Your Monday Hit List, a day late (again)

February 27, 2007

A lot has happened in Columbus and the NHL in general since we last talked.  I meant to get to this yesterday, but found myself stuck in my office at home trying to reconfigure my network for longer than anticipated.  So in typical bullet fashion, here is your “Monday” Hit List:

  • In Madison Square Garden Saturday night, the Jackets come back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Rangers 3-2.  Anders Eriksson picks up his first marker of the season, and Rick Nash and Jason Chimera both beat Henrik Lundqvist high glove side on the penalty kill to down New York in regulation.  The two short-handed markers were the first time Columbus had more than one in a game in their short history.  I didn’t watch the game play-by-play, but I have to say that coming back from a very early two-goal deficit is not something this team does very often.  I was about to say it’s not something they could have done a few weeks ago, but this team has been down and up so many times this year it’s probably just not true (at Anaheim in January, anyone?).  It was a gutsy effort, and one game the Rangers would surely like to have back.
  • Sunday the Predators came to town, and I expected the usual (aka, the worst).  After the second, it’s 3-1 Nashville and I’m heading home from my mother-in-law’s house.  On the short drive home, we hear that Shelley gets his first of the year (and upon viewing the replay, it appears that Zherdev finally got the dipsy-do to work to set up the score), and it’s 3-2 Preds.  I got that feeling based on how the guys were playing that a tie score was inevitable.  The Jackets continued to pressure the Central Division leaders, and netted the equalizer on a blistering Ron Hainsey shot from the high slot.  Columbus carried the play for the rest of the third and in OT, outshooting the Predators 21-7 in the final 25 minutes, but couldn’t put one past the goal line and were forced into the shootout.  Alexander Radulov scores while David Vyborny, Nikolai Zherdev, and Rick Nash all miss.  Nashville wins.  Another gutsy comeback, but this time no victory.  There’s only one more opportunity for the Jackets to steal one from the Preds, on March 10th.  As it stands, the season series still has the Jackets with zero wins through seven games.
  • Defenseman Bryan Berard is placed on waivers.  I read his remarks in the Dispatch on Saturday, and (as a Jackets fan) decided I’d be happy if he never wore the funky CBJ crest again.  The best line was, “Hopefully, I’ll get moved somewhere and play in the playoffs,” Berard said. “I’m not playing as well as I’d like to play right now, obviously. But not being one of Hitch’s guys, I’m not playing as much as I’d like, either.”  Really, Bryan?  You think that ‘not being one of Hitch’s guys’ is why you’re not getting the playing time?  First off, it’s probably because you’re not performing on the ice.  Earning a -5 +/- rating in 10 games while obviously not performing as expected, did you expect the coach (unless it’s your mother) to give you more ice time?!?  Secondly, who exactly are “Hitch’s guys”?  Last I checked, Ken Hitchcock coached his first game for Columbus on November 24, 2006.  The only guys I’ve seen that have only played for Hitch in Columbus are… Ty Conklin, Curtis Glencross, Zenon Konopka, and Mark Methot.  Other than that, every other player on the roster has played for another Jackets coach.  So maybe you meant to say, “I’m not one of the guys who buys into Hitch’s system of defensive responsibility as evidenced by my career -82 +/- rating.  No way am I going to be forced to play defense, even if I’m ‘technically’ a defenseman.  Forget it.  Trade me to a playoff contender so I can get out of this town.”  As of 11:30 AM on trade deadline day nobody wants you, Bryan.  So long, we hardly knew ya.
  • Just saw in many places that Ty Conklin has been traded to Buffalo.  No word on what Columbus is getting in return at this point.  As things progress, this past off-season is looking more and more like the straw that will break Doug MacLean’s back.  More thoughts on this, and the Carter and Berard situations later.
  • Dan Fritsche is out three weeks with a lacerated wrist, suffered in the second period of Sunday’s game against Nashville. 

I’ve got more thoughts, but they relate to trades/free agency and CGMDM and I’ll have them up later.

Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench.  Come back soon.



  1. I completely agree with you about Berard. The guy has been injured for a year, and as SOON as he’s well enough to play again, Hitch puts him in, gives him several games to dust off the rustiness, and then takes him out when he doesn’t produce. In my opinion, Hitch didn’t have to play him at all, and he should’ve been grateful for the chance he got. Good riddance is what I say.

  2. I will not miss Berard either. I see that we picked up Boucher from waivers to to replace Conklin.

    What did you think of Methot? I thought he played a good game Sunday.

  3. Jessica – I’m sure the only reason Berard played as much as he did was in the hopes that he’d put up some decent numbers before they moved him out. When he didn’t perform, the team had no further reason to put him in the lineup. It may be a slap in the face to Bryan, but it’s one he earned.

    Tara – I thought Methot was solid. +1 in his first game, 2 hits and a little time on the PK. He said in his intermission interview that he’s a defensive defenseman, which is certainly something we could use. It sounds like he’s here at least through the road trip, and if he plays like he did on Sunday I’d guess we’ll see even more of him.

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!

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