Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jackets vs. Sharks 10/23/06

In all the Blue Jackets games I've been to, I've never left the arena in as bad of a mood as I did on Monday. The game against the Sharks was god-awful. The Jackets played like a high school hockey team that smoked too much pot before the game. Nearly every player appeared uncoordinated, unenthused and indifferent to what was taking place on the ice. It didn't look like the team even realized where they were til midway through the third period.

I want to believe in the Blue Jackets, I truly do. I want nothing more than for this team to succeed. Finally we have the personnel to make a statement in the league, and yet we can't even lose with dignity.

The biggest problem I noticed was neutral zone passing. Anytime the puck left the stick of a jacket near center ice, it was immediately headed back towards Leclaire. We couldn't coordinate our forwards to get the puck past the blue line more than once or twice per period.

To the San Jose Sharks credit, they played textbook hockey. Everything about the Sharks performance was by the book. Passes were well chosen, plays were carefully set up, and execution was at an acceptable level. The Sharks didn't need to play an exceptional game to beat Columbus. All they had to do was show up.

Penalties were a serious issue. The jackets took 10 total penalties and all but 3 were for Tripping or Hooking. On the flip side, the sharks also took a fair number of penalties and the jackets couldn't produce. Even playing 5 on 4 we could only generate a handful of shots.

Finally, we were once again outshot by nearly 10, including a 15-4 second period.

This is a new segment of my post for players who I shall scorn until I see some noted improvement. (Viewers of the Colbert Report should be familiar)

Rick Nash for outright missing a golden opportunity. While Nash was standing next to San Jose's goal, a shot was deflected by Toskala, flying right by Nash, who had a wide open net for what seemed like several seconds. Nash was clearly looking the other way.

Adam Foote for not doing more about Cheechoo's goal. Even though the jackets were down in a 4 on 3 situation, the play that put the puck in the net was textbook. A cross-slot pass to Cheechoo who was waiting at the back door. As a veteran defenseman, there is no excuse for not seeing this play the whole way in. Foote stood there and watched the entire play while hardly moving from in front of the net.

Rostislav Klesla - Rosti, you're killing me. You're a solid player, but you were the only skater to be on-ice for all 3 goals. What's up?

San Jose Sharks 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 0

Jackets are now 2-4-1 with 5pts. Last place in the division. *Sigh*

Box Score

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