HFNHL Jackets enter the final stretch on a positive note

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Ohio Jones, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    Okay, so we were going to write all about how the Blue Jackets' struggles this season were due to almost inexplicably bad special teams, and it would have been true. They're a top-10 team 5-on-5, and yet remain chasing the 8th seed in the West. Columbus sports a bottom-half penalty kill, despite many of the league's best defensive forwards, a dynamite goaltender and the league's best-rated coach. Worse, they have an abysmally poor powerplay - 26th overall, despite that same coach and one of the league's most mobile, puck-moving bluelines. For some reason, things just weren't clicking.

    Then the Jackets rolled into Buffalo for a 3/4 mark, post-deadline tilt against their Eastern Conference nemesis, the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres have been at or near the top of the East since day 1, and strengthened themselves further with the addition of superstar Alex Ovechkin at the deadline. And yet the Jackets, who have struggled to score more than 3 goals all year, and whose wins tend to be of the one-goal margin variety, casually strolled in and blew out powerhouse Buffalo 5-1, including no less than three powerplay markers, a season high.

    Apparently Jaro Spacek is a good luck charm. The veteran defenseman was the Jackets' only deadline addition to the roster, sending a pair of draft picks to the Rangers in return. (The Jackets' other deadline trade saw them delete from the roster, sending backup Dwayne Roloson to Carolina for prospect defender Patrick Wiercioch). Spacek didn't get any points in the win (they mostly went to the dynamite second line of Mike Fisher centering Jamie Langenbrunner and David Booth, who combined for 10 points on the night). Spacek did however manage a +2 rating playing with defense partner Marek Zidlicky. And with time on both special teams, Spacek and the Jackets can feel good about the 3-for-7 powerplay result, as well as the 3-for-3 penalty kill against the vaunted Sabres offense.

    Time will tell whether the Jackets' special teams have truly turned over a new leaf, but if they have it bodes well for the team's drive for the season: Columbus currently sits in 10th spot in the West with 71 points, 2 points out of a playoff spot and 4 points behind 6th seed Vancouver, one of the league's hottest teams since the half-way point of the season.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  2. spintheblackcircle

    spintheblackcircle ...so that happened.

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    Now that I am a former GM living in Columbus, I bought season tickets for ya, Doug. Get that playoff spot. :)
     
  3. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    I'll do it, just for you Greg! :D
     
  4. Wildman

    Wildman Registered User

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    Just give up Doug so I can have a better pick:)
     

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