Archive for February, 2009

26
Feb
09

Game 62 – EDMONTON OILERS

I’ll be honest, the last two games have been down right ugly. The loss to Anaheim was heartless and seemed like the team was just going through the motions. The Calgary game was different, but by the 3rd period, after so many missed opportunities and blown chances, they had given up again.

It is this blog’s opinion that things are approaching (not at, but approaching) desperation. Two bad losses in a row, giving up at least 3 goals in each of the last 4 games, and now sweeping line changes. Is this panic because Hitch has “lost the team” or panic because “we can’t get any more out of this team”? I go with the latter of those two statements. The line combinations we see tonight have not been in place yet this season, and are cause for some alarm.

All I can ask for is this:

  • To not look like a mentally challenged child on both the Power Play and the Penalty Kill
  • For the defense to start shutting down offensive players again
  • Steve Mason to go back to being Steve Mason again

The CBJ sit at 66 points and in 6th place with 3 teams tied with 65 points right behind them. Lose tonight, and will probably be back on the outside looking in. Losing 3 in a row at this juncture in the season could be catastrophic to a young team’s psyche.

We need this…

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26
Feb
09

Bury it already – Jackets Lose

cgy4-1loss

Not a pretty site last night, the PK didn’t come through when it needed to, and the power play was even more abysmal than it has been before. Once again Umberger was a force to be reckoned with but others including Nash were mostly invisible.

tornado

Enter Wednesday’s practice and Hitch’s meddling.

Here were lines today at practice:

Nash-Williams-Voracek
Huselius-Malhotra-Umberger
Murray-Gratton-Dorsett
Torres-Novotny-Boll

Obviously pretty big changes have finally come. The most shocking thing is the splitting of Nash-Juice on the wings who have been together all season. I really like that Voracek is playing with Nash because they seem to play a similar style, Jake just has yet to mature. Putting Umberger with Juice is an attempt to get Kristian clicking I believe. He has been inconsistent so far this season, and Umberger has been nothing but solid especially as of late.

Notably Chimera and Peca are missing from the line-up and are figured to be inserted. I expect Chimera to replace either Murray or Dorsett and Peca to replace Gratton or (probably) Novotny

25
Feb
09

Game 61 – CALGARY FLAMES

calgary-flames

Possibly my favorite logo in the NHL… but that’s where any “liking” of the Flames ends.

It all started last season as the Flames were on their way to another thrashing of the Jackets… The known-for-class players on the ice for the Flames and the Jackets players on the ice had a bit of a scrum, the Jackets weren’t exactly happy with how things were going, and decided to stand up for themselves. After the scrum was broken up, Calgary’s players returned to the bench, but as they passed the Blue Jackets bench, many of them decided to make a mockery of the CBJ’s situation, they began making golfing gestures with their hockey sticks, rubbing in the fact that the Jackets were about to go another season without tasting the NHL’s postseason…. classy.

The nice thing is the team took notice and so far this year have come ready to play when the Flames appear on the schedule. On the last trip to the Saddledome the Blue Jackets were able to frustrate the Flames early and drew some major penalties.

phaneuf-douche

Don’t think we forgot how classy Mr. Sloppy Seconds has been

Unfortunately the CBJ was unable to hold momentum or the lead and lost in the shootout.

Game No. 3 between the two clubs will surely be hard-hitting and probably even dirty. The Jackets can afford to give up the “3rd point” tonight, but really need to get two to reach 68 points and another tie with No. 5 Vancouver who the CBJ faces Sunday.

Calgary Flames
Goals per game 7th 3.14
Goals against per game 18th 2.90
Power Play 18th 17.9%
Penalty Kill 3rd 86.0%

Columbus Blue Jackets
Goals per game 20th 2.68
Goals against per game 8th 2.73
Power Play 30th 12.9%
Penalty Kill 16th 81.4%

It will take a miracle for the Jackets to manage a power play goal tonight. Lets hope the sloppy as of late PK has been shored up too.

ohio-flag

19
Feb
09

Game 59 – TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

toronto

The Blue Jackets have never won in Toronto, and are coming off an ugly win last night versus the Blues. Typically coming off of a win this game is a sure loss, but after almost blowing the game, and with the anger of Hitch…

Hitchcock

I expect all cylinders firing tonight.

