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Meanwhile, in Russia ...

Sunday, May 06, 2007
In Democratic America, you can beat Rick Nash.
In Soviet Russia, Rick Nash can beat you. Handily.

And apparently so can Fredrik Norrena, Jason Chimera, and David Vyborny.

While Nash struggled through much of the NHL season, he's been lightning in a bottle for the Canadian team at the Worlds since, having 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) over 5 games and sharing the point total lead on the team with Chicago Blackhawks prospect and young firecracker Jonathan Toews.

Meanwhile, Chimera is just a point behind Nasher with 5 so far (1 goal and 4 assists), and is also tied for the best +/- on the team with a +5, alongside Florida prospect Cory Murphy.

And that's just when looking at the Jackets' players with Team Canada. Meanwhile, Vyborny has shown a strong outing with the Czech. Republic, with 6 points so far (1 goal, 5 assists), which ties him for third on the team. Keep in mind that unlike the Canadian team, only 10 of the 24 players on the roster hail from NHL teams right now (though you could make that 11 if you want to count Jackets' cast-off Jaroslav Balastik, who despite his wicked wrister and shootout prowess, was waived and went back to Europe during the season ... Balastik has 0 points in the tournament so far, by the way).

Also on the Czech. team, ol' Rusty Klesla has been largely ... well ... average. 1 point in his 3 games played, and par for the course in the +/- department.

Lastly, over with the Finnish team, Norrena has been ... Norrena. The Norrena we expect from international play, at that. Save for the one loss in which ol' Freddy No allowed a whopping 5 goals, his two wins handily gotten via shutout performances just make him look all the more amazing right now. While Kari Lehtonen of the Atlanta Thrashers has the better Save Percentage (.931 to .948) and Goals Against Average (1.67 to 1.0), Freddy's faced more shots per game (24 to 19.3) and has one more shutout to his credit.

So, yeah. Thanks to the good graces of working inside of a hockey arena for an NHL team, one of the perks is that I am actually able to watch the Team Canada games since we have a TSN feed in The Blueline. Were it not for that, I'd probably be going mad from working during, for example, WNBA games. Ugh.

As for why I've been missing since two Wednesdays ago? Well ... what can I say, you know? I've been busy with physical therapy, work whenever I am not at physical therapy, and exercise to get back in to playing shape if I am not therapy-ing or at work.

But don't worry, what few loyal readers I still have after my 10 day hiatus (hey, at least several other CBJ bloggers have been silent over a similar span of time recently, too! Beth and Sarah don't count, as they can and have fallen back on other teams and/or sports to follow, which I should have been doing). I've found a way for me to get in near-daily posts, all thanks to the wonders of my friend Jack.

... as in YOU DON'T KNOW JACK!

For those who have never heard of this, YDKJ was a game I got hooked -- no, addicted -- to as a teen. Me and my best friend back in New Jersey played this as much as we could together, since the questions were just oh-so-hilarious. Nothing says "Funny!" like a smarmy host mocking you for not knowing your high culture and pop culture (and mocking you even more if you do).

But Jellyvision, who makes YDKJ, has apparently now decided to branch in to something more daily instead of just the occasional game made, which they haven't made a full version of since 2003. Now they have a daily Dis or Dat! And who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth when they allow you to embed their daily Dis or Dat in to your own blog, right?

So enjoy, readers! Because I intend to at least embed the daily Dis or Dat each time one comes out, even if I have nothing of worthwhile merit to touch on when it comes to hockey or the Blue Jackets. But then again, maybe now that I'll have something to post daily, those ideas spinning around my head may come out easier.

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  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Do you think that we're seeing Nash and Chimmer light it up because of the wider rinks and reduced hitting under IIHF rules? Or (hopefully) is this more of the last few months under Hitchcock rubbing off on them and they'll keep it up once they come back to the smaller, rowdier, NHL ice?

  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Michael said…

    In Chimmer's case, I'd say the wider rinks are totally working to his advantage, just because he's such a speedy beast.

    Nash, however, has shown that he can play this well when not under so much physical duress and also lined up with stars. Think NHL All-Star Game and his (in my opinion) MVP performance that was only beat by Daniel Briere.

    Just my perspective on the matter, though. If I had to pick a player who I thought was going to come back better after this experience at the Worlds so far, I'd have to say it'll be Chimmer. Chimera doesn't have as much pressure on himself, and his success at the Worlds can only lead to even more confidence in his abilities. And when you think about how great he was down the stretch in the regular season as it is (that goal in the final game was Godly), that's a scary thought.

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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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