Saturday, January 13, 2007

Oddities abound, Jackets lose again

I'm confused. After seeing the Jackets get shut out last night in Nashville, the two teams met again, in what was an incredibly odd game. My hopes weren't too high seeing that many key players are injured: Nash, Fedorov, Westcott, Svitov and Foote are the most recent and significant. (there's 8 total), just so all of our fans out there not quite as sharp on the Blue Jackets depth chart, the bottom two forward lines consisted of minor leaguers. Oh yeah, did I forget to tell you guys that Mr. Maclean had to call up Derrick Walser the other day? This is just getting ridiculous, the best month in Blue Jackets history, immediately followed by what is turning out to be the worst month ever, 1-4-1 so far.

Norrena started the game, something I wasn't expecting, and it turned out to be pretty bad after he let in three goals on nine shots. Conklin then started the second period, and it was apparent that he wasn't planning on playing tonight since he didn't bother to put on his socks under the leg pads. Conklin played, and Conklin played well. Then, out of nowhere, Hitch put Norrena back in the game for the last five minutes. Now if a team is losing by three goals with five minutes left, and said team is outshooting the other team like 30 something to 15, chances are you aren't going to score three goals in the last five minutes. It just isn't something that happens, nor is replacing the relief goaltender back with the starter. Why bother?

If you have a chance, check out the score sheet, I'd like to point out the penalty section at this time...yes that's right, the Preds had more penalties than the Columbus "two minutes - hooking" Blue Jackets. But not only the penalties, the Jackets outshot Nashville 40-17. There's a couple of lousy numbers if I ever saw them, .764 save percentage and a .025 scoring percentage. (that's .975 for Chris Mason)

Lastly, I am issuing my final decision on this team making it to the postseason. It is true the team has a lot of talent. Doug Maclean made a great trade with the freddies and Marc Denis. But a playoff run requires not only talent, but smart and fast decision making, cohesiveness as a group, and they most certainly must not go into panic mode. I saw it with the Buckeyes last monday with Tressel going for it on fourth down, and I saw it tonight with Hitchcock flip flopping goalies. Players second guessed each other, and trying to win the game individually isn't going to win a season. Yes, there is an injury issue right now, but this is the time for the young players to step up and fill in the voids. But we do have to remember that the Cruch isn't as good of a team as usual, they're also sitting at last place in the north division after a season close to the top of the division

Maybe next year


Tyler said...

Unbelievable. With so many power play opportunities and a 40 shot night, how could the Jackets fall so hard?

Drew said...

I think the real question should be "how in the world did they even get 40 shots off?"


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