directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Hawks will be hungry

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Hawks will be hungry

Seems like forever since the boys played doesn't it?

Well after 4 days off the Jackets are finally back at against the Chicago Blackhawks.

This is the start of the final 12 games stretch which will see all but one of the remaining opponents (Calgary Flames) be against the central division.

The Jackets are 3-2 versus the 'hawks this season and believe it or not have a .500 record versus them all time. Both teams have strong up and coming players and are trying to stay alive in the playoff pictures.

Both teams currently sit at 73 points although the 'hawks have played one more game than the Jackets.

Keys to lighting em up

Hawks will be hungry...they've lost 4 in a row.. I don't think they will have a problem getting up for this one. Jackets have to match and beat that intensity while staying within their game plan.

Contain the kids. Toews and Kane - the super rookies for the 'hawks are both having outstanding seasons. Along with Patrick Sharp (who is having an unreal year) they have quickly become the "go to" guys for this team and generate the majority of the offense. Jackets have to play these guys physical and smart.

Powerplay. The finally got a goal against the Lightning....need this special team to get on a roll.

The 'hawks can score. They are 13th in scoring in the league. What does that mean? The Jackets will have to bring their 'A' defensive game again tonight. No softies and no gimmes. Make them earn every chance and every goal.

Leclaire vs. the rookie Corey Crawford -- Leclaire has had some real good success so far against the 'hawks - need to continue that. Jackets need to take advantage of rookie netminder who has been playing well but like any rookie, all it takes is a bad goal to rattle this kid and open the flood gates.

Home crowd. Lets get this home crowd a 'W' tonight boys -- lets get them into this game early.

No dumb penalties -- especially in the O-zone.


Secondary scoring showed up against Tampa. Chimera, Peca, MacKenzie, Vyborny, Novotny all get on the board......could certainly use more of that tonight.

Nash is due for a goal... he's gone scoreless in his past 3.

Game spotlight

1. Nash will make his debut tonight as team captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

2. Keep an eye out for this "secret weapon" Hitch has talked about over the past few days. It appears to be something to do with the powerplay so pay close attention there.

This game scares the hell out of me. 4 days offs, coming off a much needed victory at home over the Lightning.

I don't have that good of a nose but I can smell let down big time for this one. Jackets can't let that happen. No time for rust or to come out with no jump -- there hasn't been any room for error since the ASB and there certainly isn't any now.

7 o'clock start tonight. RBar pre-game per usual.



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