directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets try to extinguish flames

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets try to extinguish flames

The Jackets look to end their 3 game road trip on fire tonight versus the Calgary Flames.

The Jackets, even though they did not win both games, coming off two of their better road performances this year and with a win tonight could consider this road trip a success.

However that "win tonight" won't come easy. The Calgary Flames currently sit 2nd in the Northwest Conference with 77 points. They won their last game and are 6-3-1 in their past 10. They are decent at home going 16-10-8 but actually have won more on the road going 18-13-1. They are lead by franchise star Jerome Iginla who has 79 points in 66 games and is heating up again after a tough stretch of 10 games without a goal.

Keys to lightin em up

Road warriors. Boys just need to bring it like they brought it in Vancouver and Dallas. They've played their butts off and need to carry that kind of game into Calgary.

Lets get physical. The Flames play one of the most physical brands of hockey in the league. The Jackets need to match that if not beat it. They can't let this team push them around.

The Flames can score (they've done that 186 times this year) but they also give up quite a bit (they've don't that 185 times). The Jackets meanwhile can't score (only 164 which is the lowest in the league) but do a better job than the Flames keeping them out of the net (176 against). Bottom line, the Jackets can expect a potent offense but have a good chance at potting a few themselves.

Leclaire to outplay Kipper. Pascal leads Kiprusoft in every major statistical category besides wins. Leclaire needs to dual this guy and the Jackets need to expose Kipper's soft game this year.

Watch the bombs from the points. Like Vancouver the Flames can flat out bring it from the points with guys like Phaneuf, Aucoin and Reghers back there. No lazy deflections (ahem Hainsey!).

Flames special teams not that special. They are ranked 21st in both PK and PP. Here is the Jackets chance to get their special teams back on track.

For god sakes lets bury our chances and put this team away. To many good looks against Edmonton when unrewarded - boys like Brule and Chimera need to start cashing in -- or Chimera's case really start piling up the goals (he's had some many chances lately which is great).

SCORE FIRST (I didn't matter last game but I'm stickin to it)!!

Get pucks deep, hit and go to the net. This team should be all about the dirty goals.

Shutdown Iginla is the priority but they have some other weapons in Huselius, Langkow (who could be a target this offseaon) and Phaneuf.

Game spotlight

With 2 points tonight Rick Nash could surprise his previous season total of 57 points. Of course I probably just jinxed him with that statement.


The Jackets are 4 out but just need to use the ole cliche and take it game-by-game. I'll be pleased if they can duplicate their Edmonton/Vancouver efforts -- we'll see tonight if they can sustain that level of play.



No comments: