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Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jackets hang on


There aren't many nights I walk out of the Nat after a win feeling like we lost...but hey, two points is two points and at this stage of the season I'll take them any way we can get em!

Game sums up pretty simple. Great first 40... horrendous last 20. Thankfully the Jackets did enough damage on the scoreboard in that first 40 minutes to hang on in the final 20.

STOPLIGHT GAME REVIEW

GREEN
* I'm giving the first green light to Andrew Murray. His goal was great but this guy was just all over the ice plugging away last night. No stride was wasted. He played worth purpose and controlled desperation.. LOVED this guy's game.

* Fedor Tyutin is right up there. He has been unbelievable in his own zone and how about the offensive production? 1g, 1a last night for a career best 27 points.... and we still have 24 more games to play!! He is now tied for 5th in team scoring. Most impressive for me though is his ability to collect pucks and make plays under pressure for breakouts... Anyone still regret moving Z for this guy? Not this fan...then again I never did in the first place but I didn't expect this kind of production.

* Great first 40! Boys did everything right over those first two periods and were very opportunistic in scoring.

* Boys were excellent in the dot winning 62% of their faceoffs. Peca the best winning 8 of 10.

* Game ops doing a better job at showing replays. Still some areas to improve but baby steps are being taken.

* After giving up that goal in the 2nd it was great to see the team respond with a quick 4th goal... which ultimately ended up being a HUGE goal as it was the game winner.

* Credit to Malhotra... he's been just okay recently but he really made a difference last night w/ a good forecheck... timely goal (thanks Wagner!) and great dish to Nash for his goal.

* Great start.

* Jan Hejda with 6 hits to lead the team.. including a beauty on Backes.... What...? No complaints from the Blues this time? A little surprised we didn't see more of a dust up between those two.

* Message received. The forwards played a much more north/south game.

* I thought Juice was terrific on his back check and defensive play. He broke up a couple of keys plays with his hustle.

* RJ Umberger continues his strong play. Great screen on Tyutin goal and again he's showing fast feet and is really aggressively taking the bone to the doghouse!

* They hung on to snap their 5 game losing streak to the Blues.

YELLOW
* Special teams were definitely a mixed bag. The PP scored a key early goal but fell apart in the 3rd and gave up a goal. The PK gave up a goal but had some solid kills throughout the game... in fact they killed 4 of 5.

* Decent game for Nash.. was good to see him get on the board. Something about his energy level lately though keeps nagging me. Is he just getting worn down? Is he fighting the flu? A tale tale sign to me is he just isn't take the puck to the net like we know he can.

* I thought Backman was atrocious early in this game.. then he made a couple of decent plays so he certainly made up for it. He ended up a +2 but this guy needs to get more physical in his own end.. waaay to soft for me.. he loses to many battles. Just watch him along the boards and then watch a guy like Tyutin or Hejda.

* So is the word out on Mase? Go glove high? Every goal beat him there. Got to work on that. He made some big saves and I didn't think there was a whole lot he could do an any of those 3 goals.

* Crowd was okay at 14k... but not nearly the atmosphere from Monday. Lets sell that joint out this Saturday -- which is the last "regular season" Saturday home game of the year.

RED
* Can we just forget about that 3rd period? I don't think this team knew what to do with itself taking a 3 goal lead into the 3rd period and it certainly showed.

* We know Hitch won't be trying Jason Williams on defense anytime soon.

* I love Dorsett but he took a hard shot in this one. Glad he's okay.

* I have absolutely NO IDEA what that train wreck of a song game ops played with 5 minutes to go to try to pump up the crowd.... uggh... talk about your backfire... man that was ugly. I think even the casio organist ran for cover during that mess.

3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. Andrew Murray. Should have gotten a star.
2. Fedor Tyutin. Could easily be the #1 star.. another great game for him.
3. First 40.

5-0-1 in the last 6. You know expectations are rising when we are still looking at all the areas this team can improve on.

Taking a step back though... damn... that is a great run.. a run that has taken the Jackets to 6 games over .500 which is a first in their history. A run that has bumped them to a tie for 5th in the conference!!!

The Jackets are 6-2-1 at home since the All Star Break. That is exactly what the Dr. ordered to stay in this chase.

Toronto up next. Remember the Jacket Backers / R Bar are having a viewing party and I'll also be "live bloggin" most of the game (I have my own hockey game a little later).

GO JACKETS!

-LTL

5 comments:

Max said...

Like every other hockey fan, I was upset by the play in the 3rd. But, the team is getting worn down, and like Hitch said they didn't manage their energy drop properly. From the sounds of the press conference, Hitch let them know what they did wrong.

I can't fault williams too terribly much for that play. It was just very choppy, the pass to him probably shouldn't have been made.

Regarding Nash's energy level, I think he's just fatigued. No sickness, no injury. When you look at his minutes, you find the problem. He's playing well over 20 minutes every night. Those are defense-league minutes. This is no knock on our defensemen, but Nash skates a lot more than any of our d-men do. Playing those minutes can really wear on him. If Hitch could try to limit him to no more than 20, I think we'd see the Monster back.

LTL said...

May have been a little hard on Nash.. watching the replay he did make a few nice defensive plays.. namely covering for a Williams turnover on the PP and hustling back to break it up..

Also forgot to add what a nice play by Murray to get the puck out of the zone without icing it after they were pinned in some 2 minutes in the 3rd. To not ice it there with the team as exhausted as they were was a big play.

-LTL

Rick said...

Found this on Puck Rakers and had to share:

"Backman is coming around...

There had to be some reasonable explanation as to why he has the contract he does, right?

Unless he knocked up the bosses daughter.

Posted by Wally | February 19, 2009 11:52 AM"

Too Funny!!!

Andrew said...

2nd to last.....the regular season finale is a sat as well......









BHG

LTL said...

Good catch BHG. That could be a "wild" one!

-LTL