directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Its a step

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Its a step

With just about a full lineup the Jackets were able to squeeze out a 1 goal win versus those Nashville Predators. Umberger, Voracek, Murray and Huselius were the goal scorers for the Jackets -- that right, 3 out of the 4 goals were scored by new faces this season.



* Lots of positives tonight but lets start with the rookie Voracek who had a goal and an assist. He really did play a strong game and brings that skill the Jackets desperately need. He played 15+ minutes and finished a +1. He's starting to make me believe he might be able to contribute right away as that's 1g, 3a for 4 points in 3 games for this kid.

* RJ Umberger. I'm not sure about anyone else but I LOVED Umberger tonight. Again he's not flashy but he just so solid in all 3 zones and he showed tonight with his goal that he's damn good around that net. If tonight is any signs of things to come he's going to be just fine as a top 6 center for this team.

* Fedor Tyutin. Another new face I loved. Liked his transition.....liked his play with and away from the puck.... liked everything about this guy.

* Christian Backman. MUCH better than I was anticipating. Wasn't as weak defensively as I thought and he blew Hainsey's doors off in he transition game with smart passes on the tape. I'd like to see him get more shots though as he didn't register any tonight. He did finish a +2.

* Kris Russell worked very well with Backman. You can tell right away he's stronger but he didn't lose any of that slick skating ability. He jumped into gaps and also got on the scoresheet collecting a couple of assists and finishing a +2. That's the kind of night we need from him consistently throughout the year.

* The team in general came to play. They outshot the Preds 25-21 and outhit them 27-17. Quite frankly they could been up 5-0 in the first period with all their quality chances and that's without the top 2 lines playing near as good as they can.

* Mirasty got Nasty. That fight alone was worth the price of admission. He and Gratton really went at it and Mirasty stunned him a few times and popped his helmet right off. It was a sweet way to start the game. The best thing about Mirasty was that after Grant gave Voracek a cheap shot in the 3rd he did everything short of take a bad penalty to get that guy to drop his gloves but Grant and the rest of the Preds wanted nothing to do with him. He'll be in Nashville tonight for good reason.

* The grind line of Chimera-Malhotra-Murray was balls out tonight. I mean they played excellent. Murray got a goal, Chimera was hustling (nice race to that icing there in the 3rd) and Manny was making things happen. They cycled well and created chances. Not much more you can ask of a 3rd line.

* Huselius. He wasn't at his best over the first couple of periods but made up for it with a sweet goal in the 3rd to ice for the Jackets. Huselius plays a soft game but then again everyone knows that. What he does bring are soft hands and a knack to find the open players. His game is going to compliment this team much better than a guy like Z ever did.

* Nash. He had some great looks tonight but wasn't able to bury them. He did collect an assist and put in 19+ minutes. You can see right away this skill he's got to work with now and that he won't have to do it all himself.

* Brassard. Not quite as good as Voracek tonight but still solid. His backcheck there late in the game probably impressed me the most about him. He did collect an assist and made just a sweet pass to spring Nash on a breakaway. He also won 56% of his faceoffs which is outstanding. The one thing I will say is he needs to shoot more -- he passed up a couple of prime time opportunities to fire the biscuit.

* Modin was all over the place last night... it almost looked like he had a bad edge but his timing also seemed off. He'll be fine.

* Special teams were okay. The Jackets grabbed a PP on a 5 on 3 and had some flashes. The Preds though seemed to do whatever they wanted with the man advantage gaining the zone with ease -- still plenty of work to regain that stellar PK form from last season.

* Commodore, Hejda and Klesla were very physical and played solid games. Although both Commodore and Hejda were negative players last night.

* Pazzy was pretty shaky tonight. He made some nice saves in the 3rd to preserve the win but he wasn't as sharp as we know he can be. Need to get him in some more games.

* When the team comes out firing like they did last night they've got to convert early. This coulda and shoulda been a blowout but they didn't convert on their early chances.

* Crowd. Its just preseason but it was pretty empty in there tonight although I think it may have actually been an improvement over last year.

* The good news is that they stopped playing the sound of the stupid video clips that killed the arena atmosphere. The bad news is why not just kill the whole thing? Also WHERE ARE THE REPLAYS? Hits, fights, goals, penalties, it to much to ask to actually focus in on the game that's being played on the ice? Drives me nuts.

1. Young guns in Voacek, Russell and Brassard. They played well and all got their names on the score sheet. If we get that kind of production in the regular season we are going to be in good shape.

2. Offense. The top two lines created the most offense I've ever seen from a Jackets top 6 and I don't think they even played close to their potential.

3. Mirasty. Sports are all about entertainment and that is what Mirasty gave us in those first few minutes of the 1st period....and good for him for finally getting a taste of the highest level at age 26.

At the end of the day its a step and its a win over a team that has had our number the past 3 years. The offense showed major signs that they will be able to put the puck in the net, the new faces showed they are going to contribute and the defense showed that they can move the puck better than last season. Still lots of work to do and we also have to remember that Nashville didn't play with two of their big guns in Arnott and Dumont.

The boys are right back at it tonight with much different lineup. My guess is that Nashville goes with a stacked squad so lets see how the boys do. I don't think this game will be streamed so we'll have to listen to it on the radio/internet stream.



cbjfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cbjfan said...

Got a pretty good video of the Sestito fight from last night, here's the link:

Max said...

I thought it was an overall good game by the boys. They looked rusty, but this was most of their first games. You could tell easily the guys who'd played before, and that's reflected by the three stars. You guys gotta give Murray some props, as I feel he made a really strong case to get a second look last night. He looked very comfortable with the puck. I was all jacked up about this game, and I was not disappointed!

LTL said...

Yeah Murray has been strong all camp. I've read alot where some people think he's on the bubble but I think he's a lock and has been a lock ever since Howson gave him a 3 year 1-way extension last year.

I love his consistant hard nosed game. His game kind of reminds me of Drury but without the offensive upside.


cbjfan said...

OOPS...sorry, when posted, the address for the Sestito fight loses the last few letters. Add KNM to the end of the URL to get to the video.