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Game #65: Blue Jackets at Stars

Friday, March 02, 2007
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
Record: 24-33-7
On the road: 10-18-3
Last 10: 3-5-2
Bloggers and local media:
Death Cab for Woody
End of the Bench
The Jacket Times
Hitchcock holds shootout tryouts during practice - Columbus Dispatch (Portzline)

You know, I can't help but feel a sense of ... apathy, towards the rest of the season. But it isn't so much a negative kind of apathy ... if anything, it's more like I'm just content to see how things run themselves as the season winds down, starting tonight with the first of the final 18 games in this crazy season.

I think one of the things that had me in more amused than angered spirits was a quote in today's Columbus Dispatch article linked to Coach Hitchcock, in which he was asked about the possibility of players such as Rusty Kleska, Geoff Platt, and Zenon Kopoka taking part in future shootouts due to how well they did in a shootout practice. Hitch's response?

"I wonder what the general manager is going to say when he sees these guys coming off the bench next time," Hitchcock joked. "He’ll need a rip cord on his way out of the press box."

Hitch certainly has chutzpah, to be joking so candidly while the team has hit a nasty stretch that has seen them slip-slide down the standings.

I have to say, though my mood has lightened, I'm still down about how bad of a trade deadline the Jackets had, and Doug MacLean by affiliation. I've already touched on my feelings concerning Anson Carter's trade, and it looks like Drew has a different opinion about the whole thing, or places his frustration quota in to a different aspect of MacLean/team management altogether. I stand by my position, however, that the team was fleeced by Hurricanes' GM Jim Rutherford due to MacLean's ineptitude at the bargaining table. How can players of equal to or even lesser value than Carter give their former teams better trade results when it comes to draft picks and prospects (a possibly inaccurate example, but an example nonetheless, would be Georges Laraque netting the Coyotes a 3rd round in 2008 and a prospect, despite a similar age and even less offensive output ... and I won't be taking claims of "He's needed as Sidney Crosby's personal bodyguard" as legit)? It makes my head spin ... moreso when you consider that Ty Conklin's trade to Buffalo resulted in an even sooner draft pick than Carter. And don't give me any of that "The 2008 draft is supposed to be several rounds deeper than this upcoming one", either.

Wow. I guess I went on a little longer than I expected.

As a couple of quick hits, Rick Nash managed to give the collective state of Colorado a near-heart attack when he one-man teamed the Jackets to a near upset of the Avalanche on Tuesday, scoring two goals in the final two minutes before time ran out with a 3-2 final score. Jody Shelley also scored his first goal of the season, and as a result got his first point of the season in a stirring but nonetheless futile shootout loss to the Predators on Sunday, when the Jackets came back from down two goals in the third period.

Fredrik Modin signed a new deal with the Jackets for three years, worth just shy of $10 million total. I'm glad Modin is staying ... but frankly, I'm not happy at the price tag, considering his season so far. Another example of MacLean overpaying veterans that may be on the downslide? Maybe ... but I'll cross my fingers and hope that Modin can change my mind before the end of the season. Lastly, Dan Fritsche is out after a pair of Predator skate blades went emo on his wrist, and sadly it looks like he might be out for the season due to the severity and depths of the cuts ... and to add insult to injury, Pascal Leclaire's knee issues have now sidelined him for the rest of the season. As a result, recently waiver wire-acquired Brian Boucher -- formerly a member of the Chicago Blackhawks -- will most likely be backing up Fredrik Norrena for the season of the season, but you never know if Tomas Popperle may get a call up or two just for sake of grabbing a bit of experience. I know I'd like to see him get some time up here.

And lastly, Adam Pineault has recently been called up, and Geoff Platt will be playing tonight alongside Rick Nash and David Vyborny, which should be interesting. So now there's at least four Syracuse regulars up with the team, when you also thow in Curtis Glencross.

Team: Dallas Stars
Record: 40-16-8
At home: 29-9-1
Last 10: 7-1-2
Bloggers and local media:
Razor With an Edge
Andrew's Dallas Stars' Page

Stars' Norstrom has time to adjust - Dallas Morning News

As much as I hate the south, and as a result the Dallas Stars by association, there are two things I like about the Stars:

-Daryl Reaugh is awesome.
-Tim Cowlishaw, though he no longer covers the Stars to my knowledge, is also awesome.

So while the Jackets' were about as silent as a silent-but-deadly dose of flatulence during the trade deadline and the days preceding it, the Stars did add a bit of punch to their roster. In one of the earlier moves prior to the deadline day, the Stars added prospect Shane Endicott to their herd of future players, then also added prospect Konstantin Pushkarev and also assigned him to the Iowa Stars. The only real trade that the team made which results in both direct and immediate impact has been Mattias Norstrom, who was brought in to add a bit more responsibility to the blue-line. Actually, just going off of the fact that the Stars are both 2nd in goals allowed and shots allowed, I'm a little surprised that they feel the need to add some muscle to their defense. Then again, they're still an iffy 21st on the penalty kill.

The Jackets have actually, believe it or not, won their first game in Dallas ever this season, when they defeated the Stars 3-1. Can they go for two in a row over the Stars so far this season, and also two in the Lone Star State? Hopefully.

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  • At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Nancy said…

    Ya know, it was worth every penny I paid for Center Ice this season, just to hear the smug bastards Dallas has for TV commentators go from "The stars have two points for the taking," to "Ummmmm... ."

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Name: Michael
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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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