directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Jackets try to bottle caps

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Pre-game thoughts: Jackets try to bottle caps

If the Jackets were looking for an easy end to their season long 6-game road trip....well, this isn't it!

The Jackets face off against the 27-11-3 Washington Capitals tonight. That's not even the worst part... these Caps own the best record in the NHL on home ice going an astounding 18-1-1.

You know who that loss was against? I did some digging and came up with the New Jersey Devils. That loss came waaaay back on October 18th and it was 4-3 decision in a shootout no less.

Yikes... the Jackets do have their work cut out for hem.

One positive is the Jackets did beat the Capitals in their own barn back at the end of November. Steve Mason shut them out in fact.

The problem...

Well the Caps were battling their own slate of injuries and were way under-manned...and the Jackets took advantage. Karma right?

Lets not kid ourselves... the Jackets chances at pulling out a rabbit from their hat and getting two points is small....but that my friends, is why they play the game.

* Steve Mason is the key. He is going to have to stand on his head yet again to have a shot at this one.

* Convert on your chances! No missed open nets.. no posts... all quality opportunities must tickle the twine.

* These kids must be alright. Filatov, Mayorov, Dorsett, Murray, Mason, Boll, Voracek, Methot, Russell, LaCosta... that is 10 players either in their first or second year pro out of the 20 that will dress tonight. Its a lot to ask but all must be solid in all 3 zones...some, especially your skill guys like Filatov, Mayorov, Russell and Voracek, must contribute offensively.

* Crazy 8. The Jackets did a great job at limiting Ovechkin and his 27g to nothing at home earlier... need to contain him again. Behind Ovechkin though you have Backstrom, Semin, Green, Kozlov, Nylander (wow - only 18 points in 40 games for Nylander)... yeah -- these guys can put goals on the board quick.

* Clog that neutral zone... win board battles...stay out of the box... take hits to make a play... win key faceoffs... make key saves... clear rebounds... short shifts... all the little things that must happen for the Jackets to make a game of it..

* Caps are one of the biggest and most physical teams in the NHL... they can push you around. Jackets need to push back.

* Finally.. similar to Detroit... the Caps make you pay on the PP (boy that must be a nice luxury).. they have the 4th ranked PP in the league... in other words.. stay out of the box boys.

Filatov versus his fellow countryman Ovechkin will be an interesting story to follow. Will Ovechkin try to line the kid up? As he told Filatov this summer.. keep your head up kid.

Puck-rakers is just now reporting that Steve Mason may have been hit with the injury bug. He's still scheduled to go tonight.

Is this some kind of joke b/c at this point all I can do is laugh. What else can you do?

Boys still have to go out and play as there is still a chance to finish this road trip above .500.

I read this somewhere on HF so I won't take credit but I'm using it here b/c its so appropriate:




Rick said...

Mason Update from Puck Rakers:

"Just spoke with GM Scott Howson in the lobby restaurant of the Blue Jackets team hotel. Goaltender Steve Mason is questionable for tonight's game vs. Washington with upper body "tightness."

That means it's 50-50 that Mason will play. If he doesn't start, Mason will serve as back-up to Dan LaCosta.

-- Aaron Portzline"

LTL said...

**breaks out super duper double secret CBJ injury decoder ring**

This means its probably Mason's knee! ;)


Michael said...

when you said they lost in a shootout.. that doesnt make sense as they are 18-1-1. the shootout would be the last one but when did they lose in reg?

jeffdury said...

the capitals regulation loss at home this season was Dec. 2 to the Panthers 5-3.

LTL said...

Your right Michael.. my screw up :)

Thx for the assist Jeff!