directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Will Jackets respond to Hitch?

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Will Jackets respond to Hitch?

As we know coach Ken Hitchcock and his staff walked out of practice yesterday (and apparently had some coffee) leaving the team to practice themselves. Captain Adam Foote lead practice in their place.

I mentioned yesterday that there really isn't much more Hitch can do to motivate these guys and was trying one last tactic. Tonight we'll see if it works or if its just more the of same constistantly bad all around play this team has shown since the All Star Break.

The Jackets face another opponent they rarely see in the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. Unfrotuantely for the Jackets Ottawa is one of the East's best teams and highest scoring. In fact they lead the league in goals for with 204.
Then again, the Jackets tend to play better against statistcally better opponents. They say it doesn't matter who they face but if you've watched this team at all we all know that to not be the case.

Keys to lighting em up

Ottawa big 3. The Sens are lead by their big line of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredssen. Combined those three players have 210 total points including 86 goals. Contrast that to the Jackets and it takes their top 7 scorers to equal that point production. Jackets have any hope they better limit this group.

Checking, defense, PK & goaltending. They've got to carry this team if they want to win. Its been their key to their success this year and they've completely gotten away from it.

SCORE FIRST! You all probably get sick of me saying this time and time again but its true, if the Jackets don't score first tonight you might as well turn the station.......of course, if your like me you'll stick around for more torture on ice.

I want to say get some secondary scoring but what's the point? I read over on puck-rakers from a comment there that the only forwards to score in February are Nash, Chimera, Modin & Zherdev - uggh.

Put trade rumors out of mind. I know its easier said than done but these players are professionals and they need to put thoughts of trades aside and focus on the task at hand.

Game spotlight

Keep an eye on Gilbert Brule and Sergei Fedorov.

Brule is rumored to be part of some possible deals to bring a #1 center to Columbus. Would love to know the scout count tonight in Ottawa.

Sergei Fedorov is rumored to be possibly headed to Ottawa before the deadline. Of course we play Ottawa tonight. Can you say "audition"?


The Jackets just need a win tonight. No more talk of playoffs or how many points out or any of that nonsense right now. They just need to concentrate on the game at hand and walk away with two big points and then move on to Monreal.

The Jackets have only won once against Ottawa and that was last year at home. Guess we'll see if they've got anything left in the tank to grab a win tonight. It could also be one of the last, if not the last game, for some players in a Blue Jacket sweater.



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