directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Pittsburgh a great unknown

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Pre-game thoughts: Pittsburgh a great unknown

Down 3-0 heading into the 3rd period the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in OT on Wednesday night. It was one of the few bright spots lately for the 25-23-5 team that was a Stanley Cup finalist last season.

Of course anytime you mention Pittsburgh you immediately think Sindey Crosby..

..then you think Evegeni Malkin... and Jordan Staal... and Marc-Andre Fluery... and on and on...

While not as loaded as they were last season anytime you can feature two of the league's best players down the middle of your lineup your a threat every night.

So what gives with them? Why the inconsistency?

Some say its a "Stanley Cup hangover".. other think the loss of Hossa and Malone have had a significant impact... and even others say head coach Michael Therian has lost the room.

Whatever it is... the Jackets, who have been very successful this season against Eastern Conference teams, need to exploit it.

The Jackets come into this one riding a 2 game losing streak. This is the beginning of stretch of 5 games in 9 days against a string of good opponents. They cannot afford to go on a protracted losing streak and hope to stay in the Western Conference playoff fight.

* Lets not make this any more complicated than it needs to be... if the Jackets contain Crosby and Malkin, they win this game. MUCH easier said than done.

* Jackets have to get back to the game that makes them successful... no shortcuts.. no passengers.. they have to all outwork their opponent.

* Wade Dubielewicz has to have a significantly better showing than what he had in relief of Mason against Dallas. Control rebounds, crease awareness, don't overplay shots.... all the standard goaltending stuff that he certainly is aware of needs to improve.

* Surprisingly the Penguins special teams are not that great. They are only 23rd on the PP... 21st on the PK... I can certainly see this one coming down, as a lot of games do, to who performs better in man up/down situations.

* I'm tellin ya.. Freddy Modin is due for at least a goal or two tonight..

* No posts tonight boys.. need nothin but net..

* Watch the momentum... that was a great win for the Penguins the other night.. the could ride the momentum to a good early start tonight... Jackets need to come out checking hard and tight from the first whistle.

* Dictate the play.

Two things. 1. Dubielewicz 2. Sixty Minute Effort.

I like to give a shout out to the 40 or so Jacket Backers making the trip over to see the boys in blue tonight. Hopefully they get a good show.

Finally our Umberger tastes better than your Roethlisberger !

Puck drops at 7:30 EST.




Rick said...

Check, Check, Check!!! They have to play Hitch Hockey tonight. Return to what makes them successful.

roadman said...

Hit them Hard, Hit them often, then hit them again.

Rick said...

Something else to ponder about tonights game; the Pens might be looking ahead to tomorrows rematch against Detroit.

Anonymous said...

And now the end is near
So we face the final curtain
My friend, I`ll say it clear
I`ll state my case of which I`m certain
The Jackets' slide
Is loud and clear
Two games so far and the Pens are givin' us a hurtin'