directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Final chance for bubble boys

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Final chance for bubble boys

The 3-4 Jackets will play their final pre-season game tonight in Toronto versus the 2-5-1 Leafs.

The Jackets will bring a fairly heavy roster with regulars with the rest of it will be filled out with players battling it out for the few remaining positions that have yet to be decided. Here it is according to Puck-rakers:

F1: Fredrik Modin -- Manny Malhotra -- Andrew Murray
F2: Jason Chimera -- Jiri Novotny -- Jake Voracek
F3: Nikita Filatov -- Michael Peca -- Jared Boll
F4: Alexandre Picard -- Craig MacDonald -- Derek Dorsett

D1: Ole-Kristian Tollefsen -- Rostislav Klesla
D2: Marc Methot -- Mike Commodore
D3: Kris Russell -- Christian Backman

G1: Fredrik Norrena
G2: Dan LaCosta

Toronto is icing something similar with a heavy regular lineup.

Storied to follow:

* Its the final chance to make an impression for the bubble players on the Jackets. On offense its a battle between MacKenzie, MacDonald, Picard, Dorsett & Filatov. On defense Methot gets his final chance to show he should stick.

* After a solid debut on Thursday how does Filatov perform in his enchor performance in the center of the hockey universe? Remember the Leafs had a shot to grab Filatov after they moved up two positions in the draft but chose defensemen Luke Schenn instead.

* Modin doesn't have a point yet in pre-season so it would be nice to see him get on the board and get his confidence going heading into the season opener.

* Outside of one bad game Norrena has had a pretty good camp thus far and will look to end it on an positive performance.

* The Jackets have scored 23 goals and allowed 21 in 7 pre-season games. In contrast the Leafs have scored 28 but have given up a whopping 34 in 8 games. The Jackets should have ample opportunity to score tonight but despite losing Matts Sundin the Leafs still have shown the ability to put a lot of pucks in the net.

* The Jackets are 0-3 on the road thus far, will that change tonight? The Leafs are 2-2 at home and 0-3-1 on the road.

Speaking of the "the road" over 48% of you thought that out of the answers listed, the Jackets going .500 on the road will be the biggest key for them making the playoffs.

* The Leafs are spreading the offense in pre-season with 5 players with 5 points (Grabovski, Hagman, Blake, Ponikarovsky & Antropov). The Jackets meanwhile have 3 players with 6 points or more in Voracek, Nash & Huselius -- two of which won't be playing tonight.

Filatov gets his second pre-season start tonight on the road in hockey mad Toronto so it will be interesting to watch how he responds.

Bubble boys. This the last chance for some players on the cusp of making the team to make an final impression. It could also mark the final time for draft picks Picard and Methot in CBJ sweaters as if the Jackets choose to send them down there is a very good possibility both could be claimed on waivers.

Remember its a 5 p.m. EST start time. Chances are this game will be streamed at this link - although as of now its now showing as an option.

Lets see if the boys can end this pre-season with a .500 record as they looked towards starting the first 3 games of the season on the road beginning in Dallas next Friday.



No comments: