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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shockingly expected


Hitch said in his post game presser last night that the players were "still in a state of shock" after the moves that were made on Tuesday.
I would say a big portion of the fan base was as well. I think more so over that fact that we were oh so close to getting Richards and then let down and dissapointment afterwards....and these fans have felt a alot of dissappointment over the years.

So it goes without saying last night's 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks came as no surprise.

I will admit though, for a bit there I thought the Jackets were going to make a game of it. The battled back from being down 1-0 to make 1-1 and then again after being down 2-1 to make it 2-2. Alas the Sharks just had to much in the "tank" and the Jackets were not able to match their effort for 60 minutes and they did not get the key pentaly killing when it needed it.

Lit it up

Well David Vyborny played his best game of the year. Yeah he had two goals but he was finally carrying the puck and making smart little plays with it. Perhaps he's a bit releived or rejuvinated after the deadline? We'll see if he can keep it up.

Jared Boll. Once again was the hardest worker for the Jackets and man what a great fight. We need more 3rd/4th liners like this kid. Cloning perhaps? Is that legal yet?

Nationwide and the fans honor Jody Shelley. Nice tribute video (although I have to agree with Portzline - eye of the tiger and what in the hell was that other song? lame..) and the fans with a well deserved standing-o....and is it just me or does Shelley look like a completely different player on the Sharks?

Dim the light

Gilbert Brule continues to find his game one step at a time. Another nice consistant game from 17. He had over 10 mins of ice time, created the opportunity on the Jackets first goal by getting a nice hard shot on net .

Rick Nash. Loved the fire he showed sticking up for Brule and challenging Campbell. I think Nash knows what he needs to do now in Foote's wake. He needs to become the undisputed leader of this team and he showed some signs of taking on that responsibility last night. Speaking of Campbell - I still want that guy in a CBJ jersey come July 1st -- he should be a prime target if the Sharks don't lock him up. He's exactly what we need on defense.

Not he best night for Leclaire but he did stop 32 of 28 and had some real bad luck with Novotny deflecting one in on his skate. The Sharks just chewed up the Jackets on the PP as well -- a couple Leclaire had no chance on.

Decent attendance last night with over 16k in the house on a Wednesday night. Doubt that continues the rest of the way unfortunately.

Dick Transtrom with huge minutes last night. Played over 22. I think that is a pretty good indication of where some of those Foote minutes have been absorbed. I've like Tarnstrom since he's come over -- like him more as a 5/6 guy though.

Busted bulbs

The Jackets played a little better than I expected them to but really folded their tents after that back breaking late 2nd period goal. They gave up after that.

Nik Zherdev. The absolute worst game I've seen him play all year. He was a complete non-factor. In fact he looked like the Z of last year. I thought maybe some of the vets like Modin or Peca would look the worst -- Modin gave him a run - but it was Z who really looked like he didn't care last night. Lets just hope it was a one game thing. If this team wants to finish out the year on a high they'll need 13 producing and not just coasting across the finish line.

Freddy Modin. Horrible game as well. Missed passes. Blown coverages. Just looked completely out of sorts. He certainly needs to regain his focus. I think he and Z were two of the guys Hitch was referring to when he could see the shock in their eyes.
PK. Gave up two PP goals. It continues its downward slide.

PP was again a non factor. Ron Hainsey is not the PP QB of the future folks. He's just an average defender, nothing less and nothing more. This area needs a huge upgrade in the offseason.

The Jackets home record -- 04-2 over its last 6. Horrendous. How do you go from one of the best home teams in the league to this? Never thought I'd say this but thank god we are hitting the road for the next 3.

Reffing again continues in its efforts to completely ruin games. How Nash only gets a roughing on the Campbell situation...blown icings...

3 bright lights on the night

1. Jody Shelley. Nice to see the crowd response to man who put alot into hockey in the Columbus market.
2. David Vyborny. Two goals and good all around game. Has he finally awaken from a nightmare season?
3. Jared Boll. Continues to be the only CBJ player who consitantly plays with fire in his belly night in and night out. Nothing fazes this kid.

At the end of the day the Jackets were beaten solidly by the Sharks. When you can only muster 5 shots on goal in the 3rd to your opponents 14 I think its pretty obvious which team deserved this one.

So Hitch will work to continue to pick up the pieces. Next game is Friday in Vancouver. The season may quickly turn from "playoff watch" to "draft watch over the next week. The good news is that the Jackets have been good on the road so perhaps this road trip is exactly what the boys need to regain their focus.

-LTL

3 comments:

pete goegan said...

Good point on Vybes: the goals were great to see, of course, but the best thing was the return of his over-all game. He carried the puck as well as he has, all year, and he looked much quicker than in recent games. Let's hope he's able to maintain that level of play.

Anonymous said...

Not to nit-pick, but Columbus was never "down 2-1" -- they had the lead when the score was 2-1, thanks to Vyborny's recognition of opportunities last night.

I just thought it was important to recognize that the Jackets actually *did* hold the lead for a while, but also important to point out that San Jose had *three* unanswered goals.

Thanks for writing your blog, it's great!

LTL said...

Good point anonymous - I did screw that up!

Thanks for reading and great to hear you enjoy it!

-LTL