directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Right back at it

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Right back at it

Puck-rakers has released tonight's lineup and without further adu:
F1: Mike York, Jiri Novotny, Jakub Voracek
F2: Craig MacDonald, Steve Kelly, Jared Boll
F3: Andrew Murray, Trevor Frischmon, Maksim Mayorov
F4: Adam Pineault, Blair Yaworski, Derek Dorsett

D1: Jan Hejda, Marc Methot
D2: Richard Matvichuk, Aaron Rome
D3: Grant Clitsome, Jonathan Sigalet

G1: Dan LaCosta
G2: Fredrik Norrena

By my count that is 11 players returning from last night's lineup (including the goalies).

As puck-rakers suggest there isn't a whole lot of meat to that lineup and apparently Minnesota will be icing a veteran laced squad.

That said there are some good stories to watch:

* How does Voracek mess with 4th line guys in York and Novotny? Remember Voracek could very well start further down the lineup and play his way up as the season progresses. By all accounts he played very well last night so we'll see what he can bring on a back2back.

* Hejda to see PP time? That is what Puck-rakers stated this morning. I give credit to Hitch for thinking out of the box but I see this experiment lasting about as long as the Z-at-center one did. Its preseason though so why not try it and I see it as a tip of the cap to Hejda for playing so well under Hitch.

* Grant Clitsome. I love what I've seen thus far from this kid and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in game action and an extended look.

* Mayorov gets his first taste of NHL preseason action. He'll be playing along Fritschmon who has impressed this preseason and Mr. Consistent himself Andrew Murray.

* I think we'll see York get a lot of playing time tonight so lets see if he can bring more to the table than last night's performance.

* Look for Dorsett to drop them again. Look for Boll to keep the mitts on. In fact with this lineup I don't see as many dances as we saw last night.

* LaCosta let in 2 goals in 8 shots. Since I didn't see the goals I can't say if they were soft but we'll need a much better save % than that to win tonight.

* The ole vet Matvichuk gets his first bit of game action. Actually I've kind of liked him in camp. No wheels but I never saw this guy out of position.

* Hopefully the AHL vets have better nights than what they showed yesterday.

Game Spotlight
Its really 2 fold for me tonight. I want to see if Voracek can have another strong game and what another youngster in Mayorov can bring to the table.

Its an 8 p.m. EST start tonight. No word yet if Minnesota will be streaming this (we already know Columbus completely dropped the ball) but the games should be on and respectively. I'll update this post if I find anything out.




Anonymous said...

Hejda on pp: Isn't he the only NHL calibre d-man we are icing? Does really Matvichuk count?

4 of the 6 d men will play on the pp one is going to be Hejda, the only NHL cailbre d-man we have dressing. This is pretty much 'Hejda on the pp because of default' more than it is an experiment. I wouldn't read more into it than that.

Erik said...

Yep you are right, he's the only player on D who's a CBJ regular. You almost have to think this is done to evaluate Hedja in specialty situations. We know he's a solid Defensive Defenseman.
After last year I would say his PP abilities are definitely in doubt, but who cares he's +20.
I think with OKT and Russel on the sideline this sure indicates to me that this is the night that Method, Rome and Matvichuk are getting their evaluation. Especially if the Wild are dressing 10+ regulars, Hitch will be able to get a lonnggg look at tonight's D. Furthermore with York and Novotny dressing up for a second night in a row, we know they are debating the futures of these players. Anyways, I think Matvichuk might be the one to watch, if he plays a solid game anything can happen.. Personally I have always liked the slow-prodding/pre-lockout/hard-hitting type of Defenseman, and I think Hitch does as well. They better be streaming this game tonight......

LTL said...

Easy.... just going by what Puck-rakers posted today about Hitch experimenting with Hejda... check it out here -->

Just b/c its preseason doesn't mean Hitch has to use an NHL regular defensive defensemen on the PP.

You've got Sigalet in the lineup who is known as an offensive d-man. Clitsome is also an unknown and you could use a forward on the point.

Plus Hitch picks this lineup...its his choice not to dress any other offensive d-men.


Anonymous said...

Oh I know ltl, it was more a comment re: puck-rakers and the big blog post they have about it. The whole 'stirring up the masses' is the thing that is irritating me.

There are only 30 guys on the trip so it isn't like he has all his guys there to chose from. Sigalet and Clitsome will probably get some time as well.

All this speculation is starting to get to me I guess.