That is the sound of the Jackets preseason concluding last night with a 4-2 loss to Vader.
Hey.. the good news is no one got hurt right?
Like every game.. win or loose.. there were some good things and not so good things.
Preds 4 Jackets 3
* The thing I was most impressed with last night was the Jackets ability to gain the zone on the PP consistently. Derick Brassard in particular is doing a wonderful job so far of making good decisions to find the open man and/or carrying the puck in under control. The powerplay as a whole last night looked very good in terms of possession, control and creating opportunities - let's hope that continues into the regular season (fingers fully crossed).
* Compared to previous viewings I thought Nikita Filatov played an outstanding game. He was hound dog on the puck and was using his speed and puck control to create opportunities for himself and his teammates. How about that one timer for the Jackets first goal? How many Jacket forwards can do that? That is a very valuable skill that the Jackets have lacked. I hope they set him up right there on future 5 on 3s - especially if they never find that puck moving one timing d-man.
* The Jackets were credited with 33 hits compared to the Preds 16 but I think there may have been a bit of homerism in those stas.. I mean Filatov with 4 hits..? Really?
* In preseason terms I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd of 13k+...
* I thought Methot and Kelsla played some good in your face physical games.
* Ellis was really solid in net for the Preds. He did a nice job tracking pucks through traffic and not giving up on plays.
* No injuries!!
* I watched Martin Skoula as closely as I could and I'll I can say is ho-hum. He had his moments both good and bad. His game definitely reminds me of Backman but keep in mind Backman was getting paid 3+ mil and was expected to play in the top 6 and be a powerplay quarterback -- of course he was none of that. If Skoula is signed it will be as a 7th dman with the expectations of being a seasoned NHL body the Jackets can lean on when the inevitable injuries pile up which is a completely different set of expectations compared to Backman. I think Clitsome is the better option but I also don't want him rotting in a press box when he should be playing and developing. Let a guy like Skoula (or someone line him) who you don't care about his development fill that role.
* Vermette's game was like a finger painting.. kind of all over the place. He'd have some nice plays and then flub pass or turn it over. He was awesome in the circle again though winning 72% of his draws.
* Brass was good but was kicking himself for not converting on some of those glorious opportunities. Liked him on the backcheck and loved him on the PP point.
* First time I've seen Tyutin... definitely had some rust.
* Nash had his moments but he's got a lot more gears we know that he can get too.
* Boys were getting a little too pass happy at times... if you have the lane with some traffic in front don't get cute and fire the biscuit.
* The Jackets outshot the Preds and had a lot of opportunities which is a good -- however they failed to convert on many of those which is bad.
* The Preds didn't have a lot of chances but the ones they had they seemed to convert on. I'd like to watch the goals again but seeing them live I can't remember thinkin "Damn Mase.. you should have had that one".. I'm sure there is one or two he would like another shot at. He also had a nice stop on a shorthanded breakaway.
* Game Ops was okay again.. I really liked some of the highlight vids -- especially the "hits" montage... I didn't see any Will Farell vids which is always a plus. I still think we need more replays -- for instance when there are breaks in the play and all I see on the jumbotron is a spinning Jackets logo I think, why not show some replays now? Music was good although they still need to work on their timing and selections to get the crowd rollin. It's getting there but still some work to be done.
* I liked the fourth line of Boll-McKenzie-Picard again. They had one very dominating shift in particular. Whenever they were out it just seemed like the pace of the game and emotion from the Jackets went to a new level. How about the play where Picard beat his man on the outside and took the puck straight to the paint -- that is yet another sign that Pic isn't afraid of the dirty areas of the ice -- love to see it!!
* Gotta agree with Hitch that the veterans just don't see to have "it" yet. Yes its preseason and yes these are vets who you hope know how to crank it up a few notches when the games count but the danger is what if they don't? Last thing the Jackets need are for bad habits to carry over b/c that can equal a slow start and those are hard to recover from in this league.
* Raffi Torres' turnover on that first goal.. that is the kind of play Hitch is referring too when he said he's going to turn up the temperature on the veterans.
* Sammy Pahlsson... He's supposed to shut down the other team's top players right? Maybe I'm missign something or its just that preseason going through the motions thing but I haven't been particularly impressed with anything he's done yet. He was more physical that I have seen him to date (he had 4 hits).
* The PK allowed 3 powerplay goals.. that bird ain't gonna fly.
3 BRIGHT LIGHTS ON THE NIGHT
1. No injuries
2. Filatov taking steps
3. Powerplay has some pop
Fire away - who/what did you like/dislike last night?