directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Need to strand Islanders tonight

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Need to strand Islanders tonight

I don't have a lot of time today before I head on down to the game but I wanted to get some quick thoughts in on the game tonight.

* The Jackets absolutely CANNOT look past this team. Sure the Islanders are tied for last in the league with 22 points but that doesn't mean they won't be ready for the game tonight. Remember this is the squad that jumped out to a 3-0 lead in New York before Jackets came back and tied it up but then lost in OT. The Jackets have a knack for playing down or up to their opponents -- if they come into this game thinkin it will be a cake walk they'll end up with it in their faces.

* Take advantage of your opportunities. The Islanders have given up the most goals in the league with 107 (of course the 9 spot the Penguins put up on them Thursday certainly doesn't help matters) so needless to say they are subject to be scored on. Execute early and often.

* Bring your lunch pails. The Jackets aren't the most skilled team and if they don't work they don't win... this is the NHL and even if your the Wings you aren't going to out skill your way to wins most nights.

* The Islanders are a high risk high reward team. Like Hitch said in the paper this morning they love to bring their d-men up in the rush. Jackets need to be aware, cause the turnovers and then quickly counter-attack. Would love to see some goals off the rush tonight taking advantage of odd man situations.

* Beware of that Islanders PP. Its ranked 15th in the league and with Mark Streit back their QBing he can make things happen. The Jackets PK has been better of late and that will need to continue.

* Of course the best way to kill penalties is to stay out of the box. No unneccesary penalties - especially in the o-zone.

* Mason just has to play like he's been playing.

* Key guys need to be key. Nash, Huselius, Brass, Umberger, Modin, Chimera... need some offense from this group.

* PP... just one itsy bitsy goal from you will work. Of course I'll take more but beggars can't be.. well you get it.

* Use the home crowd. I'm anticipating a decent house tonight so lets all get behind and energize these guys!

I think the first period is the key. The Jackets need to get on the board early and take control of this game right from the start. If they come out flat it could be a long night.

I'll also be keeping a close eye on my Islander's buddy... I hear there may be some pesos on the line for this one.

If your on the fence head on down to the arena tonight and lets support these guys! The Jackets cannot afford to let this one slip away.



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