powerplay duty on the point as well.

Just no room for GLencross or Lindstrom. Lindstrom has struggled a bit and could be sent back down as he is still waiver un-eligible.

Foote - Hejda. A given.
Klesla - Foote. Again, a given.
Russell - Methot. The real challenge is were does OKT and Duvie fit in. Quite frankly with the way Methot is playing you can't take him out of the lineup. The team needs Russell's puck moving and offensive ability - they also want to keep him developing. OKT gets another day of rest but could be rotated in the lineup sometime this week. Wescott just looks to be the odd man out all together. Wouldn't be surprised to see him dealt or waived.


So that's my take on how this roster will shake out. One thing's for sure, its nice to see some of the walking wounded get back. Now everyone needs to come out ready to take 3 of 3 at home against Vancouver.


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