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Blue Jackets Links

Step away from the emergency button, please.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Immortal words in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, folks. Let's take a deep breath here before we start having our annual "It's done, the Blue Jackets are finished" aneurysms.

I'm in the same boat as probably the majority of Jackets' fans out there, I admit. To perfectly sum up how the Blue Jackets' played last night in one, simple example ... I think the best example would be in the latter part of the first period, when Martin Erat rode a cumbersome, flat-footed Rusty Klesla from the neutral ice zone all the way in to the Jackets' zone, shoved him aside with one hand like a rag doll, and then tossed the puck in behind an otherwise defenseless Pascal Leclaire.

In essence, you saw in that one play much of what you saw last night. A team that played stupid-aggressive. Because there's a difference in playing aggressive -- which is what this team did during its six-game point streak -- and playing stupid-aggressive. Stupid-aggressive is like what we saw earlier in the season when this team faced off against the Vancouver Canucks.

One highly astute observation came from Ron Hainsey, who told The Columbus Dispatch that the fact the Jackets couldn't draw any penalties at all (save one) was ... well ... bad:

"We didn't draw penalties. What did we have, one power play? That kind of shows you something, that we weren't skating enough to make them have to slow us down."

Given, the Jackets' power play has been deplorable as of late, so why worry about whether they can get power play opportunities? Well, it's more the fact that they could have desperately used some time on the power play to just control play, and also force the Predators to waste time on the penalty kill.

While I say not to panic, I may not be so casual about things if the Jackets' end up dropping the next two games. Up next is the suddenly surging Blackhawks, who have surpassed the Jackets for 2nd in the Central after beating the Red Wings on Sunday night. It's worth pointing out that they are the reason for three of the Red Wings' losses this year (two regulation and one in the OT/SO).

After that, the Jackets face the Blues down in St. Louis. While so far this season we have been running them in to the ground, having shut them out two times in a row, I'm not about to go and make any proclamations about how that game will definitely right the Jackets' ship. Frankly, I'd be a fool to do so, considering it was just last season that the Blues were on top of us in the standings, and were only getting better thanks to some shrewd moves by Blues' president John Davidson.

I know this much: If the Jackets do lose the next two games, I foresee an overall record under .500 by the evening of November the 18th, sometime after the Red Wings have finished sinking their skates in to a Jackets' team that will most likely be playing in front of a highly hostile (both angry Jackets' fans and thousands of traveling Red Wings' fans) Nationwide Arena.
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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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