directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Struggling Oilers up next

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Struggling Oilers up next

This game has all the makings of either disaster or euphoria for the Jackets.

The Edmonton Oilers, who have lost their past 3 games including a 4-0 thumping from the Red Wings last night, are up next for the 8-7-3 Jackets.

A team coming off 3 losses and playing a back to back on the road should be ripe for a nice pounding for a Jackets team who took 3 of 4 points on the road and have had a couple of days rest right?

Not so fast grasshoppers.

One word: Phoenix.

Remember just a short week ago the Jackets were riding high getting points in their previous 6 games including 3 straight wins only to show up at home and play their worst game of the season?

The Jackets better remember that performance and not sleep walk through this one because I guarantee you the Oil are looking at this game as a must win for their 8-8 squad.

* Absolutely do not take the Oil for granted because of their recent struggles. The Jackets survived a game against them earlier this season despite blowing a 2 goal leading and training 4-2 in the 3rd.

* Lots off offensive struggles for the Oil besides Hemsky. The Jackets were able to pull out a win even though they couldn't keep Hemsky off the board during their last meeting.... that isn't going to happen most nights.

* Rattle Roloson. Its crystal clear by now it doesn't take much to get inside Rolo's craw. I'm not saying run the guy or anything but a snow wash here....a poke thing you know Rolo's gonzo.

* Outside of Hemsky the majority of the Oil's offense is being generated from their blueline. We all know about Sourey's bombs (especially Chimera who probably still has a welt from the last time they met) but guys like Visnovsky, Gilbert and Grebeshkov are also dangerous back there. They are the ones that make the Oil's 14th ranked PP churn.

* Speaking of PP.... Jackets have to stay out of the box b/c unlike the Jackets, Edmonton can score with the man advantage.

* Need the usual... strong even strength play, 'tenders stopping the pucks they should, 100% team defense.. timely goals.

* Nasher is finding some recent success... never hurts to keep this guy going. Can Brass look more comfortable between he and Huselius tonight?

* Voracek up to the 3rd line and Torres down to the 4th. Voracek has hit a wall of sorts and the Jackets could use a spark from him. Torres appears to be fighting an injury hence the demotion.

* All I want is one PP goal.. just one!

* Oil have speed and talent but so many players are struggling offensively for them.. they only have two forwards in double digit scoring and they only have 43 goals in 18 games which is in the bottom 4 of the conference... if the Jackets can play like they did on the road they can shut em down but if they play anything like they did against Phoenix and try to glide through a game its light out.

I'm looking at the first 5 minutes of this game to see how the Jackets come out for this one. If they come out like they did against Phoenix with no legs and looking completely disinterseted then it could be a long night. If they come out working like they did for most of the weekend then saddle up.

No TV for this one (unless you have CI) and I'm sure there are plenty of good seats available so c'mon down if you can make it!

Pretty cool gesture by the Jackets who will be honoring the Columbus Crew tonight before they face the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Cup finals this Sunday. I'll be looking forward to that.

With only two games this week the Jackest have no excuse but to come out hard and ready to compete for two more important Western Conference points tonight!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Man am I glad that I am in Florida on vacation with what has happened the last two home games! The CBJ outscored 13-4. Laughable! On a brighter note, saw one of THE best hockey games last week when the Florida Everblades played the Augusta Lynx in an ECHL "Battle Royale"; Everblades win 1-0 in a shootout and I only spent $46,00 for two tickets three rows from the glass. NICE!