directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Crunch season over with game 7 defeat

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crunch season over with game 7 defeat

Its a damn shame really but in a matter of 96 hours, after holding a 3-1 series lead, the Syracuse Crunch find themselves eliminated from the playoffs.

Game 7 ended the way the last two did - with a 1 goal loss.

This is surely not the way the Crunch saw this playing out in their mohawk'ed heads. Not when they won 15 games straight and got a point in 23 straight games. Even though the Marlies were seeded higher in this series, the Crunch were the team to beat.

Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

Still though they boys have a lot to be proud once the initial disgust from this series subsides. There is a lot to build from.

1. The experience. Guys like Brassard, Brule, Methot, Picard, Lindstrom, Wilson, Sestito, Dorsett, Pineault, Plekanov and LaCosta are all key prospects for the Jackets and all experienced that winning feeling. Certainly some of those players won't be back in Syracuse as they'll make the big team but nothing can replace that experience and that development. Development that guys like Klesla, Nash, Zherdev, Fritsche and lord knows how many other draft picks never experienced.

2. Good signs. For the Jackets AHL affiliate to make such a strong push this summer it only bodes well for the Jackets in the future. After all these are their prospects who carried that team. One can only hope this development bleeds over to the parent club as early as next season.

3. Evaluations. Scott Howson and company had a real good chance to evaluate their prospects in pressure situations. They should have a much clearer idea of where everyone stands developmentally, who should have a good shot at the big team next year and what holds need filled both on the big team and at the AHL level.

For those keeping score (like me) Derek MacKenzie led the Crunch in playoff scoring notching 14p in 12 games which was good for the 3rd in the league at the time of elimination. Derek Brassard, who added two more assists in game 7, was 7th overall in league playoff scoring notching 13p in 13 games.
Of course there were some dissapointments as well with Gilbert Brule only collecting 2g, 3a for 5p in 13 games. Joakim Lindstrom only notched 7p in 13g as well.

All in all though it was a great run for the Crunch. I think it excited the city of Syracuse and a lot of Jacket fans who were looking for something to hold onto as we worked our way through spring.

Now its time to turn the focus to who will be back both in Columbus and Syracuse. Both teams have plenty of decisions to make with the likes of Zenon Konopka and Derek MacKenzie both slated to be UFAs. Methot, Lindstrom and Wilson are all key RFAs that will need resigned.

My hats off to a great season Syracuse. Hopefully next year we'll have two teams to follow well into the spring!!


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