Stats comparison:

Toronto Maple Leafs
Goals per game 10th 2.98
Goals against per game 30th 3.60
Power Play 12th 19.9%
Penalty Kill 30th 73.3%

Columbus Blue Jackets
Goals per game 20th 2.69
Goals against per game 7th 2.69
Power Play 30th 12.6%
Penalty Kill 14th 81.6%

Real exciting the worst power play in the league versus the worst penalty kill in the league. Considering how the Power Play has been rolling since the All-Star Break, I’m betting 2 PPG tonight for the CBJ.

Nash

Sorry Toronto, he’s ours

16
Feb
09

Game 57 – DALLAS STARS

dallas_stars_1998

The Jackets are 1-1-1 against the Stars this season and most recently received a 7-goal drubbing at home from the Stars. Maybe it’s the recent play against Dallas, maybe its being on a hot streak, but I don’t have a good feeling about tonight’s game. Just don’t let one of our key players get hurt…

derick_brassard_play

Yes, still bitter about this.

Stats Comparison:

Dallas Stars
Goals per game 11th 2.94
Goals against per game 26th 3.06
Power Play 21st 17.3%
Penalty Kill 24th 78.9%
5-5 Goals against/for ratio 15th 0.98

Columbus Blue Jackets
Goals per game 20th 2.68
Goals against per game 8th 2.70
Power Play 30th 12.3%
Penalty Kill 16thth 81.4%
5-5 Goals against/for ratio 7th 1.20

Statistically this is a favorable match-up for the CBJ, but if there is one bit of flatness to their game they will get run out of the building again by the Stars.

I’ll go ahead and attribute last game’s blowout from the Stars to the fact that it was the beginning of their hot streak and we probably took them lightly, like any team below us in the standings for some reason… Hoping tonight will be different

ohio-flag

Carry it or Burn it

10
Feb
09

Game 54 – COLORADO AVALANCHE

avs-logo1

The Blue jackets are going for the 4-game season sweep of the Avs tonight. A lot can be said as to why the Jackets have relatively dominated the series thus far.

09-piss-on-foote

No more discussion really needs to happen on this issue really… although it should be said that Foote has yet to face the Jackets in Columbus after he forced his trade last year at the deadline.

Avalanche Statistics
Goals per Game 20th 2.62
Goals against per Game 25th 3.06
Power Play 20th 17.4%
Penalty Kill 25th 78%
5-5 Goals Against/For Ratio 26th 0.86

Blue Jackets Statistics
Goals per Game 20th 2.62
Goals against per Game 12th 2.79
Power Play 30th 12%
Penalty Kill 19th 80.6%
5-5 Goals Against/For Ratio 7th 1.14

ohio-flag

08
Feb
09

Don’t Stop Believin’ – JACKETS WIN

2

3

If you had told me the Jackets would pull out a win with Mike Commodore, Jake Voracek, Marc Methot, and all-world Stevie Mason out of the lineup, AND a rookie goaltender making his first ever start in the NHL; I probably would have tried to give you a golden shower then light you on fire.

Epic

Danny Boy stops the infamous Claude Lemieux
The Jackets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on a Sharks turnover right to Willy and then Juice sprung Nash for a breakaway goal that made Nabokov just look stupid.We all knew the Sharks would come out hard after the first, and indeed they did. At some point Shelley and Boll finally faced off…

GET OFF MY ICE
If you didn’t think the Sharks would score in the last 5 minutes to tie the game, you shouldn’t be a Jackets fan. Unlike the previous 3 games, the Jackets were able to rally and hold off the Sharks in regulation…OVERTIME

Joe Thorton almost ended it about 30 seconds into OT but RJ Umberger took it the other way and was able to get a shot off.

Only Jason Chimera would have missed this one
Game…
-Jackets were 0 for 1 on the power play, its okay because it’s supposed to be bad
-The PK’ers held the Sharks to 1 for 5 on the power play, not bad, I can actually handle that stat
-Mason on the IR, he can play Tuesday but won’t, LaCosta back in net



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