directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Sunday Bloody Sunday

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Not sure what it is about Sunday games but they haven't been kind to the Jackets. Including last night's hard fought OT loss the Jackets went a combined 1-5-1 in Sunday contests this season.

If/when the Jackets make the playoffs let's hope they avoid this particular day of the week.

As Hitch said though last night was a "helluva hockey game" and that his team "gave everything they could".

The story of course was the goaltending at both ends... both Steve Mason and Nikolai Khabibulin traded game saving stops and were nothing short of spectacular.

It's an often used phrase lately but this was playoff caliber hockey and both teams hung it out there on the line.

In full disclosure I was unable to attend last night's game (and judging by the attendance of 16k I wasn't the only one unfortunately) due to a CAHL playoff hockey game of my own so I was only able to catch the first two periods on the tube. To top it off my DVR was too full (hey I've had to make some tough decisions on which CBJ wins to delete to make room) and the damn thing didn't record so no 3rd period/OT post game viewing for me.

With that said instead of the full stoplight review since I didn't see the entire game I'm just going to touch on a few points and would encourage your comments as well.

* As mentioned the goaltending was fantastic. How clutch was the Steve Mason save on Russell's turnover in that first period? The save probably saved a point. Mase was terrific as was 'bulin.

* What's with the too many men penalties in back to back games? Got to be sharper than that.

* As the players and coaches have said, the top two lines did not mesh well last night. Looking back I think Hitch should have kept RJ and Vermette together and wouldn't be surprised to see him go back with that combination. I wouldn't mind seeing a line of Nash-Manny-Voracek tried again.

* Chimera looked better in his second game back. He was credited with 5 hits as well.

* Russ needs to keep jumping in the play like he did in OT. Those chances are bound to go in. He looked like he got shot out of a rocket didn't he? I think the ice melted behind him as he blazed through Chicago's D.

* Not sure what happened on that break-away in OT as the highlights don't really show how it developed. It's rare to see this team give up a quality chance like that in such a critical moment of the game.

* The Jackets were disciplined only taking 2 minors against.

* That was just a well played hockey game by all involved.

* I can't help thinkin what a Filatov may have brought in a game like that. Hitch probably wouldn't have used him but 4 minutes but that "what if" sits in the back of my mind..

* Only 16k for attendance for a game of this importance?? Another not-so-great sign. On a positive note from what I understand all upper bowl seats, sans singles, for potential 1st round playoff games are already sold out. I would assume the org held some back for new season ticket holders and the Huntington Green Seats and CBJ Rush programs and perhaps the general ticket sale though.

The key to all of this is that even though the Jackets lost they still gained a very important point. In fact they have lost 4 of the past 5 but have only failed to get a point in one of those games.

The magic number now sits a "3". If the Jackets can get one more win I think that will lock us into at least 8th. Still plenty of work to do and the Jackets will look to get that next win Wednesday up in Chicago.




Chris said...

I agree with you LTL that Hitch should have kept Vermette and Umberger together. I know I've heard Hitch say more than once this season that he sees the first two lines as two man units. Nash and Hueselius(sp?) and Umberger and Vermette. So why not keep Vermette and Umberger together and put them on the #1 line with Nash? At least he would have one of his 'pairs' still intact.

With that said, still a hard fought game. Tough to keep watching the Jackets come out on the losing end of these OT/Shoot out games. Really makes me think back to some of those earlier losses in the year...especially to the PHX series. But, we've got to keep the faith.

eplagge said...


What a time of year isn't it?? Only 3 games remaining and I am sure everyone here is going crazy doing the spreadsheet math like me... I have calculated myself silly, but here is the most important thing...

worst case scenario... Ducks, Blues and Preds win their remaining 2 or 3 games .. all three of them will end up with 92 points... If we would win 1 game and obtain 1 W.. we would have 92 points... Our ranking would be 9th... Ducks and Preds have more wins..Blues would equal us in wins but the second tie breaker is points earned between the 2 clubs head-to-head..

