directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Filatov makes North American debut!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Filatov makes North American debut!

The 2-3 Jackets take on a 1-3 Buffalo Sabres club.

I wouldn't count on the Sabres dressing a bunch of scrubs as teams are trimming down their rosters and what's left are mostly guys with legitimate chances to make the club or see some quality playing time as callups as the year progresses

(although just as I typed that I read from Puck-rakers that Buffalo is dressing Andrew Peters who is their hulking enforcer)

For the Jackets their starting lineup looks as follows:

F1: Fredrik Modin, R.J. Umberger, Jake Voracek
F2: Rick Nash, Manny Malhotra, Kristian Huselius
F3: Nikita Filatov, Michael Peca, Andrew Murray
F4: Tom Sestito/Alexandre Picard, Jiri Novotny, Derek Dorsett

D1: Marc Methot, Rostislav Klesla
D2: Grant Clitsome, Mike Commdore
D3: Clay Wilson, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen

G1: Fredrik Norrena
G2: Pascal Leclaire

So quick thoughts on tonight's game:

* The story of this game is without question the debut of the young Russian Nikita Filatov. He'll be on a line with Peca and Murray so lets see what this kid's got.

* Sestito will probably go now that Peters is dressing. Peters is a tough customer and at this point I think Sestito is a bit over-matched but I'm sure he'll have a go.. only way to get better right?

* Manny moves to the top line with Brass out for what appears to be until the home opener Oct 10th. Me personally I'm not at all thrilled but who else do we have to put there? Manny needs to win alot of faceoffs, play strong D and get Huselius the puck -- he does that and I'll consider it a decent game for him.

* The battle for the 7th/8th defensemen continues tonight with 4 of 6 playing looking to grab one of those spots. I think Tollefsen definitely has a leg up on one of those spots based on experience, toughness and the fact none of the guys expected to make a push really have. Keep your eye on Clitsome as he's really climbing the depth chart.

* The line of Modin-Umberger-Voracek is kept together tonight (which may be a record for Hitch!) so lets continue to watch the chemistry of this line grow. Voracek leads all pre-season players with 5 points.

* PP. Not expecting a lot out of it tonight with both Russell and Backman out of the lineup. Perhaps the forwards can get some good things going and this really gives Clitsome an opportunity to man the point with some top forwards to work with.

* Commdore is having a "steady-as-she-goes" type of pre-season. He's going to do just fine filling Foote's shutdown shoes. He knows the East and should be very familiar with this Buffalo squad.

* My boy Dorsett is back in the lineup. I think this kid has got a real chance. I look for him to dance and to agitate as he continues to make his impression.


Pretty easy one tonight. How will the rookie look? We have to keep in mind its his first game in North America on small ice against the best players in the world so lets temper our expectations. What I will be looking for are the raw skills.....the skating, the speed, the agility, the hockey sense, the hands, the 3-zone responsibility, the excitement in his game and course the offensive flair... I expect mistakes just like you get from any young player.

Honorable mention goes to Clitsome. I'm just about as excited to see him for the first time in game action as I am the young Russian!

7 o'clock start. See ya there!!




Rick said...

Found this over on yahoo sports.

Ross McKeon says in his artilcle "Ten things to watch for this NHL season"..."#2 Other potential Calder Trophy candidates include Columbus’ Derick Brassard and Nikita Filatov".

It seems to me we're getting more "love" from the rest of the nation (press) than we used to get.

Also listened to the game tonight. It didn't seem like there was a whole lot of "magic" on the ice. Although, it sounded like Filatov did pretty good in his debut.

BZArcher said...

This was an exciting game in the beginning, and very intense, but 4 of the 5 buffalo goals get laid right at the feet of Freddy No. He didn't just have a bad game, he had an awful game.

If Mason was healthy, I really am starting to wonder if he'd still be here.

Anonymous said...

If Mason was healthy, of course he would still be here. He is still here now! That is the plan anyway, get Mason in as Pazzy's backup and trade Freddy.