directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Mixed bag

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mixed bag

Coming off an emotional 5-3 over the Predators on Friday night the Columbus Blue Jackets followed it up with an absolute stinker last night in Nashville losing ugly 6-3.
Lets take a good at the good and bad from both games.


* The Jackets combined for 8 goals on the weekend versus a stingy Nashville defense. Kristian Huselius led all Jackets with 4 points. Nash notched 3 goals. Modin, Methot and Chimera each notched 2 points.

* Was nice to see Nash get it going with his 3 goals. The biggest bright spot offensively is the chemistry he's finding with Huselius. I'm sure he and the Jackets would like him to covert more on his breakaway chances but the fact that he's getting so many is a major plus.

* Finally got a win in regulation against Nashville.

* Was great to see Methot get his first NHL goal last night. I thought he was our best defensemen in that game.

* Filatov notching his first NHL goal in his first NHL game.

* Tootoo was a non-factor. He went a collective -2 with no points. The Jackets, for the most part, did not allow him to get in their heads and in fact it was Tootoo taking the penalties.

* Excellent tribute to John H. put on by the Jackets game day staff! It was a great way to open the season.

* Fantastic turnout at the Garage Bar. Lots of familiar faces and bar did an excellent job accommodating everyone (love that cornhole game!).

* The rookies were on at home and off on the road. This isn't a surprise as its just that much harder to play on the road. Brass, Voracek and Filatov combined for 3 points and and even +/- on Friday. Last night they didn't have any points among them and were a collective -3.

* Umberger notched a point but he's doing a lot of the dirty work on the Nash line and has done a terrific job screening opposing goaltenders. Would be nice to see him rewarded with a goal.

* I thought Modin looked much better in both games. He's another guy who could use a goal.

* The PP was on fire Friday notching two goals including a big time timely score in the 3rd period. Last night not so much as it went 0-4.

* The PK didn't allow a goal in either game.

* I've really like Dorsett's game. He hasn't gotten on the scoreboard but he's in there mixing it up every shift.

* The Jackets went 51.5% on faceoffs over both contests. They just don't seem to be winning the big defensive and offensive zone draws when they really need them.

* Good crowd on opening night but unfortunately they fell a few hundred short of a sell out which was disappointing.

* They did a fairly decent job staying out of the box. They also didn't allow any 2-men down situations against.

* Team defense is an absolute train wreck right now. What once was a major strength of this team has quickly deteriorated into mediocrity. Through 5 games last season the Jackets allowed just 9 goals. Through 5 games this season the Jackets have allowed a whopping 21 goals. Unacceptable and you won't win many games allowing that kind of number.

* A HUGE reason for that is the play of both Pascal Leclaire and Fredrik Norrena. They have both been horrendous. They haven't been making the saves they should and have in fact, been the direct cause of multiple goals against due to mental mistakes -- especially playing the puck. They absolutely must be better.

* The overall play in the 2nd game wasn't good in any area. A telling sign is that the team generated just 9 hits. You can't sleep walk through a Nashville game and expect to win. As Nash stated it the paper this morning this team has to play the same way each and every night - no excuses.

* The Jackets have the most back to backs in the league and if Phoenix and last night's game are any indication how they will do in the 2nd game then it could be a long year.

* Leclaire trying to stop a puck with his hand? Got to be smarter than that.

* Klesla was a -4 last night. Tyutin a -3. At what point do you try different pairings?

* The Jackets again lose on the road. That bring their record to 1-3. Not exactly the kind of start on the road that gets a team into the playoffs.

* While it may make the game most exciting (assuming the Jackets come out on the right side of it), they have got to stop blowing these leads. A trend that started in the preseason and continues.

1. Jackets got their first win in regulation against Nashville since 2006.
2. Nash and Huselius showing some early chemistry.
3. Frist NHL goals from Methot and Filatov.

The Jackets had a real chance here to gather some momentum and things looked great in Columbus until they completely blew up the following night.

Next up for the 2-3 Jackets are the 3-2 Canucks on Tuesday night. The Canucks are playing pretty good hockey and of course have Luongo to clean up any messes. Things don't get any easier come Tuesday and the Jackets have a lot of work to do between now and then to get their game shored up, especially defensively and between the pipes.



Tom said...

Agreed on most all counts. Where's the D? Yow.

As for the goalies, how much do you attribute to Malarchuk's absence? I'm presuming that the CBJ are operating without a goalie coach. That can't be good.

Anonymous said...

great job... i agree with every aspect... the goal tending on this team is just PUTRID... it makes me sick... how can they really be that bad i mean really...? how ..?

i was excited ( which is RARE to see norenna in there last night before the game ) i dont like his game... really never have... maybe its not all his fault i get that... but he has always failed to make me believe he can be even a quality back up in the NHL... then last night he showed his old self as usual... ugh... then they tossed him from the game... ( 3 games in a row the starter is yanked ... ) and threw lacosta to the predators... i thought he held his own...

where do we go from here...? its gotta be up right ...? maybe its just " rust "

is mason ready yet ...?

he couldnt do worse...

i know this is a marathon... but our goalies have kept us chained to the starting blocks...

my advice to our goalies...


period... do not play the puck EVER...

focus on the shots ...


irked fan-

Anonymous said...