Summary.. Worst case scenario (ANA,STL,NSH win their remaining games), we need to obtain 3 points.. 3 points not only assures a playoff spot... but the 6th spot..

Personnaly I am scared... we are in a good spot but we need to get points out of the CHI and STL games... not an easy task...GO JACKETS...

Barga said...

The breakaway that resulted in the Chicago goal was caused by Nash playing fancy and losing the puck

My question is what happened to Boll? He played about 8 minutes total and wasn't really out there. Also, he has been playing really well, but not as physically as he used to. Is there something behind the scenes there (and is that why they brough Filtov up?)

Barga said...

Eplagge, as long as the Jackets get 2 more points, or Nashville losses, then they are gaurenteed in

eplagge said...


100% correct.... the Ducks might run the table (Dal and Phx), STL could run the table (PhX, CBJ and COL)... but NSH is going to have a really hard time.. Chi, DET and MIN... chances are that they won't be able to...

Furthermore I think PHX might repay us for their sweep with wins against ANA and STL.... I really think the Yotes are going to be a though cookie to crack for both ANA and STL with their speed and better play of late.... GO YOTES..

Hey at least the WIld, Oilers and stars are toast..

But to recap, Barga is 100% right... points lost by ANA, STL and NSH are as precious as points gained...

Barga said...

as a side note with that, i think it would be hillarious to stay in 6th place by OTL our way into it... as long as everybody else losses except STL (where they OTW), we could do that
that would be downright hilarious

LTL said...


I know right.... my head is going to explode thinkin of all the different scenarios.

I keep telling myself that we just need to take care of our own business and we are in.

Sure would be nice to get a little more help although San Jose knocking off Anaheim late in that game last night was H-U-G-E for us.


JAL said...

Sorry, Barga. I made the same mistake earlier. If Nashville wins all 3 remaining games, and CBJ wins just 1, Nashville gets the nod, as they would have 42 wins to our 41.

1 - 1 -1 insulates us from everything and gives us 6th, as eplagge said.

Keep in mind that this is all premised upon Nashville, Anaheim and St. Louis winning all of their remaining games. 1 loss by any of those three teams, combined with an OTL or better by us, and we are in the playoffs.

A Shot From The Point

rocket said...

I am a little worried, but look at it this way.. we are in a MUCH better spot than ANA, STL, or NSH... if I'm a little worried about the Jackets making the playoffs, then the ANA, STL, or NSH fans must be FREAKING OUT.

Barga said...

woudln't we have less games then them?

JAL said...

No, we all play 82 games

Barga said...

as a side question, do you all know of any plans for new CBJ traditions regarding the playoffs? Certain teams have traditions throwing things, and for some reason I just keep picturing hundreds of Jason masks littering the ice (as it has kinda emerged as a symbol as well)?

LTL said...


I like the Jason mask idea.

I've been doing some digging around on certain playoff related items and will hopefully have a post on it later today or tomorrow.


Barga said...

well, to me, that seems to have become a symbol ever since Jason (i wish i knew his real name) threw it on the ice

LTL said...

Just an FYI - his name is Matt Garrett.


MattTheMask said...

Thanks for the support Barga.It would be sweet if we had 18K-19K wearing Jason masks in Nationwide, the only thing I would request is that EVERYONE wear it. And this might be tough to convince some lame trophy wife sitting in the Time Warner Lounge to put her mask on but hopefully with enough pressure everyone would do it.

Ive noticed a couple little kids wearing masks which is flattering. Little kids wearing the mask is fine, but I recently saw a college-aged kid wearing a mask. Kinda bugged me at first because I stil dont know how I feel on someone else trying to impersonate me. But I guess they say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Regardless, a "mask-out night" could be legendary and would probably catch the attention of the entire league.

Barga said...

Hi Matt, nice to 'meet' you. I have sat by you a few times, but, as a college kid, only at big games when i could afford it. I am hoping to have the same area as you and the refs next year with my season tickets

I was thinking of having a new throwing tradition of Masks onto the ice after a point or after each period ends, but i am all for a mask off too. Now, to get nationwide involved...