directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Nuggets

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, October 20, 2008


Russell at wing? According to Puck-rakers Hitch has him playing there in practice today with Picard and Malhotra. Who knows if this is permanent but IMO Russell has been one of the few non-problems on defense so this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If Hitch is looking to clear out some room how about scratching one of the top 4 defenders and sending them a wake up call.

Stay tuned.

After stopping 17 of 19 shots in relief of Freddy Norrena that Jackets have sent Dan LaCosta back down to the AHL. Of course that means that Pascal Leclaire is ready to go and should be the starter tomorrow night against Vancouver. He and the Jackets could certainly use a solid performance between the pipes.

..and please Pascal, use the blocker!

Thanks to a comment by Soultrain, we now know the blackout for tomorrow night's game will be lifted on Center Ice (and for all the games that won't be televised on FS Ohio). That is great news for those of us who can't make it down to the arena tomorrow.

The Jackets continue to struggle on the road (what else is new?) so the good news is that they'll play their next 8 of 11 at home. Its a chance to gather some momentum and re-group as a team which according to Puck-rakers started in earnest yesterday as the team met and reviewed tape.

So I don't know why I keep forgetting this story, but as just about everyone knows by now Michael Peca received a reduced "sentence" and will only be suspended 5 games. That will put him back on the ice Friday against the New York Rangers.

The Jackets could certainly use his defensive zone play.

Here is something interesting from This Saturday will see all 30 teams playing at once. According to the article as of around 9 p.m. EST 12 games will be going on at once. Pretty cool.

FTR the Jackets will be in Minnesota to battle the Wild on the 2nd night of a back to back on Saturday night starting at 8 p.m. EST.

Looks like Malarchuk is on ice for now as Puck-rakers has confirmed that the Jackets will add a interim goalie coach. My guess is that the new coach will be given some time and if he pans out then Malarchuk and his baggage are history. If the new coach is a dud then he may be given another chance.

The Jackets missed out on signing Devin DiDiomete as the Rangers apparently have pounced on him and signed him to a standard 3 year deal. Crunch blogger Lindsay Kramer has some interesting details around this one:

Talking to DiDiomete at the end of the prospects camp and before the Syracuse preseason opened, he was raring to come to the Crunch, no question about it. But a couple of days before he was expected to close out the AHL deal with Columbus, his agent said to sit tight.

In retrospect, it's obvious now that another team was interested in him, and was coming through with an NHL deal. That's much better for the player, three years of guaranteed money compared to one year in an AHL pact.

Problem is, teams aren't supposed to negotiate with players under contract to other organizations, even under tryout deals. The Rangers were at Traverse City, and saw DiDiomete. Did they jump the gun? Hope said nope, there was no improper contact.

But somehow, some team made its intentions known to DiDiomete's agent before the tryout deal was over. Anyways, Columbus was faced with the decision on whether to offer him an NHL deal as well, but it did not. Hope said Columbus let him out of the deal over the weekend, and the Rangers were there to pick him up.

Sounds to me like an obvious case of tampering but nobody is going to rock the big boat over a minor league signing. Its a shame too because I love the potential of players like DiDiomete who to me is a Dorsett clone. They make perfect 4th liners at the NHL level and can really be a nice complement to your high skill guys developing down on the farm.



colin said...

im confused.. so if i dont have center ice i still dont get the game i just have time warner but no center ice..??help me out

LTL said...


Correct. Since the game will not be televised locally on FS Ohio the only way to get the game is to subscribe to the NHL Center Ice package through your cable/dish provider.

Typically all Jackets games on that package are blacked out as they want you to watch the games through your local affiliate which is understandable.

Since there is no local TV coverage the Jackets and in my case, Time Warner Cable, have agreed to lift the blackout on just the 6 local non-televised games.

If you don't have Center Ice there may be a live stream somewhere (if anyone knows please post in comments) else you'll have to either 1. go to the game or 2. find a friend/bar that subscribes to CI. Unfortunately this is where it really hurts not having the R Bar up and running.

Hope that helps.


Wally said...

Every time you question Hitch's weird experiments (i.e The Goat Line), there is either some substance or a ton of luck to back it up. Maybe he's just throwing lines at a wall to what will stick?

LTL said...

I just don't like the idea of taking guys who have played their whole career as defensemen and then moving them up to forward. If he doesn't like Russell at D then send him down to Syracuse and let him play.

What kind of signal does that send to a 21 year old kid who in the keys years of development? I thought we were depending on Russell to really help is in puck-movement and on the PP.

Plus I personally think Russell has played pretty well back there granted its been against the opposition's bottom lines most shifts. He's got a helper and is a -1. The only d-men with better +/- are OKT and Methot who have played 1 game.

Maybe its just a practice thing but I personally think its a move to make room for Methot.

For me the real problem has been the play of our top 4 d-men and goalies not the Russell/Backman pairing.


Colin said...

thanks for clearing that up.. looks like im going to the game tomorrow.
and about russell, i really think they could just be putting him at forward because they think he is probably the only defensemen capable of filling in as a wing just for a practice. hitch may be doing this because he wants to see methot and okt more through practice. i dont think in anyway you can even think of putting russell at forward when i believe he is really the only defensemen so far you can say anything positive about. hes been getting very offensively involved even if he hasnt scored yet.

Chris said...

Found this interesting read about Zherdev in New York. I always liked the kid here(dropped the money on his jersey that is not sitting snug in my closet). Seems like he is adjusting well and all he needed was a change of scenery.

Erik said...

I agree with LTL, Russel has been our best defenseman.. However I would like to point out that last year our D was the third best D in the League (1. Detroit, 2. San Jose 3. Columbus).. and according to the stat guy (can't think of his name) the CBJ was number 1. in shot quality against.. That's awfully good defense which we are not currently getting.. So in my humble opinion you have to give LeClaire and Norenna some slack, at this point our biggest concern is getting Tyutin and Commodore accustomed to Hitch's system and to Hedja and Klesla.. .We need to get better communication and awareness.. This is something that needs to happen quickly..
On the other hand I have to give some credit to Huselius and Nash for finding chemistry, Umberger is doing the dirty work but hasn't been lucky yet.. The Goat line has been excellent and Modin is really getting some momentum going after a slow start.. But how about that Peca, damn he makes a big difference defensively doesn't he, I didn't realize how big of a contributor he is until now, especially on 2 man down situations... Furthermore there has been 2 or 3 goals from losing face-offs.. something Peca and Malholtra most likely would have prevented.. In short I can't wait to see Peca, Torres and Malholtra back in the lineup... but for now we need to get the Defense on the same page... we need the same quality D from last year pronto...