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Great Defense . . . A Road Point . . .But . . .

You can’t really complain a lot about getting 3 out of 4 possible points on the road, but this one left the feeling that a point was clearly left on the table.

The Jackets posted one of their best defensive games of the season — heck, of ANY season, and outshot the Lightning 34 – 17, but could not bury the big chances. A gorgeous shot by Martin St. Louis in OT, going far post to the left while his momentum was taking him to the right.

Give McKenna credit for making lots of key saves, but we missed our chances as well. Voracek missed an open net. Huselius double-clutched under similar circumstances. Williams rattled one off the post. Need to bury those.

It was almost like the Jackets were so dominant in posession, chances, shots, etc. that they put themselves to sleep. They lacked that killer sense of urgency throughout the contest, though they came out with it in the third.

No need for wailing or moaning over this one. A game effort, just one lacking a bit of intensity and finishing. Here are +/- for tonight:

Defensive Play — We really smothered them all night long in our defensive end, and the neutral zone. We cut off passes, kept them wide, lifted sticks and otherwise made life miserable for Lecavalier, St. Louis and Stamkos. You never had the sense that we were seriously threatened for any extended period of time.

Discipline — Only one penalty all night long, which unfortunately ended in a tip in by Malone cutting across the crease. We showed good clearing of the puck out of our zone, and good control in the neutral zone.

Intensity — We lacked that gritty little edge that we have had in so many games this year. We were outhit 27 – 14, and they had almost twice as many takeaways as we did. Played down to the opponent here.

Precision — Just could not get the tape to tape passes when we needed them, or if we did, the recipient could not pull the trigger. Power play, except for the third one, showed good movement, but could not get shots all the way through.

No need to call out the calvalry on this one, but another of those educational opportunities that was cheap enough. Minnesota lost, and is in a tough spot. Nashville and Anaheim had a 3 pointer, but the net effect was zero to the Jackets, as Anaheim took Nashville’s spot in 8th and we kept our 5 point gap over 8th. Vancouver took Dallas, which just about ends the Dallas run. St. Louis enhanced their chances with a shutout of LA, who is officially toast. Detroit trails Edmonton at the moment, but we will see how that ends up.

Jackets are still in great shape, and will be very intense for Calgary on Thursday, guaranteed. Go Jackets!


  1. roadman

    March 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

    A point is a point, especially at this time of the year. But this game will certainly give Hitch something to yell about. Well played in any number of aspects but lacking in others(familiar?). It was, I’m afraid, almost a little expected (trap, trap, trap). Now we go home and the rubber meets the road, so to speak. No more days in the sun, ALL playoff games ahead from here on out.

    BTW, cannot see the latest chart again.

  2. Rick

    March 25, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Sometimes I think Juice needs to take some lessons on shooting the puck. His puck handling is excellent, but he needs to shoot more. Pucks on net, as the saying goes.

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