directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets flat

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jackets flat

That picture was about the only cool thing to take away from this game..or so I'm told.

Truth be told I haven't gotten to watch this game yet due to a 9 p.m. beer league game. I did see a couple of highlights and listened to parts of the radio broadcast. Honestly though, the Jackets gave up a 3 on 1 only down a goal..?! Hitch must have been breathing fire and starring razorblades after seeing that unfold.

So I'm opening this post up to those who did watch and would like to share some comments.

I'll subject myself to the horror tonight when I get home.

Obvioulsy they fell flat and the boys are going to need a much better effort come Tuesday. I really liked this quote from the captain:

"It's been our story all year," Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash said. "The power play doesn't get us any goals, and we have a hard time creating enough offense. It puts a lot pressure on the rest of our game."

Whatever Howson is going to do at the deadline he has to get help for the PP if this team wants to get into the dance. Its survived without a PP this long but how much longer can that last?

Fire away!



JAL said...

Horror is too strong. Here is my take.

We came out expecting the first period to be the same "feeling out" kind of session we had in Edmonton. Vancouver, however, did not cooperate. They came out with tons of speed and intensity, put us on our heels early.

The first 1.75 periods were all dictated by being put on our heels. Because we were slow reacting, we scrambled, and could not get pucks deep in our offensive zone. Because we couldn't do that, we couldn't maintain possession, which increased the pressure in the defensive zone.

Whole game came down to two back to back penalties and the end of the first. Mason screened completely on the 5 vs. 3, and a nasty tip on the ensuing 5 vs. 4. If we don't gamble by pinching hard trying to tie the game, that last 3 on 1 never happens.

Frankly, our young guys were caught off guard last night. While they tried to create energy, there did not appear to be any method to the madness. Murray was the best of the young guns last night. Even Voracek looked a little lost. He really needs to shoot the puck.

Tyutin, Nash, Huselius, Umberger put forth a lot of effort, but were alone in the wilderness. Luongo made some nice saves, and give Vancouver credit for playing a great defensive game.

Mason was huge, which is a good sign for the stretch run.

We frankly missed the stabilizing influence of Peca after he got hurt. In our end, people were not communicating -- drop passes to nobody, missed connections, two guys going to defend the same player.

Vancouver is playing really well right now, so hats off to them. Hitch will have the troops ready tomorrow, that's for sure.

A Shot From The Point

eplagge said...

Jal, is 100% correct... slow start from the CBJ, and Vancouver came out thumping.. they wanted this game and they wanted it bad.. They played a perfect game against us, they never allowed us to posses the puck and create chances.. Their plan was definitely to take us of our game and they did it well.. The back to back penalties at the end of the first carrying over to the 2nd was the back breaker.. Disappointed that the boys in blue started slow and also because they didn't rebound.. especially against the Canucks, imho the most arrogant bunch of players in the West.. (opinion based on player interviews posted on before and after games)

But how about the trade rumors...

Dispatch: LeClaire for Vermette...

If we are going to send over a Franchise goaltender (albeit with a history of injuries) would we really want Vermette in return ... Nothing against Vermette but he's a solid 2 way forward, top 6 type for sure.. but he's not the best playmaker and he wouldn't necessarily be the Nash solution.. Sure I think a lot of teams would love to have Vermette, but he's not a top line center ( I would describe him as the offspring of a Malhotra/Williams marriage).. IMHO if we are going to take the risk of playing without a backup for Mase, why not get Spezza.. A natural 1 center, with a really though to swallow contract (Sending Pazzy's 4M over makes it easier)... take the risk and see where it gets us.. I have all confidence in Hitch getting this guy to step his game.. I just think breaking up the potentially jaw dropping tandem of Mase/Pazzy would require something more in return then a 2nd line center.. why not take a risk and go nuts..

Klesla for Tim Connely...

