directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Crunch time!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Crunch time!

If it weren't for the lack of pucks in the net I would say that was the most complete road game I have ever seen the Jackets play.

I'm not sure if it was the line shuffle, the rest or the fact it was such a big game but boy were the Jackets ready to play some hockey.

I honestly can't say there was one bad player on the squad last night. Everybody did their job.. everybody came to play.. everybody had energy... everyone gave a solid 60 minute effort.

It was beautifuly executed Jackets hockey (look.. I said "Jackets hockey".. we have an identify... whoo!!)

The Jackets can't live off just scoring 1 goal vey often but they found a way to get by with it and grab a HUMONGOUS! two points on the road against a team directly below them in the standings.

That score should have been a lot more than 1-0.... I'll give the whiny Rolo some credit for his work between the pipes for the Oil but the right team won this game on this night.


* Hey... St. Patty's Day is right around the corner and there was much green to go for the Jackets in the line. Like I said.. from top to bottom.. bottom to top... all 4 lines.. all 3 defensive pairs... everybody played a solid team game last night. That said, I do want to single some folks out.

* Dorsett-Gratton-Murray... this line was a terror all night long. Andrew "never a stride wasted" Murray had the motor churning... Derek "in your face" Dorsett was on his game skating fantastic working the hard areas of the ice... Chris "great to have you" Gratton was the perfect fit between those two guys... I know they didn't get on the board but they were absolutely essential to this win.

* Raffi Torres... geezus.. this guy gets the "shot from a cannon" award for his game. If that is the kind of Torres we can expect when healthy then look out.. His goal was sweet but I like the edge he brought to every shift even more than the goal.

* As far as the loan goal I also want to give major green lights to two players... 1. Jared Boll for a seeing eye cross ice pass right to Torres to spring him.... and 2. that play doesn't happen if its not for the work Marc Methot did behind the net prior to getting that puck to Tyutin.. he knocked not 1 but 2 different Oilers off the puck behind the net to start that breakout.. those are the kind of battles you win with but don't show on the scoreboard.

* Boll had a terrific game... he was clearly out to rattle away with a hit early.. then got dinged for an usportsman like.. he excuted his role extremely well.

* They STOPPED HEMSKY! Or "sandwiched" him as Hitch said. Loved Nash's hit on him deep in the defensive zone.

* Steve Mason. Okay so he didn't need to be superman to get this shutout but that sequence of saves he made in the 2nd with the score still tied at zeros were game savers/changers. I'm convinced that if that goal goes in the Jackets lose this game... they were dominating up to that point and they've been a fragile bunch of late and I think that goal, if scored, is a game deflater... but Mase was there.. He made a huge save and the Jackets go on to victory. That is what world class goaltending does for you.

* Lines looked really good.. there seemed to be some instant chemistry in all 4 sets.. all lines with over 10 minutes of ice time.. now that's balance!

* Nash looked re-energized and had a very productive game at both ends of the ice despite not getting points... he had a team high 5 shots.

* Hejda and Commodore looked to have found their mojo. I thought Tyutin was back to his regular self as well. The defense as a whole was fantastic... amazing what some rest can do right?

* Rome better never lose his spot to Backman. He is a far more competent player and, at least in these two games, does not look out of place one bit.

* 63% in the circle lets by Manny who won 15 of 22.

* PK was perfect.

* 10TV News for leading their sports coverage with the Jackets win!

* The powerplay didn't score but its the best I've seen it look in a looong time. They were getting entries with puck possession.... worked the puck for good opportunities, especially from the points. It was solid.

* 1 goal was enough tonight but need to light that lamp more often.

* NBC 4 gets a big ole red light. Do you want to know what their sports coverage this morning consisted of? The woman's basketball Buckeyes team and then the latest on Tiger Woods.. no Jackets highlights and not even a mention of the Jackets win.

Your telling me the home town professional hockey team in its first legit playoff battle after a HUGE win doesn't deserve at least a mention? Somebody's got an obvious agenda and its the last time I watch that news.

1. 60 minute team effort.
2. Bottom 6 making a difference.
3. Raffi Torres with the game winner against his former mates.

I'm still a little in shock this morning that our lovable losers are actually winning games like they did last night. I mean what a big win. It really has become a new era in Jackets hockey...and maaaan its nice for a change!

The win keeps the Jackets in 6th place with 68 points and more importantly ends their 2 game skid. The team above them, Vancouver, also has 68 points but sits 5th because they have two games at hand.

..and guess what? They are next up on Sunday night.

Yep.. they keep getting bigger and bigger.

The Jackets need to bottle up that performance against Edmonton and bring that kind of game to Vancouver. They'll get an extra day of rest and its the last game before the trade deadline!




Max said...

I was very impressed with the 4th line last night. If Hitch can get those 3 to play solid every game, that Gratton pickup will look like gold. I noticed the Jackets had a little trouble finding each other on the ice, but that's probably due to the shakeup. I liked it. The team played well, and I think Hitch should keep those lines. Another note: did you notice that Jan and Dueces weren't playing every single shift together? Especially after Commodore took that questionable call. I think that's why they were getting so tired, they'd be double shifted! Glad to see their energy back. Boll was a great pest with Roloston. He did three things in the first period alone to make the baby mad.

Last but not least, Aaron Rome looks good in a CBJ uniform. I'm glad we called him up. Looks to me like he'll be here the rest of the year.

LTL said...

I didn't notice that (re: Jan/Deuces).. then again I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching the replay as I didn't get home until midnight from my beer league game -- so there is my excuse ;)

I'll have to re-watch and check that out.. thanks for the heads up.

I think Boll had some strict marching orders last night - get in Rolo's kitchen.. mission accomplished!

Great comments per usual Max!!


Max said...

LTL, that's a good excuse if I ever heard one. I wish I had the time/money to play twice a week.

It's pretty subtle, they were still a pair, but they weren't exclusive as they've mostly been this season. I liked it.

Glad you like my insight. It's funny, I can harbor all sorts of critical insight on the CBJ, but when it comes to my Electrical Engineering class, I'm lucky if I know what Voltage means. Coincidence.....

BZArcher said...

Just one minor correction (the rest was spot on!), we play one last home game on the 3rd before the deadline against the Kings.

Another game we -need- to bury. Push them down again and don't let them back up!

LTL said...

Good catch BZ!

Lets dethrown those Kings.. (I know..lame!).. :)