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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jackets grab important point

This time Nash left no doubt when he tied up the game with a nifty and steal and equally swift backhand to tie the game at 2 7 minutes into the 3rd period.

This was Nash's 3rd goal in the past 3 games. Yeah, he's starting heat er up just in time for snow fall in central Ohio.

Actually overall the Jackets played a strong road game in the 2nd night of a back to back. Real strong. The Wild are a tough team to beat, especially at home. The Jackets didn't take any short cuts, they competed in the trenches, dumped and chased their way past the Wild's trap and scored timely goals to get the game to OT and earn a very important point.

If you would have told me before the two games this weekend that we'd take 3 of 4 points. I would have taken it and ran like I stole somethin.


STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW


GREEN
* Overall just a solid road game. The Jackets competed in all areas and got much better as the game moved on.

* Nash was a force last night. He created both goals. He drove the net like we hadn't really seen much this year to create chaos in front of the net which resulted in Huselius getting the tally. Then he made a fantastic play to steal a pass from rookie James Sheppard and then he finally converted in 1:1 situation when he went to the backhand to beat Backstrom.

* I thought the Chimera-Manny-Umberger line was a excellent again. They didn't get on the scoreboard but they had some dominating shifts and chewed up a lot of key minutes. Manny was excellent in the dot winning 15 of 20.

* 3 of 4 points on the road against two very good team - oh yeah, that's ever-green! The weekend moved the Jackets to very respectable 3-4-2 on the road.

* Even strength play contiues to be the lifeline of this team. Two more goals tonight 5 v 5.

* I thought Mason was good once again. Not much he could do on either goal scored. He's stopped the shots he should and then some. This Mason vs. Leclaire pushing each other deal could really spark something here for the Jackets. Goaltending is just so important and if you get two guys competing against one another then the standard of play should only improve.

YELLOW
* It great to see Huselius get that late period goal but I love the way this guy is competing defensively. Skating back hard and breaking up some dangerous plays with the opposition. I've liked this guy all year long actually. He's had an off night or two but for the most part you know what your getting game in and game out.

* Hate to see the team compete so hard and lose in the shootout.

* The Jackets did a decent job staying out of the box collecting just 3 minors. Unfortunately one of those the Wild's PP converted on.

* Speaking of the Wild's PP....their defense is so good at moving the puck and are very mobile (just re-watch Kim Johnsson skate the puck out of trouble in his own end).... they are especially potent on the PP... both of their goals were generated off shots from the point. Look no further than that as a reason why our PP continues to sputter...we have nothing on the points.

* Jan Hejda lead all Jackets with a whopping 28 minutes of ice time. Unfortunately he finished a -1.

RED
* Nothing really stood out to me as being horrible last night. Backman has his typical night and Voracek looks like he's losing some confidence out there but that's really about it. Jared Boll has also been relatively MIA this season.
* For a sold out crowd it sure did seem pretty quiet in the Excel Center last night.

3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. Jackets overall played a strong road game.
2. Best game from Nash in a while and a very timely forced turnover and subsequent goal to boot.
3. Chimera-Manny-Umberger line was strong again.

The Jackets move to 8-7-3 which gives them 19 points and ties them with Chicago and Nashville in the Central. Unfortunately the other teams haves games at hand so that number is a bit mis-leading.

Still the Jackets are getting important points in situations where in the past they failed to get.

Next up is the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Edmonton is a team who after a fast start has lost their past 2, including a back-breaker in OT to the Avalanche last night, and will certainly be ready to play come Tuesday. The Jackets cannot blow a tire like they did against Phoenix in their last appearance at home this past Wednesday.

A really good weekend. Need to keep the momentum going this week against the Oil and away in Atlanta on Saturday.

-LTL

12 comments:

chris said...

First off, I voted 3 out of 4 on the poll. Granted I thought we would lose in OT to Buffalo and beat the Wild. But still, 3 out of 4 on road, couldn't ask for anything more. Also, I am glad I don't have to watch 82+ games of that Wild team, talk about boring hockey(productive, but boring).

Some interesting things I found out today as well. Brass played his 17th game of the season last night and got his 17th point(8-9-17) and is a +9 overall. This puts him tied 21st for the whole NHL in points and tied 7th in +/-. When will the people outside of Columbus give him the amount of exposure he deserves. I am really getting tired of hearing the Doughty is the Calder front runner.

LTL said...

Great points Chris.

I think right now if you had to give out the Calder the finalists would be Brassard, Doughty and Versteeg.

All three are off to nice starts and its impressive Doughty is averaging 22+ minutes a night as a d-man straight from junior.

Still though you can't deny Brassard's production right now -- he's putting up a point per game pace with far less minutes than many of the top scorers in this league.

Its really going to depend on who is the most durable...if the Jackets can keep this offense churning the way they are who knows where Brass could be at the end of the year should he stay healthy.. In other words, I really like his chances.

-LTL

Wally said...

I didn't vote. Didn't want to jinx it, ha ha.

I really didn't think we'd do as well in either game. We were a little slow to get started in Minny, but damn if I have any other criticisms. We might have had 4 points overall if our guys could score on a breakaway. That's about it. Everyone seemed solid and even those vets who get tons of criticism (manny, chimmmer, peca) played well.

Jackets will have to at least make the postseason if Brass is going to get any recognition as a rookie. Look at the LeClaire all-star snub from last year... :-(

Erik said...

I agree with Chris, can someone please prosecute this Wild team for boring hockey.. but on the other hand I never felt my heart beating outside of my ribcage either.. You know what, the CBJ played solid conservative hockey, the Wild was prepared and rested.. played their #1 goalie and we came away with 1 point...

