directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets losing touch with playoff pack

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets losing touch with playoff pack

The games at hand most teams had over the Jackets are starting to play out and unfortunately the CBJ, those teams are winning those games and distancing themselves in the playoff chase.

The Jackest are now 6 points back of the Vancouver Canucks who still have 1 game at hand over them. They are 8 points back of the Colorado Avalanche who are 8 points ahead and have played the same amount of games.

Not to be a downer here but the playoff dreams grow grimmer by the game and its starting to look like more of "wait til next year" for the boys in union blue.

Putting the playoffs aside for a second, there is still quite a bit left for this team to compete for.

1. With 70 points and 14 games remaining, 9 of which are at home, the boys have a chance to shatter their previous point record of 74 points.

2. Many players are having career season including cornerstones Nash, Zherdev & Leclaire.

3. They are playing their first meaningful games in March and this is a step every franchise must take before becoming a true contender.

4. In the world of pro sports, anything can happen - just got to put a streak together.

They get a chance to try to put that streak together tonight as they take on the Edmonton Oilers. A team in which they faced just last week and dominated yet lost a heartbreakter in a shootout 4-3.

Keys to lighting em up

Score, score and score some more. This team must find a way to put more pucks in the back of the net. They played their best 3 game road trip in their history, outplaying all 3 teams they faced, yet only won one of those games. The effort is there, the finish is not.

Speaking of effort -- the Jackets haven't had that at home over their past 6 where they have failed to win a game. The boys need to take their road mentality and translate it to home ice now where they once were dominant earlier this season.

Win this sucker in regulation time. The Oil are damn near unbeatable in a shootout. Don't ask me why but they have won 14 of them this season. We've won two of six.....

Peca, Vyborny, Malhotra, Brule, Fritsche, Novotny -- you guys are more than welcome to chip in goal here or there anytime.

Leclaire. Again will have to be damn near perfect to get a 'w'.

Powerplay. I know Hitch has been working on this in practice and rightfully so as its been just brutal lately. Must. find. way. to. score. on. powerplay.

The Jackets let Hemsky beat them last game. He had a goal and the shootout winner. Got to shut this guy -- he's the guy that makes things happen offensively for this Oiler's squad.

The Gagner - Cogliano - Nilsson line has been the best for the Oil of late. These are three young kids who get after it out there. Got to play these kids physical.

Game spotlight

Joakim Lindstrom was recalled and will play on the top line with Nash and Malhotra. Surely this is an attempt by the Jackets to try to generate more offense. Keep an eye on him to see if he can make anything happen. Lindstrom has the ability offensively and it looks like the NHL game has slowed down for him this season but its his skating that has made him a fringe NHLer. He should be a given a good look here to round out the season.


Big snow storm today/tonight. I expect it to have a big impact on the crowd tonight at the 'nat. So maybe that will be a good thing and it will feel like more of a road game to the Jackets and they'll play as such?

Yeah..that's a stretch but I'm hangin on to what I can at this point in the season. The last thing I want to do is start concentrating on the draft...again.



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