directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: This and that..

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This and that..

Some good reads as we await the drop of the puck tonight.. or in some of our cases... pass the time at work until we can go suit up in our Jackets gear for the game tonight!

This one came courtesy of Jeff. It's from TSN's story titled WITH SIX GAMES LEFT, BLUE JACKETS CLOSING IN ON PLAYOFFS:

Things are so tight and every point so critical that everybody studies the standings, listens for the late scores and ponders every injury and personnel move.

For instance, the Predators lost forward Martin Erat to a broken left leg Sunday in Detroit, felled by teammate Shea Weber's slapshot. Erat will likely be gone for a month.

"That's a tough loss. Good player," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. But he said this is no time to express sympathy.

"Everybody has injuries."

The Blue Jackets are without several mainstays -- Fredrik Modin, Jason Chimera, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Derick Brassard -- and nobody is feeling sorry for them.

Miss the playoffs and no one remembers that a team was down an important player or two.

"It's tough when any player goes down, but we need points," Nash said. "We have to worry about what we have to do here."

EJ Hradek lists the Jackets-Preds tilt as one of the games "with the most playoff implications":

2. Predators at Blue Jackets: Remember when the Central Division was the Red Wings and four other clubs? That's no longer the case. Heading into Tuesday's games, all five Central teams held down playoff spots. The injury-riddled Preds roll into Columbus off a come-from-behind win in Detroit. If they can beat the Jackets in regulation time, the teams will have identical records. On the flip side, if the Blue Jackets earn a regulation victory, they'll solidify themselves as the sixth seed and move one step closer to their first playoff appearance.

Pierre LeBron of ESPN states "Columbus will have to work to keep playoff position". Its a good read but I like this line the most at the end:

We agree with Hitchcock: This is the playoffs to get into the playoffs.

I agree in their agreement with Hitchcock.

Good read here from called "Vermette excels in fresh start with Blue Jackets":

"I have to give credit to the guys that are here," Vermette said. "They're playing well, although we'd like to get that (March 15) game back against Detroit (a 4-0 defeat in Columbus). We're just playing hard, playing together and that's making my adjustment easier. They made me welcome right from the start."

One reason Vermette is doing better is that Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock switched him back to center, his natural position, after he played left wing for the Senators. Vermette is one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, and the Blue Jackets are taking advantage of those skills.

"I always said I feel more comfortable in the middle," Vermette said. "It's my natural position. When I came into the League Ottawa made me a winger. On the whole it's good to have different options, but I feel more comfortable here."

Vermette has played with stars like Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, and now he's playing with former goal-scoring champion Rick Nash. He's impressed mostly with Nash's work ethic.

"Rick Nash is a naturally gifted player offensively," Vermette said. "He can make plays and he's a big guy that's strong on the puck. He gets a turnover and he makes you pay. I was talking about details and how important they will be coming down the stretch. Nash works hard in many areas of the game that you don't see on the scoring sheet. He's very good in his attention to details. He's putting in that extra effort to get the puck out of our end. Coming from the captain, that's a good influence on the rest of the group."

Vermette said he was given clear instructions on his role with the Blue Jackets by General Manager Scott Howson and Hitchcock.

"They both called me after the trade to wish me welcome and they were excited," Vermette said. "We're looking forward to a good playoff push. They talked to me about putting me in the middle where I would be more comfortable. They didn't go into too many details. They said they made the move for a reason and for me to do my thing and work hard and try to fit in.

Less than 3 hours til the puck drops!



1 comment:

Barga said...

Vermette deserves a huge amount of credit for the current status of the team. Both he and Mason fired the team up when they showed up, and helped them out.