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Game Preview: Predators at Blue Jackets 12/1/2010

The Nashville Predators will meet the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus, tonight at 7:00. As usual I will be discussing the game via Twitter (@FireTheCannon), and I will be discussing the game in Fox Sports Ohio’s Live Gameday Chat at the bottom of this page. So without further blabbering from me, onto the preview.

First off, the question on everyone’s mind:

IN the net, Garon or Mason?

Coach Arniel is very secretive with which goalie is stating each game, and has admitted to just going by his gut at times. Well, my gut says Garon. After back to back losses against Detroit, Mason needs a break, and it would surprise me to see him start this evening. However, at the CBJ’s last meeting with the Preds, Mason did do very well with 27 saves, getting his first shutout of the season. Definitely something to consider, but we have seen Mason get down before, and after his last outing with Detroit, I think it is time for him to take a breather.

What about the Power Play?

I know it has only been 2 practices since the horrid, scoreless, 2 minutes of 5 on 3 vs the Red Wings, but I predict an improved power play out of the Jackets. There is one thing that Arniel has proven good at, at least to me, is spotting the teams flaws, and improving on them very quickly. Well, this team flat out sucks on the power play, and I expect Arniel to take corrective action before the Preds game Wednesday.

SHOOT THE PUCK!

This is one area the Jackets just can’t seem to improve on in my book. They are doing an incredible job passing the puck this season, and not just giving it to one player (not mentioning names), but there is one thing the Jackets are forgetting…. SHOOT THE DAMN PUCK! I like seeing that the CBJ are getting the puck moving around, but at some point in time that puck has to fly towards the net. Or at least in that general direction. I know that some will argue quality over quantity, and I understand that, but there are times you just have to go for it, take the shot. Maybe it goes in, maybe someone will grab the rebound, maybe nothing at all, but you have done more than just pass it around!

So will the Jackets win?

What the hell kind of question is that to ask me? I am just some blogger, and not even a good one at that. My opinion as a fan is yes, they will win, hands down no question. My prediction as a critic, they have a chance. There is really no reason why they shouldn’t be able to destroy the Preds, Blues-style, but the Jackets can be rather unpredictable. The pressure of coming off of back to back losses should be enough to give the Jackets the edge, and it would be a real shame for the Jackets to get their first 3 loss streak this season.

Join me at 6:45 for the live chat!

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