BTW I picked 3 points.. I had a gut feeling this Lemaire team would go to overtime.. Figured Buffalo would underestimate us and they started their 2nd string goalie... so it was a calculated guess..

Anyways I disagree with LTL on the Buffalo game, I was extremely relaxed I never felt threatened by them.. once we were up a couple of goals we just cruised on to a victory... I felt Buffalo was not handling our though defense very well and was getting frustrated early... it took them out of the game..

Now for the Oilers on Tuesday, that will probably be a "cardiac kids" game.. I am predicting an OT win..

BTW, I encourage everyone to closely watch #5 Backman, when he's on the ICE... WTF why is this guy not in the press box ??? I have never seen a guy be pushed of the puck so easily.. in fact BUY HIM OUT... TRADE HIM NOW.. The soft play, the awkward passes, the poor decision making... sure OKT has some flaws but he beats Backman in my opinion..

I also have to mention Manny has been solid as of late (I have been a strong Manny critic for a long time).. in fact I really like the Umberger/Manny/RJ line... probably one of my favorite lines right now...Keep the good stuff coming Manny... he's starting to impress me..

Duff said...

Good news about Tuesday's game is Edmonton is playing Detroit tonight, so hopefully they'll be very tired.
I'm heading to the game Saturday.. anyone else heading down?

Chris said...

Erik, why so down on Backman? I really must be missing something(or expecting less?) about him. He does what I thought he would be asked to do...granted his price tag is huge, but how should that effect how you judge his play? He is 1-3-4 and is a +1 on the season. Considering he has never scored more than 18 points in a season, who is anyone to expect more from him? We all know he is not a PPQB and it seems like people are expecting him to be.

Erik said...

Chris,

Simple answer, he's a decent 3rd line defenseman at best... combine that with his outrageous pay..(Which could be an issue in the near future if a potential deal comes up)..

But honestly, watch him closely for a game or 2.. you will notice the following...
Extremely soft player, loses the board battles frequently leading to dangerous situations.
Often gets caught off-guard having to resort to plays that end up in penalties..
Almost seems unable to process the game at NHL speeds and makes poor decisions in his passing game..
Can be forced of the puck quite easily (Once again the soft factor)

Sure this guy is a good skater and has some decent hands, but he has so many flaws... I think he has been around in the NHL on pure potential.. because he does have a lot of potential.. But in the end I think this guy has flaws that cannot be fixed by good coaching... he's a liability on our defense...

But maybe you are right, maybe I am too harsh...

drew dawg said...

I too was really impressed by Manny's play on Saturday. I felt pretty bad for him when he didn't finish after spliting 4 Wild players in the 2nd. Not to be blasphemous but that could have been "The Goal" of the year we'd all be talking about for months.

chris said...

Erik,

#5 shall be my main focus tomorrow night. I agree that he is a third pairing guy at best right now. I mean I would rather see Rome/Russel as the third pairing because that Backman/Olie pairing scares the crap out of me(especially when Olie is on the PK).

In regards to Backman taking stupid penalties on Saturday night I thought the interference call was bull. I have seen defensemen pushing guys who were much farther away from the puck. Also, he only has 12 PIMs in 17 games which is 6 minors(don't think he took an doubles). Compare that to Methot(12 PIMS), Klesa(10 PIMS)and Commodore(28 PIMS, 1 fight though) and he is not taking anymore penalties than the rest of them. Granted his TOI is a little lower than Klesa/Commodore.

I think one of the biggest reasons Backman is so disliked his his contract. I hate the fact that Howson took such a huge salary dump just to get more depth in the blueline.

LTL, thoughts on possibly landing Vermette to center the second line? Also, what would it take to get Vermette+Kuba?(I know Ottawa is not likly to trade a d-man)

Jeremy said...

Erik,

I am with you on #5. I had season tickets in STL the year after the lockout and he was bad then too.

The things I notice and it drives me crazy is that

#1) He can't get the puck through the defense on the PP. Last week against PHO he tried twice in 4 seconds and still couldn't get it through. He needs to be smarter and quicker with the puck.

#2) He is out of position too many times that lead to scary situations. He will commit a turnover or the puck will hop over his stick.

When the trade went down I was alright with Tyutin but #5 was a salary dump all the way.

markislander said...

I talked to a friend from ottawa and Chris Phillips was mention there about being traded here for what i dont know, ive seen him for many years when i lived there and i dont know what CBJ wants with him,but hes not that great.

LTL said...

Chris,

Vermette is an intersting target that I think we could have the assets to obtain. I'm thinking perhaps a guy like Mayorov could get it done... or maybe Malhotra and a 2nd.

I still love the idea of grabbing one the B's centers.. Savard/Krejci/Bergeron..c'mon over!

Personally I think our biggest hole right now is a PPQB... Howson says he wants to try to solve it from within but if we now trying Jason Chimera, god love him, at the point then red flags should be sprouting all over Howson's desk.

Again its not easy to find a PPQB and we have to make due until then, but I have to believe - regardless of what Howson is saying publicly - that he is turning over every stone to see what's out there.

The Dispatch had a good list of names to consider a few days ago... I'm still in the Pavel Kubina corner as I think he could help (and he's got a right handed shot) but we may not be able to grab him, or someone like him, until the deadline...hopefully its not to late.

That said I'd love me some Vermette if the deal makes sense!

The good news is we are playing some good hockey and winning with a couple of big holes to fill.

The bad news is how long can that last if your PP is the 30th ranked in the league? It has to improve...not ifs/ands/buts...it must improve and Howson's job is to get the personel to help Hitch get there as its pretty clear, to me anyways, we just don't have the personnel on the backend to take that step.

My next question -- when do you start looking at the farm for a spark. Wilson, Sigalet and of late Russell are putting up some pretty good numbers down there.

-LTL