directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Expect some nasty boys tonight

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Expect some nasty boys tonight

The words were certainly flying back and forth between the Jackets and Flames in this morning's paper. There is definitely some animosity brewing after the last time these two teams met with the highlight being a wicked slash from Daymond Langkow to the leg of Jared Boll - of course it went uncalled.

Both teams are coming off wins. Both teams are 5-3-2 over the their past 10. Unfortunately Calgary sits 9 points ahead of the Jackets in the standings and currently hold down that 6th playoff position. Vancouver and Colorado sit 7th and 8th each with 84 points as well. Needless to say a win by the Jackets trims that margin to 7 points but as we all know, playoffs at this point are a distant possibility.

Keys to lighting em up

Well no doubt neither team should find it hard to get motivated for this one. They key is who gets more motivated? Dan Fritsche gave the Flames plenty of bulletin board material in this morning's paper but can the Jackets back it up? Or is it the Flames who use it to their advantage and come out swingin? If the Jackets want to win they better be the instigators out there.

I sure hope Boll lights up Phaneuf tonight. Speaking of, I hope Hitch plays Boll with Nash again to open up some space for big #61 out there. If you recall Boll was in Phaneuf's face all night long and was able to throw his game off -- Phaneuf took 4 penalties that game and Nash had a little more room to operate.

Norrena vs. Kippersoft. Kippersoft got the best of the Jackets last time out in leading them to a shutout - can't let that happen. Norrena needs to play like he did against Detroit -- hopefully he hasn't thought about this game to much and just comes out and plays well. He seems to play better lately when he doesn't have time to prepare.

PK. Jackets PK has dropped like a rock recently. Its not 6th in the league. It desperately needs to regain its form.

Watch out for the bombs from the point. Phaneuf, Aucoin, Regehr - they can all absolutely unload them back there and its creates a lot of chaos and offense.

Iginla. Leads the Flames with 87p in 72gp. He's their leader in every facet of the game. He'll drop em too if need be. Need to stay in the guy's grill all night -- air tight hockey.

Zherdev. Good god has he mailed it in or what? He needs to firmly remove his stick from his ass and play like we know he's capable of. He's giving maybe 50% effort out there the last 5 or 6 games. After all the steps forward he's made this year it would be a shame if he decides to piss it all a way b/c the Jackets playoff hopes are remote.

Secondary scoring. Its been up lately. Manny with a couple. Tollefsen potting one. Novotny/Peca/Vyborny all getting on the board. Need more guys to step up tonight - Brule anyone?

Physical game. EVERYONE needs to take the body tonight. This won't be a game for the faint of heart.


Game spotlight

Key your eye out for Flame Mathew Lombardi. He's rumored to be a target of the Jackets this offseason to fill a top 6 center position. He looked great next to Nash in the World Championships last year but really isn't having a great year this year (11g, 19a for 30p -6) -- in fact those are Michael Peca type numbers.


10 games to go. This is the last game against a non-central opponent. The Flames play a very physical brand of hockey and it always makes for an entertaining game.

See ya'll at the RBAR pre/post game!



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