directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets could move into a tie for 8th tonight with win

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets could move into a tie for 8th tonight with win

Now I do stress could.

The Jackets take on the struggling LA Kings. The Kings are 23-31-3 which is good for last place in the Western Conference.

The Jackets are coming off a game in which they played oustanding but ultimately came up short of the two points in OT. With a win tonight they could leapfrog two teams to tie Nashville for that 8th and final playoff spot in the West.

The Jackets are 3-0 thus far versus the Kings and 9-4-0 all time in Nationwide Arena. Sounds pretty good eh? Remember though that the Jackets have been known to struggle against teams below them in the standings so in no way/shape/form would I pencil this one in as two points. In fact, I worry about this game.

Keys to lighting em up

Don't be overconfident. The Jackets took 3 of 4 on the road but have struggled at home losing their last 3 games. For once they actually need to come home and play the same way they have on the road. They've been way to loose at home in that 3 game stretch.

More offense. The Jackets continue to walk that fine line and if they don't get the great goaltending and defensive play they lose -- why? -- because they just haven't gotten the offense. Guys like Nash, Z and even Chimera of late are getting lots of chances -- but they need to bury them especially breakaways (Chimera -- just pick a corner next time!).

Watch the King's powerplay. Its ranked 7th and is very dangerous. What's interesting though is that as I was watching the King's game last night, they said the King's PP is actually ranked 29th on the road which obviously plays in our favor. The Kings do a great job controlling the puck on their PPs though.

Kopitar, Frovol, Brown. The Kings 3 leading scoreres -- all with 40 points or more. These guys can put up the points. Jackets need to contain them.


The Kings may score a lot but they also give up a butt load as well. They are dead last in the league in goals against - they've given up a whopping 188. If there was ever a team to get the Jackets' offense back on track, this is it.

Take advantage of LA's goaltending. Labarabra has been okay lately but got shelled by Pittsburgh last night. Cloutier probably gets the call today. Either way, Jackets need to pound the pucks on these guys.

Game spotlight

Dick Tarnstrom, the puck moving defensemen acquired in a trade with Edmoton a week ago, makes his Blue Jacket debut tonight. He's expected to QB the #1 PP unit and hopefully give it a much needed spark.


A big two points up for grabs tonight against an opponent that's had a down year thus far. LA though is 5-4-1 in their past 10 so this is no cake walk.

As I mentioned earlier I'm defintiely worried about this one. I can easily see an egg being hatched by the good guys tonight at home.

Early start tongiht at 6 p.m. See you all at the RBar!



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