directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets face Shelley for first time

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets face Shelley for first time

Its back to back game time for the Jackets. There are a couple of stories here...

1. Can the Jackets keep their recent road momentum going..they've won 3 of their past 4 on the road..


2. Can the Jackets finally solve San Jose in HP Pavillion where they've only won once in 13 tries?


3. With two points tonight the Jackets could be only 1 point out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the West..

...but the story will be this...

The Jackets face for the first time former enforcer and 7 year Jacket Jody Shelley. How will the react? How will Shelley respond? How will fans feel seeing Shelley in anything other than a CBJ sweater for the first time?

Keys to lighting em up

Don't let Shelley distract you. Jody has a job to do and so do the Jackets. As Nash says, once the puck drops its all business. As cold as it may sound, he's just another player and the Jackets need to expose his weaknesses on the ice.

Keep up road momentum. The Jackets got back to their winning style of play last night against the 'yotes. Need more of that tonight which means solid goaltending and tight checking defense. Be opportunistic on chances especially on the PP.

Stay out of the box. The Sharks have the 11th best PP and with a guy like Thornton QBing it, they can make you pay.

Contain Big Joe. Speaking of Thornton... you shut him down, you stand a good chance at winning this one. Big Joe has 62 points in 53 games played.


Nabokov. Has been one of the best goalies in the league this year. For a team like the Jackets who have trouble scoring they've got to get some bodies in front of him and pounce on rebounds. Won't be any easy goals tonight.

Norrena. Simple, play like you did last night.

Shifts short. Jackets historically aren't very good on back to backs, especially on the road. They have to stay fresh, short shifts and play their role to have a shot.

San Jose is beatable at home. They are only 12-12-4. Jackets can win this game with a solid workmanlike effort like they produced last night.

Game Spotlight

Its obvious tonight -- keep your eye on Shelley. He's averaged about 10 minutes a game since becoming a Shark so he'll get some minutes out there. There may be a few sparks here but unlikely.


A game like this in the past would almost certainly been a loss. The Jackets have suprised us here and a win could go a long way towards getting back in the playoff hunt and getting on a roll. Only winning once every in HP Pavillion though is not encourageing. No better day than tonight to reverse that fortune.



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