directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Goals for final 3 games

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Goals for final 3 games

So what's left to look forward over this final 3 game stretch? Here are some story lines to keep your eyes on:

* Captain obvious here but the obvious goal....score some goals (wanted to get that out of the way).

* Can Rich Nash break his own single season record of 41 goals? He's got 38 now so that would mean 4 over the next 3. Definitely possible but with this offense, improbable.

* With one road win the Jackets can tie their single season franchise record of 15 wins on the road.

* Win out or dive for five? Depending on how you look at if the Jackets win out they'll finish with a respectable 86 points. However if that happens they'll be lucky to hold onto a top 10 pick. If hey loose out they'll finish no worse than the 6th overall pick and seeing how this a top 7 draft -- that pick will carry much more weight as a trade asset. The flip side is that more wins makes it an easier to sell to potential UFAs this offseason.

* The Jackets can win the season series for the first time ever against the Wings with a win tomorrow night.

* With 3 points Rick Nash can crack the 70 point plateau for the firs time in his career.

* I believe Jan Hejda has a chance at being the first Blue Jackets to finish the season with over a +20 rating. Why isn't this guy resigned yet Howson?

* We'll get to watch the lone remaining orginal Blue Jacket (I don't count Klesla) - David Vyborny - dawn the CBJ sweater 3 more times.....1 more time at home. Will be bittersweet but a necessary step.

* With an expected roster makeover, whom else will it be the final time in a CBJ sweater? Ron Hainsey, Michael Peca, Jan Hejda & Dick Tarnstrom are all unrestricted. OK Tollefsen, Dan Fritsche and Gilbert Brule were all rumored to be trade bait. In other words, don't get attached to anyone not named Nash or Leclaire.

* Jared Boll leads the league in fights with 25. Can you hang onto that lead? (Hey, at least a Jacket could win some statistical category).

* Colorado has officially clinched a playoff birth. So now the Jackets officially have two first round picks in this year's draft. The key is for the Avalanche not to win the division so that when the Avalanche get eliminated, that pick can be as close to 15th overall as possible.

* Can the PK finish in the top 10 for the first time ever? Its dropped all the way to 9th.

* Will Pascal Leclaire return from injury to finish up the season strong? He currently sits 6th in GAA w/ 2.22, tied for 7th in Save % with .919 and tied for 1st in shutouts with 9. His w/l record is 24-15 which ranks 25th in the league.

* Can the Jacket finish top 10 in goals against for the first time ever? They sit 8th overall giving up 2.53 goals per game.

* Will late season callups Aaron Rome and Clay Wilson continue to impress and perhaps make a good case for 1 way contracts as both are restricted free agents this offseason?

* Watch Syracuse. If your sick of losing follow the Jackets minor league affiliate. They are on a tear and have all but locked up a spot in the AHL playoffs.

* Anual apology from John MacConnel (or will it be Michael Priest this time)?

For me personally I'll be traveling to St. Louis with the Jacket Backers on to watch the Jackets in St. Louis this Friday. So I'm looking forward to visiting the Scottrade Center for the first time (was lucky enough to see a game in their old venue the St. Louis Arena a while back) this Saturday night.

What else are you looking for in these final 3 games? Just get them over as quick as possible and get on with the makeover already?


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