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Blue Jackets Links

Blue Jackets: 1 ... Predators: 8

Friday, September 22, 2006
This one turned pretty nasty pretty quickly. By the time I had finished my evening exercising and tuned in to the game on the radio, the Jackets were already down 4-0 in the middle of the first period. I managed to sit through this slaughterfest until about midway into the second period before I decided I was feeling pretty tired and went to bed.

Anyway, James Mirtle immediately moves to point out just how thin the Jackets are without Sergei Fedorov in the line-up. I get the distinct feeling that he may not have considered that even if Fedorov was healthy today, he may not have played. A good chunk of star talent and regular blue-liners were not in the line-up for last night's game. Nash and Malhotra didn't make the trip to help out the forwards, and the defense line-up was a total hodgepodge that lacked Berard, Foote, Klesla, and Westcott. Like I mentioned in my previous post, this team that played was pretty discombobulated and lacked a lot of the better talent the team has, only playing less than a handful of players with respectable NHL experience. The reason for this, most likely, is because this was the first game in a set of four games in four nights. And with a home game happening tonight against the Blackhawks, I can only presume management wanted to keep the better players fresh for a Friday night crowd, as well as not make them travel as much as they would have had to had they gone to Memphis.

Remember, Fedorov went down first thing in the second period last night, yet the Jackets still scored four goals against a Sabres team which was using Ryan Miller in net, all coming after his injury.

This isn't to take away from the Predators' win, though. They came ready and revved up for this game, and Vokoun was on his game. They skated circles around the Jackets' thin-skinned defense, and as a result were able to have their way with them from start to finish.

In any event, Fredrik Norenna and Tomas Popperle both got shelled for four goals apiece in this game, throwing a lot of things up in the air. Popperle had been the best goalie coming out of the rookie tournament as I mentioned prior, and Norenna had done a damn good job a few nights ago after relieving Ty Conklin midway through the Sabres game. It's hard to tell how this will affect the backup goalie race. Popperle already only had an outside chance and is expected to go to Syracuse. Meanwhile, this could harm Norenna's backup aspirations, and give Conklin an edge. If Conklin plays tonight (and I am going on the presumption he will be playing half of tonight's game while Leclair plays the other half), this will be his chance to take advantage of Norenna's hiccup in net down in Memphis.

And now I'm going to go get an early start on things I need to do this morning. This early morning waking up is definitely throwing me out of whack. Ugh.
  • At 5:07 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said…

    I considered it.

    The thing is, losing Fedorov, regardless of if he plans or not, has a really deflating effect on a team — especially one like Columbus that went through the same thing with Nash last season.

    The Blue Jackets need to get a good start, even in preseason, because that franchise is just far too used to losing.

  • At 5:36 PM, Blogger Michael Turner said…

    Wow, I must've been cranky this morning. Sorry about saying you didn't consider something in that sort of tone.

    But you're right. I didn't really think about it from a more psychological aspect, largely because of how well the team coped with him going down in the middle of a game against a team like the Sabres. Even though Fedorov may not be a powerhouse point getter these days, he still does bring a positive mentality to the team. And hearing he'll be out for X amount of time, and seeing how he is taking it (previous entry), probably does dampen the mood.

    I think what will be a great measuring stick for the Jackets, so long as they can dispatch the Blackhawks tonight and tomorrow night, will be the two games against Carolina this pre-season. Both team's final exhibition games are against one another down in Raleigh, and so that'll be a great way for the Blue Jackets to see just how they compare to the Stanley Cup Champions.

  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger Michael Turner said…

    Ack, quick addendum. Actually, it's Carolina's second to last game, not last game, of the pre-season when the Blue Jackets come to town. But even so, I'm expecting (or at least hoping) much of their primary team will be involved in that game.

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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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