directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: DANGER! DANGER!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pre-game thoughts: DANGER! DANGER!

This game has "danger" written all over it.

The Blackhawks have lost 3 in a row, including dropping a 3-2 decision to Brodeur (congrats!) and the Devils last night, and are 3-6-1 in their past 10. Heck they have only won once in their past 6 games.

Their lead on 5th place Vancouver has all but evaporated. In terms of points they are both tied at 83... however, Chicago has 1 game at hand thus still remain in 4th place.

The Jackets are a team coming off a humbling loss to the Detroit Red Wings. They've had a couple days off to refocus and recharge. They've responded well this season to bad losses and they will need to duplicate that tonight.

I worry that they will not be prepared for what I think is going to be an extremely motivated 'hawks squad who is certainly viewing this game as a must win to get back on the playoff track.

* It sounds easy and I know I'm be repetitve here but you cannot give this 'hawks teams multiple chances on the PP... its how they stayed in the game last time they've met and its certainly how they'll stay in this one if given the opportunity.

* Don't take half a period to find your legs. Be ready to take advantage of a squad that played last night and hit the ice ready to roll from the first whistle.

* I really believe this game is going to have a playoff like intensity. There is just so much riding on each of these games down the stretch-- especially when its division teams jockeying for playoff positions.

* Everyone needs to be sharper and tighter than they were in Detroit.

* Get that first goal!! A quick score would do a lot towards deciding this game.

* Thankfully Methot is back in the lineup. Hopefully that is the last we hear Backman's name in a Jackets' jersey.

* Chicago is dangerous from the points. Limit time and space. Take advantage of guys like Campell trying to jump into plays and get quick counters.

* Nash/Vermette/Huselius/Voracek/Umberger need to be > Kane/Toews/Havlat/Versteeg/Campbell

* Be the agressor and dictate the pace. A wide open game plays right into Chicago's strengths. The energy guys in Boll/Murray/Dorsett/Gratton need to win ever physical battle when they are on the ice.

* Mase has to be the Jackets ace.

* Now you didn't think I'd get through one of these without mentioning the PP did you?? We've all read this story cover to cover so I won't rehash.

For me whoever controls the early tempo is going to win this game. I'll be watching that closely.

I'll be honest. This game scares the crap out of me. The Blackhawks are primed for an explosion while the Jackets may be ripe for a slump.

If the Jackets can keep the game at their tempo and style I love their chances. If the 'hawks come out flying and open things up early it could be a long night.

My "Captain Obvious" statement of the day -- whatever the Jackets do, they cannot take this game lightly.

See at the R Bar!



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