|Calvert, DMac, and Artie|
On Monday, Dallas comes to town. On Tuesday they play at Minnesota. On Thursday the Blues are in town. To keep pace with the league, the Jackets have to try to find a couple of wins in this stretch. Its probably another week or so before they really find their legs, so I think in this stretch it is up to the AHL guys who have been playing all along to step in and make a difference. Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson need to bury a couple of goals. Ryan Johansen has looked stronger with each game, and he needs to start asserting himself against these teams if we are gonna get those wins. John Moore needs to start snatching ice time from some of the other defensemen.
I'm looking forward to this grind. We have seen the type of rough road trip the Jackets just experienced happen many a time in the past, and it does not necessarily define the team. The road is a rough place to be in the Western Conference. With 3 in 4 on home ice, the Jackets need to focus on holding serve in Nationwide Arena. If they can do so with reasonable success over the next few weeks, they will remain in the mix. At this time of an abbreviated season, that's all you need to do.
Across the league, even though there are a few teams doing well, a lot of teams are struggling, and turning in performances like the CBJ's last two. So long as that doesn't remain a trend, they'll be okay over the short term. We'll have a better feel for the group at about the 15 game mark.
So get your mojo going, and come down to Nationwide Arena tonight and try to help the Jackets dictate the pace of the game!