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Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clunker

So much for the 6 game point streak....

The Jackets dropped an ugly one last night to the Coytoes by a final of 5-2. Quite frankly the Jackets as a group were no-shows and were man handled, save for the final few moments of the game when Phoenix let up on the accelerator.

The biggest story of this game might just be the post game press conference when Hitch had this to say about his captain:

“Rick (Nash) wasn’t very effective today, for whatever reason,” Hitchcock said. “But he had a lot of company. A lot of company.”

The timing of this comment is very interesting as I thought Nash wasn't nearly as bad as he's been earlier this season (more on that later).

Make no mistake about it, this comment was a very calculated move by Hitch. He obviously wasn't happy with the way this team came out after playing so well the previous week and his motivational tactics are starting at the top. The Jackets squad cannot afford to "clunk" there way through any game -- especially against a Western Conference opponent they will most likely be trying to knock out of the playoffs to get in.


STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW


GREEN
* After a game like this is hard to find any silver lining but the Jackets did do a few things well. They killed off a 4 minute minor to start with.

* I personally though Jason Chimera was our strongest forward from whistle to whistle. He was one of the few that actually had his legs moving and he was driving the net hard. He did collect an assist, registered a team high 5 shots, 1 hit, 1 give away and was a -2.

* Certainly not Brassard's strongest game but he was one of the few that was busting his butt in the 3rd period.. had a beautiful feed to Nash and grabbed a garbage goal. His quest for the Calder continues.

* I appreciated Boll's willingness to get dirty with a real tough guy in Fedoruk. He was a bit out of his league there but knew his team needed something...any kind of spark.

* Shane Doan was an absolute beast last night.

* Hey I did get a post game tour of the new R Bar.... that thing is going to be sweet! Target opening is late Nov early Dec.

YELLOW
* The Jackets did get a PP goal and Nash did get a goal. All to late to matter.

* This game certainly wasn't on Mason. As Hitch said, boy did he get hung out to dry. He made some sterling saves but there were just way to many quality chances.

RED
* Defense was a complete mess. Way to many breakdowns by everyone. All of the blueliners were bad but I thought Rusty and Tollefsen were especially craptastic. When Methot gets healthy I think the coaches have to think long and hard about putting him back with Tyutin in the top 4.

* Overall energy was unacceptable. They were beaten in every facet of the game. This team had 3 days off....well essentially 4 if you count last night's effort.

* 11k+ for attendance... so it goes.

3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. R Bar tour
2. Free ticket
3. At least they didn't get shut out

A quick nugget I learned last night from a source I can't mention. Apparently Nash has been injured for weeks but kept it quiet because he knew if he was out there, team would game plan against him with their best defenders which would free up the rookies to do their thing. Eventually he had to disclose the injury as coaching staff, like the fans, were worried about his play.

Now take that for what its worth but it comes from a very reliable source. Frankly I think that shows a lot of leadership and character from the captain.

Anyhow, the Jackets need to quickly forget about this one... I know I'm trying to.

Look for this team to bounce back in Buffalo tomorrow night. They'll need to bring everything they've got as the Sabres are a very good team that is 9-3-3 and 5-2-1 at home.

-LTL

10 comments:

Wally said...

Nash was on fire after that high sticking call. It's obvious he can play when he wants to. If he's been hurt, go on IR and take a game or three off. I'm not sure who came up with the grand idea of playing through it for 10+ games, but I'm 99% positive it's not exactly helping... it only magnifies his ongoing slump & mediocre play that defines a leader and trickles down to the corp. We've dealt with Pazzy, we'll just have to deal with Rick. Having him in and not be 100% just sucks.

To his credit, teams are swarming him. There were a few occasions last night where there were 3, even 4 guys on him. If Nash isn't looking to draw attention and then pass, I don't see things changing much for him at all.

Overall... everyone was off. I can't agree that all the PHX goals were outstanding, but if you count the ones that were, it was still enough to beat us. I went to bed with the thought that we can't win them all. Hopefully we'll still win a few.

