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Power Play Bizarro Day, and Bob Marley heads to the South.

Saturday, February 24, 2007
Top shelf, glove-side, across the body.

I dare anyone to say that to Hendrik Lundqvist if they ever have the opportunity to within the next week. I have a feeling that after tonight, King Henry of Sweden will be double-checking his glove to make sure some Blue Jackets' player didn't play a college prank and line it with heavy ball bearings. That actually sounds like something that either Jason Chimera or Dan Fritsche would do, too.

Jeff Rimer and Danny Gare were quick to point out during the FSN Ohio broadcast that tonight marked Rick Nash's first ever shortie. When you think about it, it's both a combination of a surprise ... and not that surprising at all. Nash's time on the penalty kill had been extremely limited leading up to Hitchcock's arrival in Columbus, and so he never got many opportunities prior to now. Still, limited PK role notwithstanding, you would think he'd have at least one in his career leading up to now.

Speaking of the penalty kill, what happened tonight? After blowing their first PK attempt in the first (and much to most CBJ fan's expectations), the team suddenly became ... well, good at it. And to me, the key reason for that suddenly explosive penalty kill?

Aggressive play.

They didn't play stupidly aggressive, like teams are apt to do when they're down a man. No, instead, they played smart aggressive. They picked the right times to pressure point men, drop away from the slot to pressure down low, and didn't get caught out of place all that much after the first power play goal against them by the Rangers. And even then, I have to admit the first power play for the Rangers had me dizzy. Did anyone else see how many Rangers jumped in to the air? I think it was three in all, who kept leaping up while clogging up the slot and crease area, while the point men passed to one another before Jaromir Jagr scored on a slap shot.

I was pleasantly surprised, once again, by the way Geoff Platt played, especially after just being called up today from Syracuse. Although Platt is literally snakebitten with a goose egg on the stats sheet in all his NHL games played, he continues to play with a Fritsche-esque jump to his step. A future energy line guy? Most likely. We'll have to see if he can make a more permanant jump up to the team next year, depending on how well he does and how much time he gets in the last part of this season.

Lastly, this post won't be complete without me throwing down the gauntlet and expressing my opinion about yesterday's Anson Carter trade. For those not in the know, this is what the deal was:

To Carolina:
Anson Carter
To Columbus:
5th Round Draft Pick, 2008 NHL Entry Draft

There's no way around this one, folks; this trade just plain stinks to the high heavens. Doug MacLean's bartering abilities for this trade were atrocious. Sure, MacLean might say in today's Dispatch article that "There was limited, limited interest (in Carter). I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks. There was no movement whatsoever in the market.", but the fact of the matter is that this is horrible. It's not even that the pick is a fifth rounder (though to be fair, I expected a third rounder at most, and a fourth rounder at least). It's that it is a fifth rounder for the next draft.

I don't know what MacLean is thinking, but the last thing this team needs is to wait a whole year to just get their hands on some lower rung prospect that more than likely has the odds stacked against him when it comes to even making it in to the NHL. If MacLean is simply going to trade for picks (much to my and many fan's chagrins considering the already bankrupt levels of patience Columbus has for a roster capable of winning and making a playoff push), he needs to trade for picks for this draft. There is no more time left. This team has already worn out its welcome, and it's going to lose what devoted fans are left unless some sort of step in the positive direction for next season -- not the 2008-2009 season -- is made.

That's it from me. But one more thing ...


Next week, a very important and informative post is going to be put out by me, with help from Drew at End of the Bench. This post is going to be on the topic of the upcoming 2007 NHL Entry Draft, which is taking place in Columbus from June 22nd to the 23rd. With just a under 4 months left before the draft, it's been decided that we -- the CBJ bloggers -- are going to do our best to roll out the welcome mat for all visitors to Columbus, especially fellow bloggers. Information on Columbus, on getting tickets (free admission tickets) to the draft, where to stay, where to eat, and a possible blogger reception/gathering will be in this post.

So stay tuned, folks. We hope to make this as great of an event as possible!

Labels: , , , , ,

  • At 12:53 AM, Blogger Skye-chan said…

    Steph of NPI
    and I are hopefully going to head down and up (respectively) to the Draft this year. I just couldn't pass up this opportunity, and I don't think she could either. I personally can't wait.

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    I really like the "blogger get together" idea - I entered into the ticket lottery from back in October, so I'm hoping to be there for the draft!

    Maybe some drinks and nosh over at Gordon Biersch or Barleys?

  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger Sherry said…

    I think if you said that to Lundqvist his Pavlovian response would be to shudder in the corner. Or something.

    If I had money, I would totally go down to the draft.

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    Skye - Having never been to a draft in my life, neither can I. This is perfect timing to help the CBJ out in terms of recognition, too.

    Matt - The ticket lottery thing is such a joke. Seriously, it makes no sense, and having to do a song and dance with Ticketmaster preferences? Ridiculous.

    Sherry - You darn well better come! Pool money with other Torontonian bloggers if you must, but I better see bloggers from all over for this! xO

  • At 7:08 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Michael - I hear you. But it would be nice to know I've got my tickets ahead of time rather than fighting through the...well...hopefully it'll be popular enough to have a crowd? to get tickets the first day.

    Unless you have a trick for getting them, in which case, please share! :D

  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger Sherry said…

    Hey, I'm on a student budget here!

    And it's unlikely the other Torontonian bloggers would be willing to share with a Sens fan.

  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    I've heard they're still looking for volunteers to work at the draft. I don't know if you have to be local to Columbus to volunteer or not. CBJ page is down right now, so I can't check and see if it says. But I'd assume if you're a volunteer, you're guaranteed entry.

    Of course, the down side of volunteering means you can't just hang out and have fun. Which is why I decided against it. Especially since Comfest is at the same time, and I'm pretty much planning to spend that entire weekend in a drunken stupor between the arena and the park. (With my luck, though, I'll wind up having to work the whole weekend in Toledo or something)

  • At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Ah, CBJ page is back up. All it says is that you have to be 18 to volunteer. E-mail for info:

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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
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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