I'm not ready to throw Pazzy under the bus yet. Consider that the D-men in front of them have not been doing their part, Leclaire can only do so much.

I have another crowd chant idea... if the new intro video is this one, then after Nash says his line, how about we get the entire crowd to chant "JACK-ETS JACK=ETS" in time with the music. Listen to it, try it at home, it sounds super cool.

Anonymous said...

What's with not showing the Tuesday night game on FSN Ohio? Come on - it's a home game. I just checked the lineup for that channel on Tuesday night and it's not like they are showing anything worthwhile.

At least we'll be getting Malhotra and Peca back soon. Won't solve our defense problems, but should help on PK.

June said...

Filatov played 12 shifts last night and had 8:38.

I guess they're letting his ass adjust to North American benches.

lamdeveg said...

It seems to be "a tale of 2 teams". In each of our losses we're getting bullied by the opposition fore-check. It always looks like our D-men & net minders are either predictable or easily panicked. I hate to say it but I'm seeing some real problems in how predictable we are to other coaches in the league. "The Jackets are going to spend time in their zone with their puck, we're gonna send in 3 fore-checkers & create turnovers" seems to be the formula of the day. Our offense is too often like a "Chinese fire drill". Where is the puck handling from the point? I hope to see fewer rink wide passes that are far too often intercepted & better play once we get back our legion of injured/suspended veterans. No panic in me but the mistakes are glaring most nights! Great to see the gang @ "Garage" & enjoy a home win but I want more from my Jackets dammit!!!

LTL said...

I didn't realize the game wasn't televised on FSN on Tuesday. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I would imagine that if you have center ice we'll get to pick up the Vancouver feed.

I'm not surprised Hitch kept Filatov's butt glued to the bench but it does make you wonder why is he up if he isn't going to play. Let him develop in Syracuse.


Wally said...

There's 6 games not being televised this year... For some reason, I thought I read that here, ha ha.

Tribute was nice. I'm a little irate that the wife & I ended up with 5 JHM hats... Apparently not everyone appreciated his efforts for the team, but whatever.

Nash is truly coming into his own this year... He is all over the place, making plays, stealing the puck, etc. I would be thrilled if he scored on just one of those breakaways. Just one!

Defense has been spotty. At times, they exude confidence and other times, they're chasing their tails. If you're in goal and you see your support corp falling apart, I think that takes a little away. I can't blame Pazzy or Freddy for shots through traffic that they can't see. It's those stupid gimmes...

If there is a shining light, is that we're 2-3-0, having played ONE game at home. A lot of these guys are new and have had one chance to see what home is even like.

Hitch Rules said...

Thank God SOMEONE mentioned the issue with the 1st pairing. Klesla has been abysmal, so far, including Friday's lucky (=/- wise - he was his usual tentative and loose w/puck self) performance, and Tyutin - this is the defensive stalwart? They should re-team Klesla and Hejda on the 2nd line, and move Commodore up with Tyutin on the first line. How much harm can it really do?

The goaltending has indeed been horrible and Pazzy REALLY needs to step it up. As for Freddie, who I've always liked - uh, when will Mason be ready and healthy?

Finally, they REALLY need to do something about the energy levels on the 2nd of the back-to-back games. I seem to recall the Preds having to play the same team, with the same amount of rest, and traveling to the same town, so that speaks of, as my hero Hitch always says, competing.

I just hope MM and Peca (well, he's due back for Friday's game) get back, soon.

Rick said...

My wife & I unfortunately couldn't make it to the game and were unable to enjoy the tribute paid to Mr. Mac. If you still have an extra JHM cap, mybe you could send it my way. It would be greatly appreciated.

FSN televised the tribute, wish I could have been there. It looked great!

LTL said...

Hey Wally.. I should have expanded on my comment a little futher. Usually its the west coast late games that they don't televise -- not the home or Eastern time zone games. So its a little surprising to me that a home game on Tuesday night is one that was chosen not to be televised. Perhaps there was a schedulign conflict with something on?

I actually can't make it down Tuesday so I hope the blackout is lifted on Center Ice so I can catch it!!

Great comments as usual everyone!


Wally said...

LOL... It's been so long since I've actually had "real" TV, I'm used to the Pens blacking out homegames when they weren't sellouts.

Rick, send me your mailing address. I'll send you one this week. I gave the extra two to a co-workers kids this morning... I'll make them fans or die trying. ;-)

soultrain said...

The blackout for center ice is now lifted for the rest of the season, so you will have no problem catching the game if you have center ice

LTL said...

Thanks for the info Soultrain. Much appreciated!!