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Friday, October 31, 2008

Jackets trick fans, treat themselves to two points!


I'll be the first to admit I didn't think the Jackets stood a chance against the Avalanche in Colorado last night.

I was wrong....thankfully!

The Jackets did indeed stop the bleeding after a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche last night. It was a much needed win for a disenchanted fanbase but even more importantly, for a locker room that has seen defeat snapped from the jaws of victory over the past couple of games.

Even though the Jackets got 4 it was the defense and goaltending that stole the show in this one. Norrena looked like circa de '06 while the defense looked like the group who started off last year so well.

The Jackets capitalized on some poor goaltending and limited the high octane Avalanche offense to mostly outside shots.

It paid off with two points.


STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW



GREEN
* Norrena was absolutely fantastic in this game. He saw the puck really well. I really hope he can continue that kind of play as the Jackets will need it to dig out of this hole.

* By far the best defensive effort to date. All 6 d-men played strong games. Every single one of them made strong 1:1 plays, played the body and were strong positionally and with their partners.

* The team finished a collective +20. Christian Backman led the charge with a +3.

* I want everyone reading this post to STOP what they are doing, RUN to a window and check and make sure that indeed hell has not frozen over.....Jan Hejda scored a goal!

* Derick Brassard a goal and an assist. What else can you say about this kid? He's playing fantastic hockey. That pass he made to Chimera to open him up for his shot was world class playmaking.

* Same with Chimera... he's playing the best hockey of his career. His goal was sweet but so was his patience and pass to a pinching Hejda for the 4th goal.

* Derek Dorsett. Absolutely owned Darcy Tucker in his fight.. grabbed an assist and generally played a fantastic agitating type game. Pound for pound this kid may be the toughest player in the NHL right now.

* The Jackets fought through some very questionable reffing..what else is new right?

* Boys were banging last night with 29 hits versus 21 for the Avs. Klesla and Tyutin each had 5. The defense as a whole had 22 of the 29 hits.

* Thanks for starting Raycroft!

* Did anyone even notice Foote out there? The Jackets did a good job of just playing the game and get the final laugh...at least for one night.

* Secondary scoring was a big. Murray, Brass, Chimera & Hejda.....

* Nice job by Hitch and the coaching staff getting the team ready for this game. The short shifts made a noticeable impact in terms of the team's energy level in the altitude as we had some good legs throughout most of the lineup.

* Norrena was better than Raycroft and there is your 2 points.

YELLOW
* What is wrong with Nash? He looks completely lethargic out there. Is he hurt, sick, dis-interested, in love, love sick, hungover.....? Or just a big ole slump?

* Huselius was strong on D but like Nash, not much at all out of him offensively. I think the two combined for one good chance.

* Jackets need to pull Boll out of the lineup until this guy is 100% healthy which it vastly clear he isn't. Boll is not an effective player if he can't play his rough and tumble game. Major marks for jumping in a defending Dorsett on McLeod even though he's cleary not 100%. I'm worried that offseason hand injury could derail his entire season.

* PK gave up two PP goals including a very late one in the 3rd. Must be nice to get PPs.

* Man it would have been nice to see Umberger get that empty netter there at the end...

* Pretty quiet game for Voracek but he didn't make any bad plays either.

RED
* Your telling me the Avalanche played a perfect penalty free game? Riiiight. I saw blatant interference on Boll by Laperriere when the puck was 5 feet from Boll. I have no clue what happened with that call on Dorsett -- this phantom stick holding either happened away from the play or it was once again a ridiculous call. It if was away from the play, at the very minimum a high stick at the end of it was deserved to even it all out. If a Jacket made the same hit that McLeod did on Dorsett at the end there its a penalty for interference every time - no question in my mind.

* Team sat way back on their heels in the 3rd.

* The Nash at center thing... what did that last two shifts? Clearly more of a motivational tactic by Hitch to get 61 going as opposed to anything else. Nash skated better early but really faded.

* That said, still need to get Nash and Huselius going.

