directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Swiss cheese

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Swiss cheese

Now I know how Buffalo fans felt on Friday night.

For the majority of two periods the Columbus Blue Jackets controlled the play..... however the chances they gave up were "doozies" and Pascal Leclaire had more holes than a pair of 1980s levi jeans. He was burned for 7 goals on 19 shots.

The special teams continue to be horrific.... the PP was on life support before who knows what state you could call it now. The PK isn't much better giving up 2 goals on 3 PP chances for Edmonton.

Other than giving the Columbus Crew a round of applause it was a forgettable night.


* Pretty sad when the play of the game was a Michael Peca header....

* Edmonton showed us what its like to be able to one time shots from the point.... I felt like Ralphi looking through the store window drooling over a Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB gun watching those guys work that PP....

* At least Derick Brassard kept piling up the points... and Rick Nash kept his goal streak alive. Actually points aside I thought these guys, along with Huselius, played well last night..... that was the best puck control I've seen from Nash in a while as he gained the zone on multiple occasions.

* The Jackets controlled the majority of the play for two periods but when you can't score on the PP and you can't get timely goaltending it all goes to waste.

* I liked Chimera again last night... same with Umberger.
* Modin was working hard.

* Roloson was pretty solid most of the night. He made the saves he should, especially in the first two periods and then the Oil took it from there.

* It sure looked like more than 12000+ in attendance last night... well at least at the start..

* Edmonton was a shot blocking machine it seemed.. they were credited with 18.. we had 13 lead by 4 from Hejda..

* Pascal Leclaire had a miserable night. Sure he didn't have a chance on a couple but you've got to make some key saves in there especially when the Jackets get on the board and make it a 3-1 game at the end of the 2nd. He just didnt' get it done and I"m sure he'd be the first to admit (in fact, I heard a sound bite this morning of him saying just that).

* The special teams play finally bit them big last night. This team can't continue to live on even strength play alone -- they need their PP and PK to make an impacte -- we saw what happened last night when it all fell apart.

* Manny Malhotra looked like he was skating in quick sand all night long. He had zero jump.

* Somebody put Kristian Backman out of his misery. Seriously, if Howson isn't going to make a move to bring someone in he's got to consider callup up one of Wilson/Russell/Sigalet to take a stab at running this PP.

* What happened to the heavy hitting, physical team we were supposed to ice this season? The Dispatch bloggers mentioned it and we all agreed last night, guys are not finishing their hits and making the opponents pay. Playing bumper cars was a great way to put it.

* No scrums.. no trash talking... not much emotion from anyone out there last night... and where is the Jared Boll from last year?

1. Columbus Crew tribute
2. Nash & Brass keep their point streaks alive
3. Drooling over Edmonton's pointmen

Unfortunately I think many of us though that a night like last night was entirely possible. Its the 2nd home game in a row where the Jackets have laid an egg coming off solid weekends.

The Jackets are off til Saturday and I can only hope a change of personnel is made to help the struggling PP. I think its also a damn near lock that Mason gets the pipes in Atlanta.



Rick said...

By the sounds of it, I'm glad I missed the game last night. Maybe they should only have 1 (or 2) days off in a row. They seem to play better.

erik said...

100% agree with LTL, good article...

But what is it with a struggling team that is on a long road trip, just lost 3 in a row and lost a top-6 forward.. WHY do I just know we are going to get creamed ?? .. on the other hand if the Red Wings had a 8 game winning streak and they just killed San Jose 8-0 the day before we would beat that Red Wings team 3-0 ?? WHY ?? where is the consistency... it's great that we are so competitive with top-tier opponents, but we need to start beating the "lower" and "middle-of-the-road" teams on a more consistent basis.. The way we are playing is going to get us at .500 and at the 9/10th spot..

Furthermore I would like to say... get rid of Backman... please for the love of god.... Why the hate ?? Because I feel a lot of players are performing very well.. in fact the majority of the team is performing well.. and Backman just stands out every game, as the player that doesn't belong... I really believe the poor guy just doesn't fit in our system... he needs to get traded to the East.. He's too soft for the Western Division..

Wally said...

Jackets were solid out of the gate for... gosh, 5 minutes? They played with passion for the last 10.

In between... I want to forget about Boll (& others) ramming facefirst into the boards on missed checks and limping back to the action with a painful look on his face. I want to forget about standing back and waiting for the (slowest moving) puck (ever) to come to me instead of the other way around. I want to forget about passes that were too hard, too soft, too bouncy or too far.

What was odd to me is that no one could see or "find" the puck. Pazzy's problem was obvious, but the rest of the guys had the hardest time finding the puck in a crowd. I wish I had been counting all the times they just stood there dumbfounded, looking around and not being able to locate the puck. It was definitely weird.

Max said...

It'll be an up and down year for the jackets. Nobody likes it. The CBJ is like a box of chocolates. Terrible game. Let's beat the Thrashers.

Anonymous said...

I guess I didn't watch the same game you guys did.

I'm trying to figure out what was so aweful about our PP last night. The PK was far worse. We were 1-7, would 2-7 have made the result any different? We generated quite a few scoring chances on the PP.

This team, despite the ramblings of LTL, is built for 5 on 5 and the PK. I figured 18% was about the best we could hope for on the PP. Get over it, it's going to be an issue all year. It doesn't mean we can't make the playoff's.

