Saturday, January 26, 2013

Production Line Hockey

Calvert, DMac, and Artie
The Blue Jackets production line of hockey continues tonight with the arrival of the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks.  The CBJ are coming off of a pretty rough road trip, where they didn't perform real well.  And the 'Hawks will be bringing a lot of speed, something that the CBJ have often had trouble with.    It should be an entertaining game, and I will be intrigued to see if the CBJ can get back to their lunchpail, grinding ways, and dictate the pace of this game. If Chicago dictates the pace, it could be a long evening.

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!



  1. Not saying your AHL suggestion is off-track, but Atkinson is out for at least a week, maybe two, according to Porty. Real shame, as I just wrote a piece on FOX Sports Ohio that used the Johansen to Atkinson goal as an example of team chemistry coming from the AHL experience.

    I would have leaned on whatever chemistry Dubinsky and Anisimov have leftover from New York...perhaps also put Brassard and Umberger back together for the same reason (maybe with Foligno, who is prone to making Nash-like moves on occasion)...but coach Richards has split things up twelve ways from Sunday.

    Richards clearly hasn't found what he wants, but jeez...playing mad scientist against the second-highest scoring team in the NHL is dangerous.

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