Jackets/Hawks rivalry moves to Windy City for Game 3

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Ohio Jones, May 3, 2006.

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  1. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    The Central Division rival Blue Jackets and Blackhawks move their see-saw battle to Chicago after splitting the first two games of their first-round series in Columbus.

    The first two games reinforced the parity between the two teams that was established during the regular season. Unlike the regular season, however, the close contests seem to have disappeared as the teams take turns dominating one another on the scoresheet.

    Game 1 saw the Blackhawks blank the Jackets 4-0 on the strength of a 30-save performance by Dwayne Roloson and a two-point effort from David Vyborny. The score does not reflect how close the match really was, as Columbus both outshoot and outhit their big-city rivals, but where it counts - on the scoresheet - they just couldn't get their act together.

    Last night, the Jackets once again dominated in shots and hits, but they cut down on the mental mistakes, and came away with a 4-0 victory of their own.

    Chicago's attack suffered from the absence of center David Vyborny, who had two points in game 1 before being forced to leave the game with an undisclosed injury after being elbowed late in the third by Philippe Boucher. Vyborny is expected to dress tonight.

    Head Coach Mike Babcock will be looking for the Jackets to keep their edge in the small battles, and wants to see more production from his third and fourth lines.

    "So far the top two lines have been on the ice for every goal in the series - both for and against. That speaks well for the defensive play of our third and fourth lines, but those guys know they also have to be hitting the scoresheet if we're going to advance. And our top guys have to be more consistent - the production certainly improved (last game), but they've got to be responsible in our own zone too. It's all about finding a balance. I thought we did a better job (last game), spread the minutes out more evenly. It seemed to help."

    After shooting blanks on 7 shots in game 1, Mike Modano scored a goal and added 2 assists last night to laed the offence. "Rolly (Roloson) had my number the first game. Tonight we just tried to settle down, do the things that got us here. Mark (Bell) and JR (Roenick) played great."

    Also notable were Mattias Norstrom, who had 7 hits, and Mike York, who added 6 of his own. Shanahan said "that kind of energy, coming from palces you don't always expect it, makes a huge difference to the team."

    The Jackets had a strong home record this season (25-11-5), but were even better on the road (28-9-4). Chicago had virtually identical records home and away, just above .500. We'll see starting tonight whether the Jackets truly are road warriors.

    Milo Minderbinder
    Columbus Discoverer
     

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