directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets stay out of the box....but lose anyways.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jackets stay out of the box....but lose anyways.

Hey...they stayed out the box so that should be a win right?


Instead it was bad bounces and costly mistakes that did in the Jackets last night in San Jose as they fell 5-2.

The Jackets were guilty of two shorthanded goals against that resulted from mis-communication and bad decisions from the defense to the goaltender. Call it chemistry, tired, whatever -- I'll just call it bad hockey.

The good news -- they only took two minor penalties that resulted in PP's against and they killed off both -- but its kind of meaningless when you have brain farts in other areas of the ice.


As I mentioned the Jackets stayed out of the box which was a positive sign and something they'll have to build on, especially against Nashville on Friday.

* I thought Kristian Huselius played his best game thus far as a Jacket. He scored a goal but he also was very efficient with the puck, gained the zone on PP entries and was finding people all over the ice.

* Brassard continues to see his ice time increase as he played 16+ minutes last night. He notched an assist and ever more than that I thought he was very responsible in his own end and even had a nice hit in the defensive zone (somehow the San Jose Sharks score keepers decided not to count that one on the score sheet). He's been one of, if not the, best forward for the Jackets over the first 3 games.

* Oh Chim-dawg. If only you could have converted on that break-away in the 3rd that would have tied this game. I love Chimmer and think he's valuable to this team but Brass and Jake need a finisher on that line.

* I liked Dorsett again. He took a bad penalty but the kid gets his nose dirty and kept things interesting at the end there. I really want to see him drop them with someone -- I predict a Dorsett-Tootoo showdown on Friday.

* Nash was solid again but he's snake bitten. Would love to see him have a big game against the Preds Friday and get it rolling.

* Two PP goals on the night would typically be green but when you give up two shorties as well then it makes it real hard to say it was a big positive last night. That said, the PP had some real nice puck movement and it did notch a couple of scores against a stingy defense and goaltender.

* Backman got a shot through and scored! Even though Backman and Russell were both -2 last night I thought they were our most effective pairing and were by far the best at skating the puck out and transition.

* The top line combined for 19 shots (Nash had 9 alone) but just 1 point (the goal by Juice).

* The team blew two 1 goal leads. The team defense just isn't where it needs to be 3 games into it.

* Leclaire is struggling. His 4.24 GAA is 24th in the league. His .859 Save % is 23rd. Part of this is certainly the players in front of him but alot of it is some very bad decisions (just stop stickhandling the puck!) and he hasn't made many of those "wow" type saves.

* Freddy Modin is really struggling out the gate.

* Me staying up to watch this game..ugh.

* Klesla has got to learn how to make an outlet pass. There were multiple times where we just gave up puck possession because he couldn't read the play fast enough to find someone open, even when he had time.

* The team was a collective -20.

1. Limited the penalty minutes. The Jackets will win a lot of games if they can stay out of the box like they did last night.
2. Huselius & Brass. I liked both of their games last night.
3. Road trip is over...thankfully! Opening the season against 3 competitive teams like that..well the cards were always stacked against the Jackets and it certainly played out that way.

Definitely not the way anyone wanted to end the trip. The Sharks are for real and quite frankly they showed the Jackets have a long way to go before becoming an elite team like them.

Now all that said they did grab a win on this trip. There are positives to build from (like the play of the youngsters) and negatives to work on (like the struggles defensively). If you recall the Jackets started 2-2 last season before going on a nice run in the month of October.

The Jackets have two days to gear up for their home opener against the Predators. Now I hate to call anything an "must win" this early in the game but I think its critically important for the Jackets to come out of Friday's game with 2 points and some momentum to take back to Nashville the following night.



Sean said...

There is no reason why this team can't get four points this weekend, and I expect them to do so. Especially pending the results of Peca's hearing with the NHL tomorrow. When is Malhotra returning?????.....

soultrain said...