The Backman hate is actually pretty sad. We all knew what we were getting before he came here. He's a one year man, just get over it already. At some point the patience of Hitch and the front office will come to an end. Seriously if you want to shoot anyone, put Leclaire (and Noreena) in your crosshairs. Good freaking lord, our best goalie could very well be a 19 year old coming off of 2 knee surgeries. Talk about a major problem.

The problem with this team is not the PP. It's the fact that have given up the 2nd most goals in the NHL. The first 2 goals were far more telling then anything that happened on the PP. Holy wide open Batman on that 2nd goal. Should have given an assist to Murray on that one.

Pub said...

WOW "Anonymous" can you point me to the land of candy and honey? Ill join you. This land of reality sucks.

erik said...


You are absolutely right, the key issue right now is goals against.. We are giving up way too many goals per game. We all know that this is probably killing Hitch.. But the PP is very important... good play generates PP opportunities and we need to capitalize on those opportunities to make it in a very though western conference.. I am not looking for Detroit numbers, but I would expect a middle of the road PP.. The killer right now is that the PP is more dangerous for the CBJ then the opposition... How many short handed goals do we have now ?? A dysfunctional PP and PK can kill otherwise great 5-on-5 teams.. You have to keep in mind that the average game has close to 10 min worth of PP/PK minutes.. that's 15% of your time on the ice... In my humble opinion if Detroit would have the same PP/PK performance as the CBJ they would not be in the top 5..
And regarding the Backman hate, he is just a thorn in my side... especially if his salary turns out to be the reason we are unable to get a good deal in a couple of months.. The guy is a salary dump and a 1 year guy sure.. but he's dragging down the team.. Russel or Rome would perform better defensively then Backman..

LTL said...

"Ramblings of LTL".. pot meet kettle.

We know who is back with that comment.

So let me get this straight anonymous/c:

* PP doesn't matter in the NHL. Only the PK does.

* Backman should get a pass b/c he was a 1 year salary dump.

* Its all on the goaltending.

* This team is built on even strength play.

How anyone can say the 30th ranked PP in this league is not a problem on this team is far beyond my reaches of common sense.

Its certainly not the only problem but it is a HUGE problem.

Don't you think that if the Jackets cashed in on some of those earlier PP chances that this game could have turned out completely different? That the Jackets wouldn't have gotten frustrated...that the defense's game as a whole may have been sharper? That confidence would have sky rocketed?

Heck yeah the defense/goaltending should and could have played much better but so should the all works and builds together.

As far as the goaltending and PK I assume you did not read the first bullet under red where I slammed his performance last night? ...or the next bullet where I said that special teams continue to struggle including the PK?

I'm not sure what fight your trying to pick here b/c I agreed with you on those points.

Backman will continue to get scrutinized when his play deserves it. When he plays well he'll get praised. Just because a certain player plays bad for a consistant amount of time doesn't mean I'm going to just start ignoring it...that includes the PP/PK, attendance or whatever... its also the same for the positives like the play of Brass so far this season.

This stuff isn't personal...nothing is ever going to be perfect...and at the end of the day its just one fan's view from the cheap seats good and bad and creating some discussion about this team.

Thanks for the comments everyone!


markislander said...

If you cant score on the pp you are not going to go far in this league,and when you have chimmer on the point there are some major issues with the powerplay.You cant just build a team for 5 on 5 so where ever you are getting your info better look somewhere eles.And dont be scared to put your name up there instead of Anonymous

Chris said...

Backman "is what he is". LTL I know you watched him when he was in St.Louis. Did you really expect more from him? I think my biggest problem(player wise) on the team is Boll. It's pretty obvious he is not healthy. Glad to see Dorsett got called up.

Max, well said.

Our PP sucks, simple as that. When its pass....wait wait...pass the D can pick up on that and read the play. The PK, GOOD LORD how many times did they pass it through the box last night.

Pazzy. Can only blame him for 5 and probably 6+7. The first four almost noone could have stopped.

LTL said...

Hey Chris thanks for the comment.

For me if Backman "is what he is" (which is our worst defensemen) then he should be in the press box b/c we need his minutes to produce something -- preferrably something offensively on special teams b/c we lack that skillset. That's my biggest issue about this whole thing... if he is what he is then why such a long leash with this guy...its not like he's going to get better..this dude is 28?

We know why and its b/c of that albatross contract which to me is not a good enough excuse.

We've seen guys banished to the minors before with bad contracts...Westcott anyone?

Some quick stats on Backman among defensemen: last in hits (6 total..couldn't you get more than that by accident?), 5th in blocked shots, 3rd in missed shots, 2nd in give-aways, 4th in total shots, 1st in PP time, tied for 4th in points with Hejda/Klelsa, 4th +/-.

If I'm Howson I'm finding a way to give Russell/Wilson/Sigalet a shot -- even if its just as a specialized PP player.

Okay.. I've rambled on enough on this subject :)

Agree on Boll btw... he's struggling bad.. that shinny offseason injury is derailing his entire season...he couldn't fight b/c of that hand which led to the concussion and now who knows what's wrong with him. This team can certainly use Dorsett's energy/agitation/emotion but I may have went offensvie defensemen first. The Dispatch mentioned that a roster spot could be created soon for that which was encouraging.

Still we are 8-8-3 with lots of room for improvement... it we clean up some problem areas and start clicking on all cylinders this team could really get on a roll.