Friday, November 30, 2007

Canucks 2 Jackets 0

The Jackets came up against a stone wall in Vancouver. Robert Luongo earned his third straight shutout and has not allowed a goal in almost 200 minutes. Two second period goals were enough for the victory.

Norrena was solid in goal. Leclaire was out as he is hampered with a slight hamstring pull that happened in Edmonton. Another Jody special: 4:51 ice time with 7 penalty minutes. Columbus continues its season-long strength in faceoffs, winning 36 of 58 in the game.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gut Check: Passed

After jumping to a 2-0 first period lead only to see the Red Wings even the score in the second period (with goals 5 seconds apart!), the Jackets held on in the third and won in a shoot out against a very game Detroit squad.

Both goalies had their moments, though Osgood looked fantastic at times. Not to be outdone, Leclaire kept Detroit from taking the lead during a critical third period two man advantage for the Red Wings and ultimately he stoned Zetterberg in the shoot out to then see Zherdev follow with the game winner.

I missed the Jody Shelley Sunday special 4:46 ice time and 5 minutes in penalties. Jody and Downey dropped gloves early in the first period. The Jackets went 0-4 on the power play; Detroit was 1-3. Regular time goals: Malhotra (4) and Zherdev (7). Vyborny's assist was his 300th and came in his 500th game as a Blue Jacket.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Now We're Talking

If Ken Hitchcock were to draw up on a board the dream road game, it would look like today's game: success on special teams, hard checking and good goaltending. The Jackets scored two power play goals (Peca and Vyborny) and added a short-handed one by Dan Fritsche. For good measure, Rick Nash netted his 16th goal with assist to Peca.

It is clear that Pascal Leclaire has shaken off as temporary what detractors figured was a slump indicating the end of his great run. He stopped 32 shots and gave the team a much-needed road victory. Perhaps the downward momentum has not been stopped, but at least it appears to have been slowed. We'll see who starts in goal Saturday with the skillful Red Wings in town.

Stats deceiving territory: Minnesota out-shot Columbus 32-29. In the face off battle, the Jackets proved strong again, decisively winning that stat 38-17. Another Jody Shelley special: 7 penalty minutes in 5:46 of ice time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bad Loss in St. Louis

The Jackets dropped into a mathematical three-way tie for last in their division though having played three more games than St. Louis makes them effectively at rock bottom. In the two previous games this season against the Blues, the team had been shut out by Pascal Leclaire.

Nash scored a meaningless goal after the Blues iced the game with an open net goal. Hainsey and Klesla assiisted on Nash's tally at 19:54 of the third period. Curtis Glencross scored his second of the season with assists to Zherdev and Westcott. Norrena was solid in goal, stopping 20 of 22 shots. Legacy was even better, turning away 28 of 30 including some clutch third period saves during a Columbus two-man advantage.

Columbus won the face-off and shots-on-goal battles, but they went 0-6 on the power play. Nash had an incredible 7 shots on goal. Jody Shelley had more penalty minutes (5:00 for fighting) than ice time (3:29).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jackets 4 Blackhawks 2

The Jackets won their first must-have win of the year. Following up after three losses, the team pulled together for the win. Three players had a goal and an assist: Chimera, Federov and Nash. Balance is good.

The teams combined for only 39 shots (Columbus had the slight edge: 21-18). As usual face-offs went to the Jackets, 25-22. Jody Shelley sighting - Jody was on ice for 8:50. The game a had few scraps and was tense. That's good after a frustrating stretch for the team. Leclaire got the win.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nashville 4 Columbus 3 SO, Nashville 4 Columbus 1

This weekend gave the Jackets a chance to gauge their new-found respect in the league. A home-and-home match-up against division rival Nashville was the litmus test. Well the test results are in, and after dropping both games (and three in a row overall) it is clear that the Jackets have work to do.

The better game played by the Jackets came in Nashville where they ran into a hot goalie in teh shoot-out. Leclaire lost both games and some of the magic that he had early on this season. The real test of where is they are is how they react to adversity. Will they turn it around quickly? This scenario is why they hired a veteran coach. Let's see what Hitchcock come sup with now.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Columbus 3 St. Louis 0

Another home game, another Pascal Leclaire shutout. Repetitive, but far from boring. Five shut outs in nine starts, darn nice way to start a season! St. Louis must be happy to get out of town - both times they have played Columbus Leclaire has shut them out.

Nash scored again, netting his 10th goal. Chimera added his fourth and Malhotra his second. Solid on the blue line all season, Adam Foote had two assists.

Each team went 0-4 on the power play. Columbus out-shot the Blues 25-21, but St. Louis won the face-off battle 32-30. Last year the Blue Jackets did not have 8 wins until December so they are one month ahead of that pace. Better yet is that the fan base has something to latch onto after years of failure. The team is playing solid all-around hockey. Who can ask for more?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tough Loss in Anaheim

In the off-season if one were to state on a blog that the Jackets would hold the defending champion Ducks to one regular time goal in two games, you would be flamed to a crisp. Well, it has happened. The team dropped a tough 2-1 shoot-out loss in Anaheim. A match-up of Giguere versus Norrena did not disappoint. Norrena stopped 34 shots to Giguere's 20, but Giggy stoned the Jackets in the shoot-out. Zherdev netted his 3rd goal on the power play, poking in a rebound past the Duck's net-minder. The second period was sparkled with fights here and there, perhaps springing from the first game of the season when Columbus' Jared Boll laid a hard but clean hit on Ducks' Travis Moen that knocked Moen out of the game.

Anaheim was 0-6 on the power play. Columbus went 1-6. Tollefsen has 17 penalty minutes including a game misconduct. Norrena Norrena started for the first time in nine days. Such is life behind a hot goalie like Leclaire.