I agree with most of your post, especially with how bad Laclaire was out of the net. It was his stick handling that caused both shorties. First he held the puck forever and was forced to send it up the boards to Tyutin who had a train coming right for him when it bounced over his stick and well the second one is self explanitory. Then the jackets get two terribly unfortunate bounces and that costs them two more goals. The first is when a save bounces off a defender into the goal, and then an attempted clear hits a stantion in the glass and falls right back into the front of the net. The sharks saw the clear and made wholesale change, but the jackets fourth line couldn't get off because it never made it out of the zone and they had the long change. That put the sharks 1st line against a tired 4th line. Obviously there is a lack of chemistry on this team, but you can see it improve each game. It will get there and this is going to be a very tough team to play against in the very near future.

Erik said...

I wanted to post my comment on this thread.. but it wasn't up yet.. here it is...

Wow, what a bad night.. I personally thought they were very competitive with SJ except for the unbelievable mistakes.. To sum it up, out of the 5 goals for SJ, 4 were predatory goals, where the sharks capitalized on our mistakes. I counted 2 goals from miscommunication between LeClaire and the Defense, 1 Goal from a Defense-to-Defense miscommunication and 1 goal where they weren't able to clear the puck for a line change allowing SJ to match up Marleau and Thornton against the Dorsett line. Hitch needs to get the Defense in sync, or we are going to be in big trouble, granted SJ is probably one of the best teams in the NHL when it comes to capitalizing on defensive mistakes, but still. I really like the potential of this team but we need to iron out the wrinkles quickly... teams don't move much in standings after a month or 2 of Hockey.. unless there are injuries or other external factors.. I think we are close, but we need to get our heads on straight..

Wally said...

I lasted two periods... I didn't see us coming back from one goal down, so I went to bed.

What I did see wasn't bad... Nash had some fantastic steals last night (and in Phoenix), but could not capitalize on anything. Offense had good passes, showed patience and skill. I hope they can improve and add some more GA, because we need it.

All three games have shown just how weak the CBJ defense is. I was execting a powerhouse when everyone was talking about how much bigger, taller & heavier our guys are... Some good hits were laid out, but nowhere near the physical presence I was anticipating.

I can't get over how poorly Pascal is with handling the puck either. Just let it go and have a defensman carry it out properly. He's had to scramble back to the crease (in a hurry) on numerous occasions this year because of bad possessions or flubbed passes. It puts everyone on their heels and send them into panic mode.

mkws said...

Team is still too loose in their own zone. Hitch will fix that soon enough.

Having said that, this loss is on Leclaire. No excuse for it really. You can't leave points on the ice like they did many times last year. It will bite us. However, this team did not look out of place with SJ.

That's enough about that game, time to close the page and be prepared for Friday.

Rick said...

I just read on Puck-Rakers that Filitov is being recalled from the Crunch for Fridays home opener with Boll going on IR. Excited doesn't even describe it!

Anonymous said...

utter crap...

that was all i could think of to desribe pazzys mistakes...

2 short handers ...? COME ON...

i thought we played our game in the first and done very well... if we would have kept that up we would have been ok i believe... i see boll is on IR now maybe that explains part of my thoughts today at work ... i was trying to figure out how a guy like him who has a specified role on that team who hasnt done ANYTHING to either protect his team or antoginze the opposition into taking penalties... or grabbing a fight to swing some BIG MO our way...

dont get me wrong i love boller i just hope he is his OLD SELF soon...

cause if hes not gonna be ... im sure there are plenty players out there in our system who could SCORE POINTS in that spot...

im worried about pazz... i really really am... hes our guy and every one knows it... and hes gotta be more smart about his decision making...

i hope mason is coming along...

im SO JACKED about NIKITA being called up i cant tell you... i really think if he is let loose to do his thing ... ALOT of really awesome things are gonna happen for us... i just hope # 1 he keeps his head up and doesnt get killed out there... and # 2 that he is aware enough in the defensive aspects of this game...

i might find a way to make it on friday night now... hmmmmm....

great job as always !