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Dose of Reality #3

November 2, 2006

Dose of Reality

“We looked really good losing tonight.” Anonymous Blue Jacket person, talking about the loss to Colorado.

Did I really hear that, “we looked good” while losing a game? Is this what I have to settle for at this stage of Blue Jacket franchise history?

I know, you’re going to say that the team took a lot more shots, something that I have been calling for. And they did take a lot shots, some of them good, some of them just pad softeners for Jose Theodore, and some of them close to the net. But Colorado gave Columbus NINE power plays and the team converted on one of them. Colorado even threw in a five-on-three situation, but the team couldn’t make it work.

There is not much else to say. I honestly thought the Jackets would win last night because Colorado never takes them seriously and we would catch them by surprise. And I am on record with Mr. EOB as saying that the Calgary game will not be easy because Darryl Sutter is not happy and gave his players a warning that things will change if they don’t win. So I am uneasy about Friday.

The Jackets did have some chances, but they could not find the back of the net. Rick Nash had five shots on goal, but in the first period when he was wide open in the slot, his hard shot went dead center into Theodore. Sergei Fedorov skated well and even went hard to the net a few times, but could only score one goal. By the way, is that wrong to expect a prolific scorer like Sergei Fedorov to score more than one goal in a game? With his experience, skill set, and salary, shouldn’t he be good for more than one goal when the opportunity is present. Fred Modin put a nice backhand-to-forehand transition together and got the team back in the game. David Vyborny reappeared last night for a two point game. It hurts me to remark like that about Vyborny, but he has not been himself this season. Maybe he isn’t getting enough chicken to eat.

On defense, the team could contain most of the Avalanche except Stastny and Wolski. Wolski in particular seemed to find lots of room out there. And to paraphrase George Matthews, I’m sure that Pascal Leclaire would like to have a few of the shots back. But I haven’t ever seen an NHL game where they award Mulligans.

Theodore did play well, but he gave up some fat rebounds that the Jackets could not take advantage of. A few of the players need to focus a little more on their shooting and raise their panic point. Jason Chimera hustles every second on the ice, but the puck has to be shot at the area between the red pipes, not the glass. Anson Carter, he with the $2.5 million contract, had no shots on goal in 4:10 minutes of ice time. That’s a lot of money to waste if you are going use him like that.

A lot of things didn’t add up last night. The Jackets appeared to be faster, tougher, and bigger than Colorado. The referees gave the Jackets all the calls last night, including TWO too many men on the ice infractions, something that I’m sure Coach Joel Quennville must have commented on to the officials. Even the announced crowd didn’t add up: Maybe the Jackets are switching to the metric system to come up with an attendance figure of 16,007.

Doug MacLean tells the fans that he has faith, which is fine and good. But maybe he should work on a plan for success in the meantime.

– Truth Serum

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