I'm surprised by the attendence too. On tv, looked like a LOT of the lower bowl was full. Did everyone move down after the 1st?

BZArcher said...

I thought the attendance was higher myself from being in the stands. I was surprised by how full it seemed for a Wednesday night game.

I'd also point out that the officiating was, frankly, shit.

I know we're not going to get a lot of calls, but there was some pretty blatant stuff going on where the officials swallowed their whistles.

Mike said...

Guess I picked a good game to be frugal and tryout the green seats for the first time. That is the LAST time I wear my Pazzy jersey to class, as that appears to be a jinx! Kinda disheartening to go around osu campus on a gameday, and only see a dude in a Crosby jersey in terms of anyone wearing hockey attire. Anywho, I guess u did watch the pens-wings game monday I think it was, I think u mean Fedourk (sp?) instead of Fedotenko.

LTL said...

Hey Mike... yeah, meant Fedoruk... thanks for the heads up!

-LTL

Erik said...

LTL,

Couldn't agree with you more, the entire team was a crapfest last night.. my blood pressure is still through the roof. Anyways, are the Coyotes the new Predators ?? They have absolutely dominated us twice already, if I am not mistaken the Coyotes are the only team that have flat-out outplayed/gamed us this season (maybe SJ).. all the other games have been competitive.. In fact we were very competitive in every game this season, except the 2 coyotes games... Regarding Nash, the truth is... he has been up and down through periods and games... furthermore the top line has been anything but the top line.. If we want to taste the playoffs we need to have Nash produce..Umberger and Huslius aren't the worst of linemates, and we have tried every other combination possible... Nash needs to step it up and produce..
I can't tell you how pissed off I was last night after watching this current Jackets roster play like it was '02.... flat, uninspired and just lazy..Now I have to finish my rant with a controversial statement... BUYOUT Backman, I focused on his play in particular last night... and he needs to go... I am sorry at 3.4mil this guy is barely a 3rd line defenseman.. further put Method back with Tyutin as soon as he's healthy... furthermore think about trading Backman/Tollefson and Klesla... at this point I think Rome would be better then Klesla... (am I being too harsh on Klesla??)..

Erik said...

OH BTW the dispatch is reporting this interesting nugget:

"The Blue Jackets have switched up their plans. Instead of a full practice at 11 a.m., the Jackets are having an optional practice, with seven players and two coaches on the ice."

It sounds like some people are having a sitdown.... I hope Hitch kicks some a$$ after last nights performance.

Scott S said...

Agreed on the craptacular last night. However did anybody check out the Dispatch today? Are they trying to promote the Jackets or just show them when they lose? They had a lovely front of the sports section feature about the loss last night. The type of coverage they should've been using that kind of space last saturday when we beat Calgary, but no, instead they decide that when the blue jackets lose is when they want to show some "love". I just find it sort of counter productive.

LTL said...

Erik - I was thinking the EXACT same thing last night... Coyotes are our new Preds... at least through two games. Its amazing how much they've owned us this season.

Perhaps just bad timing on the schedule but if they kick us to the curb in the 3rd game I think you've nailed it!

Scott - intersting point about the Dispatch. I usually only catch the digital stuff and not the hard copy so I didn't get to see today's edition.

-LTL

Erik said...

LTL,

I think you and a lot of fellow CBJ fans will agree with me when I say.. that I would rather face the Ducks, Stars, Wings, etc.. then the Coyotes, Preds or Blues... I have no clue why we always play solid games against the "top" echelon teams, but play lesser games against the "lesser" teams..

For instance I am expecting to get 3 points out of the Buffalo/Minnesota trip... 2 extremely though opponents..
If it was a CHI/STL roadtrip I would expect 1 point..

Anonymous said...

Hitch made a comment during his show on wednesday or on XM on tuesday about Nash having a pull muscle. Said it was since the colorado game.