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Monday, March 3, 2008

Jackets shootout woes continue


On one hand I'm damn proud of the way the boys competed last night and gald they were at least able to get a point in Edmonton. On the other, when you see this team control the majority of the game the way they did and not collect the much deserved two points its frustrating.

The last thing the Jackets wanted to do was face the Oilers in a shootout. The Oilers have won 14 shootouts -- that is unreal and a league record. Just imagine if the Jackets had won just half of their 10 OT losses -- they would be sitting in playoff spot right now with 75 points.

Of course no point looking back now. They've got 15 games left, 9 of which are at home. If they want to make a move they will have to start winning at home. At this point though I almost which the guys had more road games -- who would have thunk that?
On to the game:

Lit it up

Again just about everyone came to play last night. Stand outs though were Jason Chimera who just had all kinds of chances for the 2nd game in a row. Nik Zherdev who was flying and led the Jackets forwards in ice time (man has this kid come a long way) and Dick Tarnstrom who continues to be a major contributor on the blue line. All 3 collected points.

Rick Nash was really good as well. He notched the 1st goal of the game and was generally around the puck all night. He had a couple of other golden opportunities. Nash is on a roll -- he's got 9 points in his past 8 games, 6 of those goals and is a +7 over that span.

Best players our best players. Nash, Zherdev and Leclaire need to be our best players and again they were last night. Now they are getting some consistent help from guys like Tarnstrom and Chimera.

Leclaire. Man that save he made at the end of the 3rd by kicking that right pad out -- something special....and this guy has been something special for the Jackets all season. Get him locked up Howson.

Didn't give up. Even though they should have won this game the fact that they went down a goal with just under 8 to go in the game and then battled back to tie it up showed quite a bit of character. Past Jackets team would have already packed their bags after a deflating goal like that.

Oilers' crowd. They were loud got the wave goin....much better than Vancouver.

Dim the light

PK was good but they did give up a goal to Hemsky. Leclaire had no chance and unfortunately Klesla played it wrong. That mistake excluded though I think Klesla has been playing well taking alot of those hard minutes that Foote left behind.

Andrew Murray. This kid just continues to play smart 2-way hockey. This guy is like a John Deer tractor, just reliable. Good to hear that Howson is wanted to get this guy signed to an extension.

Gilbert Brule. I'm tellin ya - the light has gone off with this kid. Great effort last night. He has found his game at this level. Now he just need one or two to go in for him. Keep on keepin on 17.

Busted bulbs

Powerplay has gone back into hibernation. They guys had decent puck possession and movement but again failed to covert.

So much for winning when scoring first :(

David Vyborny. His problem is that he's lost a step and when your that small and lose a step in this league your become very ineffective.

To many penalties. The Jackets were luck to escape this game with a point as those two late period penalties could have really buried them, especially since they were down a goal.

Shootouts. They continue to plague this team and could ultimately be why this team misses out on the big dance.

Missed chances. So many golden opportunities lost last night. How many did Chimera have alone? Nash had a couple as well. If this team could ever figure out how to score they would be very very dangerous and hard to beat.

What a low hitting game. The Jackets only had 8 and the Oil had 9. That stat surprised me b/c it seemed more physical than that but I guess when you think about it, the game did open up a bit.

3 bright lights on the night

1. Jackets come to play again. I don't know what it is about the road but the Jackets love it. They again showed up and competed. Shame they didn't win.
2. Nash, Zherdev & Leclaire - best players were our best
3. Tarnstrom & Chimera - providing much needed secondary support. Tarnstrom has played out of his mind the past two games -- think he's liking this trade right about now? Considering he was an afterthought in Edmonton and now getting upwards of 22 min and 30 shifts a night I'd say so. Howson may have to look at re-signing him soon. Will fit in well as a 4/5/6 guy.

The Jackets have grabbed 3 of 4 available points thus far on this 3 game road trip. They'll face Calgary tomorrow night to close up this road trip before playing 5 straight at home. Of course nobody needs to tell this team who big it would be to close out this trip with a victory.

Despite the shootout loss I'm very proud of the way this team has competed these last couple of games. As fans I don't think we can ask for much more win or lose.

This team has come together and shown me a lot of resiliency after some real adversity last week that alot of teams, including some previous Jacket editions, would have easily used as an excuse to pack it in.
-LTL

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Great post! Last night's game was exhilerating... wish I could use a less-stuffy sounding word, but nothing else describes it. The boys went out and fought hard to the end. One of the best games I've ever seen them play. Reading that post was re-living that game.

I'm damn proud of the Blue Jackets. They are showing the NHL that they don't need F**te (can't use his name here anymore) and Federov to go somewhere. Some people might think their playoff hopes are out, but how can you watch this 'new' team play and think that?