* Jackets only went 39% overall in the face off circle.

* Somehow, someway we need another center. Novonty ain't gonna get it done.

3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. Freddy Norrena played a spectacular game.
2. The defense had its best game as a unit by far.
3. Derick Brassard now leads all rookies in scoring with 9 points. He's playing lights out.

The Jackets move to 4-6 on the season. While its nice to end a 3 game skid and grab 2 points on the road the focus must quickly turn to the Blackhawks at home on Saturday. They can't keep squandering these home games and need to get on a roll in the win column.

-LTL

10 comments:

Rick said...

60 minutes of hockey (for the most part) was good to see from thid team. I think the short shifts really made the difference. And the secondary scoring was great to see.

questionable reffing...what's new there?
It was nice to see Huselius playing good defence. It's what we need. And our Defence finally stepped it up.

For my money, I think Nash is just in a bit of a slump. Hitch can't double shift him every game, all the time. Howson needs to step up and get him a center.

Norrena had a big game. He needs to string a couple of those together.

And finally...win the next two and we're back at .500

Wally said...

LOL... I was pulling for Umberger to get an empty netter too! That guy needs a break in the worst way.

As far as Nash, I'm not sure what to think. He brought it hard at both ends and always seemed to be in the thick of things. We need him as a scorer definitely, but he closed up a lot of space in our own end and I think that helped the D out a lot. Not to mention, for once, I saw our D control the onslaught... they did not let the AVs skate right in and shoot, pass, settle in, etc. They put the hit on immediately and shut them down...

Boll got a one game suspension for the 3rd period fight, so he's out for the Chicago game. Seemed like he was holding his arm/shoulder a bit after each fight. Not a lot of punches, but maybe the holding and squirming was a little much? Someone get the kid a punching bag for Christmas... He needs some practice!

Overall, a very impressive win. This is the team I want to live and die by.

LTL said...

I hear ya Wally...

There has to be something really wrong with Boll... I don't think he's not punching b/c he doesn't want to, its b/c he can't b/c he's hurt.

He's not playing nearly as "wreckless" either.

No way he's 100%... he doesn't even look 50% to me.

As far as Nash.. yeah I noticed the strong defensive play early in the game but not so much as it progressed... he seemed to fall back in this shell.

My guess is he's fighting through some injuries as well b/c he doesn't look anything close to the way he played through the first 4 games.

-LTL

TomT said...

That is the hockey we should expect to see all year long. The effort was there, the skill is there and Freddy looked good.

If the CBJ give that effort every night we will be just fine. It however has only shown up in a few games, @ Dallas, opening night and last night.

As for Nash getting a center...we have one but Hitch doesn't want to break up a good line w/ Brass, Chimmer and Jake. I can't say I blame him.

Defense looked solid, I'm not ready to declaim them good, but they played well last night.

We will see if they can keep it rolling with Chicago in town Saturday. Hopefully the crowd shows up, I will be there and do my part.

Max said...

Yeah I feel like the refs definately gave the jackets the shaft. Why the suspension for Boll? Too many instigators? How about we take away the instigator penalty.

LTL said...

Hey Max,

If you get an instigator with 5 minutes remaining its an automatic 1 game suspension. I believe the coach also gets fined.

Personally I think Boll can use the rest but you certainly take your hat off to him for coming to the aid of a teammate even as banged up as he is.

Of course not that Dorsett can't take care of himself... right Tucker?

-LTL

Max said...

LTL, thanks for the clarification. I forgot about that awful rule. I hate the instigator rule so much.

Wally said...

Dorsett/Tucker Fight

That first punch is dead on... :-)

Joe G. said...

I'd put money on it that Nash has an injury that he's playing through. If other teams knew, they'd be on it. Once its all better we'll hear find out.

Jeff E. said...

I can't believe the NHL has that rule (instigator in the last 5 minutes). Basically the league is saying you can deck someone in the last 5 minutes of a game without fear of retaliation because the other guy doesn't want a suspension.