directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Why not us?

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Why not us?

If the Jackets are looking for an opponent to play up to....they certainly found one tonight in San Jose.

This Sharks team is an absolutely beast right now who is tearing apart anyone who stands in their way. Through 25 games the Sharks are 23-3-1 with no regulation losses at home. The Jackets have only won once in 15 tries at the Shark Tank.

There aren't many flaws in their game. They are great on special teams (6th on PP; 7th on PK), great even strength... they can play you any way you want.. have world class skill up front and on the blueline as well as in net.

Yeah, maybe its a good thing this one isn't televised.

The positives with a record like the Jackets have against this squad is what do they have to lose? They are huge underdogs and the Sharks have probably already penciled in 2 points for this one so why not use that as motivation and show up and outwork this squad? They have also played well on the road this season going 4-5-2 and have hung in just about every game this season. Heck it wouldn't be a lie to say this team has looked better on the road than at home.

* Have to outwork this team first and foremost. If the Jackets come out flat San Jose will leave tire marks.

* Keep the play in their end as much as possible. I'm talking long grind out shifts...cycle cycle cycle.. look for those low to high plays in front of the cage and get those madusa goals. I'm talking winning ugly tonight.

* Convert on your chances! Remember the last time we played San Jose we really outplayed them the 1st half of the game but we didn't convert on our chances and then fell apart. This time around the Jackets have got to bury em!

* Would certainly be a key game for the Jackets special teams to come alive.....

* Nash's line is going to get keyed on especially hard since San Jose has the last shift change so tonight is also a key night for the goat line to get it going on the score board again. Need that secondary scoring.

* If one line takes a night off then that's all a team line San Jose will need to put up the 'W'. Every Jacket must be into it and pulling their weight to have a shot.

* The Sharks don't give up much defensively (only 59 goals against) so the Jackets can't either. Mason has to be sharp..again.

Really the story is can the Jackets stay with and take a point or two from this squad at home and carry that momentum towards the rest of this road trip. Are they up for the challenge?

Apparently there is a live stream for this game at this link. I have my own hockey game at 10:30 but am certainly DVRing and certainly catching what I can after. I hope the boys bring it and knock these guys off at home... someone has to right? Why not us?




JAL said...

Yep, why not us?

Watch for Novotny to show a lot of energy tonight -- he has something to prove after 9 healthy scratches in a row.

We have to be strong in the neutral zone and at our own blue line. Disrupt their flow and don't allow early entries. Support the crease when we need to, but our most effective defense is up high, and we create a lot of offense from there as well.

We should be rested without being stale, and we are a different team than our prior visit. It should be entertaining.

A Shot From The Point

LTL said...

Great stuff per usual JAL!