Arguably one of the most skilled playmakers being mentioned in the rumor mill, but his contract is up and he has the same injury history as Duvie Westcot.. In other words he's 1 concussion away from playing in the KHL... hasn't played more then 50/60 games a season since the lockout.. With no guarantee we can resign him next year and his injury history we would have to assume he's going to be a rental... and sending Klesla over for a rental seems rather steep.. If we could obtain him for less, Howsen should pull the trigger.. but that doesn't seem likely.. I would love to see a natural playmaker alongside of Nasher though...

Let me know your thoughts and what rumors you have heard/read..


Matt said...

I don't like the "we were outplayed, slow, their goaltender was huge" crap. We lost this game for one reason only, that is we didn't score on the POWER PLAY, period!

Yes we were out played for most of the game, gave up the late 5-3 goal in the first, then another short handed to open the 2nd. However, if we could have converted one of our power plays, either before or after Nash scored, we would have not given up the 3-1 that killed us in the 3rd.

Who knows what would have happen tied going late in the 3rd. But you know what, good teams find ways to win when they are out played.

Also, I don't like the we need to get a point man for the power play. That is not our problem. To me power play is at least 90% about the x's and o's and 10% skill. (Even strength hockey is more 40-50% x's - o's, and 50 - 60% skill). Our problem on the PP is with the x's and o's, not talent. We have enought talent to be at worse an average PP team, but we are not. That leads me to believe it's the coaching, which from what I understand comes from Claud "2 goals is enough to win" Noel, and eventually on Hitch himself. Adding a "PP QB" at this stage in the season is not going to make a difference.

On even another note, I will say I have never been a fan of the 'dump and chase' offense. It had it's place in the pre-lockout NHL, not in todays NHL.

JAL said...

On the PP, I really don't have a problem with our point play, for the most part, or our wings, now that we have Williams. What we lack is a guy willing to stay in front of the goalie, get his stick on the ground and go after the puck.

The other thing we do differently than many other teams is that our wings stay wide when the shot from the point comes. They should be crashing to the net, leaving the point guys to cover the odd man rush. That's how you get a lot of PP goals. You give up more clearing attempts, but score more as well.

Finally, I am no fan of the dump and chase, but having listened to a variety of coaches on this point, I understand it better. The forward is supposed to read the defense as they approach the blue line. If the defense is playing the picket fence at the blue line, you dump the puck, figuring your forwards, having forward momentum already, will get there first.

Vancouver was really challenging us in the neutral zone last night, but some of our younger guys were too quick to dump it in. It also looked like we were misreading the play a lot -- not expecting some dump ins when they came. That is where we really miss Chimera.


A Shot From The Point

LTL said...


As far as Leclaire I'm kinda in that fine if we do, fine if we don't camp.

On one hand I'd like to hang onto him, let him get healthy and have a solid 1-2 combo for next season. If he plays well then all of a sudden he has much more value.

On the other hand landing a versatile forward like Vermette give this team some top 6 punch, clears some salary off the books which will give Howson greater flexibility to this summer.

If he deals Leclaire he must add a capable backup in the offseason.

Connolly for Klesla is certainly a risk but I fear standing pat and not making a move to improve our top 6 for the stretch run is a greater risk than moving Klesla in this package.

Unfortunately we aren't going to find the perfect guy... everyone we get will have a question mark somewhere in his game.

Connolly - can he stay healthy?
Vermette - can he be a top 6 impact player for the CBJ? He's only got 9g, 19a and a -11 -- can he rebound from a down year? can go right down the list.. Antropov, Reasoner, Moore, Halpren, etc..they all have question marks. The question Howson has to answer is how much is he willing to part with to roll the dice on one of these guys?

Usually the higher the risk the higher the reward and vice versa.

Thanks for the comments on the game. Sounds like slow start and special teams play ultimately decided this one.


Chris said...

Lack of consistency. That is the key issue for the Jackets right now. They need to find it and find it quickly. The West is too tight right now for the Jackets to take any games off. I know they ran into a very hot Vancouver team, but that does not excuse getting out worked for 2/3 of the game. They need to bring their A game every time out.

Hopefully Peca is not out long term and I am praying that Howson can bring in some help at forward ...especially guys who can finish (although I may settle for someone willing to just shoot the puck!)