directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Only the Jackets....

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Only the Jackets....

Only the Jackets can throw up a stink bomb of a performance last night in front of their first sell out crowd of the season, and biggest crowd in over a year.

Only the Jackets could take the great momentum they had going into the All Star break and let the wheels completely fall off and get the butts kicked in 3 straight games - 2 of which were at home.

Only the Jackets could use the trading of Jody Shelley as an excuse to stop playing.

Only the Jackets could have their superstar player play the insivible man during the most important stretch in franschise history.

Only the Jackets could pretty much take themselves out of the playoff picture in a matter of a week. (They have to win 20 of their remaining 28 games to really have a legit shot - that would put them at 96 points - ain't happening).

Lit it up

Marion Gaborik. Jackets needed to contain him and they didn't get it done, not even close. Gaborik had two goals and could have had more.

Opportunistic Wild. We may have outshot them by a considerable margin but when the Wild decided to turn it up, the Jackets had nothing for them. The Wild completely shut it down in the 3rd and sat on their 3 goal lead. They gave the Jackets low percentage shots that Backstrom just ate up for dinner.

Sell out crowd. To bad it was the worst played home game of the season. Great timing Jackets.

Dim the light

Derick Brassard. Got his first goal and actually made an impact out there offensively.

Busted bulbs

Nothing dissapointments me more last night than the fact that a record crowd wittnessed that mess from the home team. Last night was a real chance to win back some fans and make some new ones. Those fringe fans not only left early but certainly won't be investing any more money in this team soon. That just can't happen and the players have got to understand this. Columbus isn't Toronto or Minnesota -- its still a new market being developed and you have to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities to win new fans (and old ones giving this team a chance again) over.

Can the Jackets gets some new sticks? Seriously have you ever seen as many broken sticks as there were last night? At one point two Jackets had broken sticks in one shift.

Rick Nash. What is up with this guy? Our franchise player cannot dissappear during the first ever playoff push. This guy has been completely invisible out there. I think he maybe had one good chance last night. I'm personally starting to get concerned over when, if ever, this guy is truly going to develop into that "go-to" player -- maybe I have to high of expectations. I just don't know if he'll ever reach that Lecavlier, Sundin, Sakic, Modano type status -- he definitely won't be a Crosby/Ovechkin type. I do really want to see him with a legit #1 center.

What in the hell was Novotny thinkin on that 2nd goal? He just gave the puck back to the Wild right in front of the goalie. Those are the kinds of mistakes this team did not make prior to the All Star break. That ply copmletely changed the momentum in this game when the Jackets had after Brassard got his first goal.

Vyborny. 8:45 in minutes played. At this point why not just scratch this guy. Call up Lindstrom to take his place. I guess the reason would be to keep him playing and deal him by the deadline for whatever you can get.

Norrena. No big saves last night. Should have stopped that opening goal which was a wrist shot from the point. A friend of mine said it best, Norrena is just good enough to lose with this year. Allowed 4 goals off 20 shots. To his defense a couple of those even superman couldn't have saved.

Brule has the best seat in the house on that 3rd goal. Hey Gilbert -- its called defense and you can't let the opposition's best player walk in scott free for a tap in goal. Pathetic.

Nash got used on the 2nd goal by Gaborik as he allowed him to completely walk around him into the slot. Nice 'D' franchise.

Got to question Hitch a bit tonight. He should have called a time out after that 3rd goal and considered pulling Norrena. A two goal leads is pretty much insurmantable against a defensively sound Wild team, but a 3 goal lead put the nail in the coffin and start shoveling dirt.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Sold out crowd
2. Derick Brassard - 1st career NHL goal
3. Z's jersey and pads a mess - hey, it was somewhat enteraining to see Z scrum it up a bit in the 3rd period

I can gurantee you there are some serious discussions going on right about now in Nationwide Arena offices as to just what the state of this team is. I hate to say it but while not elimated, this 3 game losing streak has badly hurt the Jackets chances to say in this hunt.

Another loss or two and I think it will be clear this team will become a seller....and IMO its time to completely gut this fish. Any player that's not in the long term plans of this team gets put on the block and is dealt to the highest bidder. From what I can tell that would be in no particular order:

Fedorov, Vyborny, Malhotra, Chimera, Fritsche, Brule, Tollefsen, Peca. Foote is on this list too if they aren't close in terms of contract extension. They won't all get dealt b/c you need some players to finish out the season but that's who I make available.

This team has overachieved thus far and Hitch has gotten about all he can out of this group. I think its crystal clear to both Howson and Hitch that to take that next steps that are still some major weeds that need pulled and that will happen at the deadline and offseason.

The 2008 team is going to look drastically different that this group that's here now and that's a good thing.

Next game against Ovechkin and those surging Capitals.


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