directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Two in two til break

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pre-game thoughts: Two in two til break

Will there be a game that doesn't mean something significant before the end of the season?

I think not.

..and that is a great thing if your a Jackets fan!

This is only the second time in eight seasons the Jackets have actually been in this thing up to this point in the season. Last year the Jackets were in the mix at the All Star break and this year, as of today, the Jackets sit just 1 point out of 8th and 3 out of 5th in the west!

Tonight its another biggie as one of those team that sits just 1 point ahead of them is the Edmonton Oilers which the Jackets will face tonight at 9 o'clock....then its right back at it the following night against the Calgary Flames before they hit the 4 day All Star break...

Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy!

For now though lets focus on one game at a time and that's the Edmonton Oilers. The Oil have won 2 straight and are 6-4 over their last 10. The Jackets are 1-1 against Edmonton so far this season including getting their butts kicking at home on Nov 18th.

What's interesting is that Edmonton hasn't been all that impressive at home only going 10-8-3 so far this season compared to a road record of 13-11-0. The Jackets have won their past 5 of 7 on the road and have played much better hockey of late away from the friendly confines.

* Need to be much tighter defenively then they were against Vancouver. That goes from goaltending all they way out. They allowed Vancouver to much room through the neutral zone which led to a nasty Canuck forecheck that was effective.

* Hemsky is their key offensive cog that needs contained. They also have a dirty defense that can bring the heat from the points -- especially on their 16th ranked PP.

* Jackets need to take advantage of the Oil's 28th ranked PK. The Jackets are slowly taking steps on their PP, especially with the acquisition of Jason Williams -- a PP goal or two would certianly go a long way in deciding this one.

* No excuse not to get up for this one. There are another big 2 points up for grabs against a team your in direct competition with for a spot in the dance. Jackets must come out with strong legs from the start.

* Watch those young forwards. The Oil like to make a quick transition and they get a lot of quality chances off the rush. Watch the neutral zone turnover and watch getting caught flat footed.

* Punish them. Jackets are a big team so hit when there is a hit to be made.

* Need a bounce back performance from Mase.

I'll be watching Mase closely -- he looks to be close to burnout and I just hope we aren't riding this horse to much. If he struggles early watch for the early hook to give this guy a rest.

It was good news to hear Mase would be resting over the break. He's earned it and the Jackets are going to need him when the temperature really gets turned up after the break.

Also keep an eye on Gilbert Brule who is seeing some time up on the big squad -- he'll want to make a statement tonight. Same can be said about Torres wearing union blue for the good guys.

Expect a playoff type game tonight as both teams know how critical these points are. They also both know there is rest around the corner so whomever hangs it on the line the most will most likely come out victorious.

Puck drops at 9 EST!




Rick said...

With Nasher back and the pick-up of Williams, I think we're in a better position than we were a week ago. I feel better now that we have a decent back-up for Mase in Dubie. Not that LaCosta is bad, I just think we'll get a higher quality of play from Dubie. I'm pretty sure Hitch and Howson feel the same way. Otherwise they wouldn't have picked him up.

chunx said...

oh and one more thing...


Max said...

LaCosta will probably be a career AHL guy, MAYBE an NHL backup sometime.

LTL, here's another key: Don't piss Sheldon Souray off. I watched his last two fights over the weekend... Let's just say he freed the beast all over his opponent's faces. See here:

Jonathan said...

Careful of Penner too - Wilson's still on IR.

bookie said...

I don't know, I think the Moreau may pull a third period rally and score a hatrick. The BJs could be in trouble here.

Though the Oilers goalie is looking pretty shaky tonight.

Black Dog said...

Kate says hi.


bookie said...

While they are playing all right as of late, I think that Hitch has lost the room, playing too many favorites.

Scott said...

Wow, that was a great save by Mason on Brule and then Brodziak.

That calls for some applause:

Clap Clap

bookie said...

Clap Clap

Ribs said...

Clap Clap

Big T said...




LTL said...

Looks like we had some Oil fans pop in for this one..

Not sure what the "clap clap" means.. but saw a bunch of them using that in their forum on HF.

Maybe one of em will fill us in?


doritogrande said...


Postgame after the Anderson retirement ceremony we got a shot of the room afterwards rocking out to the classics of Hall & Oates.

And damned if the captain didn't stop mid-sentence to clap in time.

LTL said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me\us Doritogrande!

Be sure to put that Hemsky dude back on IR next time we butt heads! Jacket killer.