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Blue Jackets: 1 ... Predators: 3

Monday, September 17, 2007
Five thoughts on last night's game:

1) Although I had missed the full first period due to getting to the arena late (a technician from my cable provider took a day and then some to get to my house to figure out what the frack was wrong with my digital cable, and I couldn't very well leave until he came), I heard all about the injury to David Vyborny. Fortunately, as was reported on The Dispatch website later this morning, Veebs is only going to be out of commission 2-3 days with a knee sprain.

No word on whether or not Predators' forward Martin Erat will receive any sort of suspension or fine for his role in the hit. He was assessed an interference major (a new NHL rule as of this season allows for interference majors to be called now), and ejected from the game with a game misconduct.

2) Pascal Leclaire, as much as it pains me to say this, looked largely ... average. Despite a pair of fabulous saves that I was able to spot, he really flubbed communication with Jan Hejda in allowing that first shorthanded goal, and although Jed Ortmeyer's shorthanded goal -- during that same penalty -- was on a breakaway, something just didn't seem right. Possibly a result of so much time since the last time he played against anyone not in a Blue Jackets' uniform? Maybe. If he and Fredrik Norrena are being split in to separate groups for each pre-season game, he still has three more games to prove his mettle.

3) Ever the pest, Dan Fritsche drew a high sticking penalty, and also scored shorthanded on a great combined effort between him and Manny Malhotra. Fritsche looks to be back to his usual self, which is a good thing. Although Jason Chimera will be playing with the other group that is rolled out on Tuesday -- and presumably Malhotra and Fritsche will not since they played Sunday -- the combination of those three on a line is tempting, considering the tenacity those three have when it comes to grinding and staying on the puck. Additionally, Chimmer is also known for his ability to pour the pressure on during the penalty kill. Put him and Fritsche together on the PK, and you have two cautious yet highly persistent forwards who can cause havoc.

4) Without Vyborny around for the 2nd and 3rd periods, Fritsche was the replacement on the line with Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev. Nash looked to be sort of somewhere between on his game and sort of slogging around, while Zherdev really looked to be taking the body whenever he could and had no qualms about sharing the puck. However with Fritsche on the other wing instead of Vyborny, it just didn't seem to be clicking for them.

Zherdev did, however, seem to abstain from any desire to pull a toe drag from out of his magic bag of tricks. And honestly, that was a good sign. While certainly that sort of move has its place, it's when it is overused that you become predictable. So don't go wiping that move from your repertoire, Z ... just don't overdo it.

5) Jared Boll likes to beat the everliving crap out of people, and also check them as though they were rag dolls.

I'm off to ice my arms ... both of them. The exercises I did yesterday morning came back as I woke up today with a total vengeance.

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  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger vakfan said…

    Read an interview with Erat today (DenikSport), he is full of excuses but unexplainable tells things like "no foul", "fell unfortunatly"...

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