The Jackets deserved a better fate on Tuesday night, givine the league-leading Vancouver Canucks all they could handle in their building, going to an eight-round shootout before falling. Still, the Jackets got a point that, on paper, they probably weren’t expected to get, and now have points in nine of their past 10 road games (6-1-3). Edmonton is at the bottom of the standings for the second straight year, and dealt away Dustin Penner on Monday. They’re also without several other key players. Even still, as the Jackets have learned at various points this year, Edmonton can still get after you with their young, talented, and speedy players. The Jackets need to bring their A-game, and more importantly given everything at stake, they simply HAVE to win this game.
The Jackets get right back it again tonight after two straight games in which they’ve rallied to force overtime only to drop a heart-breaker. But, at the end of the day, if you’d said they’d have two points through the trip thus far, I’d have taken that. And they have certainly had to earn those two points. Their Western Canadian road trip ends tonight in Edmonton, who is struggling at the bottom of the conference, though of late they’ve been much better in winning six of ten. Can the Jackets come home with four points on the trip? Let’s hope so. They’ve rallied for overtime the last two, but haven’t finished strong. They need to finish strong tonight, both in terms of the game and the trip as a whole.
The Jackets are back in action tonight after a couple of off days following their roller-coaster ride of a weekend. They get back at it tonight against the only team that finished behind them in the Western Conference standings last season. The Jackets have won four of five, including two of three at home. The Oilers got off to a great start winning their first two games, but have since dropped five in a row (four in regulation), and are currently winless on the road. If the Jackets can build off their last two solid wins, all signs point to being able to win again tonight. But, as Calgary showed last Friday, games aren’t played in blog previews.
Every Tuesday, WFNY’s The 5-Hole brings you up to date with the goings-on of the CBJ…
The Week That Was
Week: 1-2-0, 2 points
Overall: 31-26-6, 68 points (3rd division; 6th conference)
The Jackets are at a crossroads: they are still in the playoff hunt, but they are struggling to find their game right now. A three game road trip ending 1-2-0, with only three goals scored on offense. Were it not for Steve Mason’s shut-out on Thursday night in Edmonton, they would be on a four game losing skid. The crossroads also has a fork labeled “Trading Deadline” as the NHL Trading Deadline is Wednesday at 3 PM. There are many possibilities for the Jackets to go out and get a player, but the question will be: is it worth it to part with a #1 pick to try to make the playoffs this year, when the future is arguably as bright as it’s ever been? [Read more...]
Man, did Columbus need this one in the worst way. They went into the game Thursday night only one point in front of Edmonton in the playoff standings, and though they peppered him with shots, Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson was definitely standing on his head all night. It took a break-away from former Oiler Raffi Torres to notch the only goal of the hockey game coupled with some stellar, timely goaltending by the league-leader in shutouts (padding his total to eight, now) for the Jackets to prevail. For Torres, it was a sweet celebration in the midst of constant pain from a season of struggling through rehab from various injuries and surgeries. For Mason, it was yet another big step forward in a tremendous rookie season that has him helping lead a team someplace it has never been: legitimate playoff contention. [Read more...]
The Jackets continue to play solid hockey, and continue getting cracks at teams right in front of them in the standings (Colorado and Vancouver last week, Edmonton tonight). This is their second-to-last game before the All Star break, and tomorrow’s game in Calgary is going to be a tough one. So, tonight’s tilt with the Oilers is that much more important, as every point is critical for the Jackets now, especially against teams right next to them in the standings. [Read more...]