directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Here we go!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here we go!

Is this finally the year the Jackets make the playoffs? The roller coaster ride starts today Columbus fans!

Today is physicals and paper work and tomorrow its time to get to work on the ice.

In case you haven't seen it yet there are a couple of good vids over on Jackets TV that preview the season. They have interviews with Howson, Hitch, Commodore, Umberger, Leclaire & Nash. Be sure to check em out.'s Adam Adam Proteau ranks the West. The Jackets check in at #11 on his list:

11. Columbus Blue Jackets
Always-Look-On-The Bright-Side Adam Says: Jackets GM Scott Howson didn’t mess around this summer in renovating Columbus’ lineup, first bringing Ohio State alumnus R.J. Umberger into the fold, along with former Flames sniper Kristian Huselius and ex-Oilers ball of energy Raffi Torres. That gives coach Ken Hitchcock and star winger Rick Nash some serious talent to work with up front.

Always-Assume-The-Worst Adam Says: For all the good he did to the forward unit, Howson failed to bring in an honest-to-goodness difference maker on defense. You might say Mike Commodore and/or Fedor Tyutin fits the bill; I might wet myself laughing in return. Until Rostislav Klesla is no longer this team’s top blueliner, it will continue to tread water.

THN also makes some wacky predictions for the 2008 NHL season and here is Portzline's:

COLUMBUS – Aaron Portzline
KHL czar Alexander Medvedev gets fed up and decides to buy the NHL for $2 trillion. No more quibbling over players. No more dealing with the IIHF. Say hello to the Kolomna Blue Jackets!

Looks like some New York media members aren't drinking the Zherdev kool-aid. Check out this rip job by Larry Brooks on Z:

Though his teammates competed for the puck, took the body and drove to the net as if this were a mid-season practice conducted by a seething coach Tom Renney - much like the one in Philadelphia last Jan. 30, for example - Zherdev displayed no urgency whatsoever.

The 23-year-old took short cuts throughout the charged morning scrimmage, once turning over the puck while dangling one-on-one three feet inside the offensive line, the giveaway leading to a goal-against, and consistently failed to move either the puck or his feet with any obvious purpose.

Indeed, Zherdev, whose pseudo star-like body language on the ice has by far eclipsed his performance the first two days on the ice, was so ineffective with linemates Scott GomezScott Gomez and Markus Naslund that Renney switched the combination for a handful of shifts.

But after a second day of camp in which No. 13 was the laziest athlete on the ice. Yes, it's just two days, but it took only one day in 1999 to expose Pavel Brendl - there's not much question why Zherdev, the fourth overall selection of the 2003 Entry Draft, was an underachiever for most of his four-year tenure with the Blue Jackets.

Yikes...I thought the diverse bright lights of New York would change Z? Its still early and who knows maybe he will indeed put that enormous talent to good use but what's the can't change a tiger stripes? can polish a turd but its still a turd? ...something like that.

He may wish he was back in cow town sooner rather than later as if there is one thing you can say about the NY media and that is that they aren't known as a very forgiving bunch.

Some good news though for a fomer Jackets in NY:

Fritsche - a right-hand shot playing the off-wing - scored the day's highlight goal, burning Michal Rozsival with outside speed before cutting to the net to beat Steve Valiquette . . .

Rangers fans take heed, Fritsche is the anti-Z. Works hard every shift, good in the room, great off the ice...unfortunately he just doesn't have that elite talent.

Remember that single game tickets go on sale today (lets pack opening night!) and if your close to downtown there is a CBJ event down at Nationwide Plaza where Donatos is giving away free grub to the first 2000 folks in attendace. Tyutin, Hueslius, Filatov & Voracek will all be making an appearance at the event.

Wanted to take a moment to send a shout out to Bethany over at Bethany's hockey rants. She has changed homes to KuklasKorner (which is a great site I visit all the time) and will be a permanent CBJ blogger over there....which I think is fantastic. You can check out and bookmark her new home here.

Hope to see a packed house down at the Ice Haus supporting our boys tomorrow morning! Remember to stop on over to Boston Pizza after - I'll be getting heading over around 12:30.

Camp has finally arrived -- yes!!



Anonymous said...

Yep, that's Zherdev. I can just picture his toe-drag just inside the blueline. How many times did we see that!!! Rangers fans are far more unforgiving than the jackets faithful were and if this kid doesn't smarten up (which I doubt he will before the season starts) he is going to get run out of town and Sather won't be too far behind!

Re: Proteau: It would help if he watched more than one jackets game per season. The fact that he still thinks Klesla is our top d man is evidence that he has no idea.

WALLY said...

Wow... That's too bad about Zherdev. I was sad to see him go, but like some of our new guys, he probably did need a change of scenery.

Anonymous said...

wally--Why do you think HE needed a change of scenery? He was coming off arguably his best season, he was gaining the trust of the coaching staff, and he was seemingly coming out of his shell a little bit.

I think the last thing HE needed for his career was to move to the bright lights and big city that is Manhattan. Without having someone monitoring his off-season (the way Howson and Hitchcock did last year) he showed up in NY with a pot belly! He is going to be able to get fully lost in NYC with the HUGE russian population which, personally he will likely have a blast, but professionally it could be a nightmare. He had trouble staying away from the bars in Columbus.

It wasn't that HE needed a change in scenery, it is that he didn't fit so he was shipped.

For Zherdev's career, I think he needed to stay in Colmubus.

d. michael said...


From the sake of the Columbus franchise, Zherdev needed a change of scenery.

I hope Zherdev has a nice career, just glad it's not going to be in Columbus. He took a step last year, he needed to take more. We could not afford to continue to be patient.

Turn the page.

WALLY said...

My point would have been that he's been labeled in Columbus. By fans, management or other players. That's not easy to overcome and quite honestly, the best you can do is move on and start over with a fresh perspective. I honestly expect him in the KHL as soon as his contract is up with NYR.

Regardless... the last thing I would do though is defend a professional athlete because they can't control themselves, or show up for camp ready to go, or work out, or care.

Bethany said...

Thanks for pointing me out! I greatly appreciate it!

Bethany said...

PS: Are you going to Mac's Monday?

LTL said...

Mac's? Not sure what that is so nope :)


Bethany said...

It's a bar and grill on High Street...
You should come, sorry I can't make it tomorrow by the way. If you have any questions, e-mail me.

Anonymous said...

d. michael: I agree 100% that for the SAKE OF THE BLUEJACKETS-he needed to go. The jackets needed to shed themselves of him and all that comes with him. He didn't fit in with the character, identity and overall persona that Hitch and Howson are trying to create.

My point, however, was that for him going to NYC will probably be the worst thing for him.

I find it funny (not re: you or wally at all, just sayin') that when people talk about Zherdev it is almost done in this poor little, special ed. kind of way. He is supposed to be a pro and to show up out of shape for camp regardless of your skill level, is unacceptable. To be lazy at training camp or in pre-season because 'well, it is only pre-season' isn't okay. Some fans might say: hell, as long as he puts the puck in the net I don't care! However, his teammates care--his coaches care, management cares about that kind of stuff. It was exactly the type of stuff that builds up and fractures the integrity of a tight unit in the locker room.

I am with you wally, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that he bolts to the KHL after this season...if not before.

LTL said...

Blogger is Michael Peca ill right now so if you don't see a new post up from me in a while its b/c the issue(s) aren't fixed yet.