PreGame PostUp: Columbus @ Anaheim

Posted: 01/07/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

The Stakes:

The 13th place Columbus Blue Jackets trail our ninth place Anaheim Ducks by three points and have three games in hand. Neither team is likely to win its division. The path to the playoffs for each is by beating the other playoff bubble teams. It’s a must win game for both clubs.

The Buzz:

The Mike Commodore drama continues. Blue Jackets have placed matchup D-man Mike Commodore on waivers. Commodore requested a trade and has been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games. He carries a cap hit of $3.75 million is signed through 2011-12.

Bob Murray is looking to upgrade the blue line but I don’t think Commodore is on his radar. Stranger things have happened though.

Injury Report:

BJ’s placed Ethan Moreau on IR retroactive to January 4. Columbus has no other injuries.

OCR’s Curtis Zupke reports Jason Blake skated Thursday but remains day-to-day.  Aaron Voros is skating again but is a couple of weeks away. Captain Ryan Getzlaf is out until at least early February and Jason Jaffray remains out indefinitely. When Girls Love Hockey blogger Suz Broughton remains on IR with a fractured vertebra but she and Jenelyn Russo compiled their personal Top Hockey Moments of 2010.

Keys to the Game:

Attitude: The Jackets are 11-9-1 at home and have also earned a wining road record going 9-8-2 as the visitor. Nothing says hard-working team more than their record. With six forwards on pace for 20 goals, Columbus is not a team to be taken lightly.

Strategy: You have to shadow Rick Nash and Toni Lydman will probably draw the assignment. Columbus doesn’t get much scoring from the backend but their D is instrumental to the attack recording 53 assists on 103 total goals.  The key to beating these Blue Jackets is to get on them aggressively, put sticks and bodies in the passing lanes to breakup the attack before it gets started.

First Goal Wins: Neither team plays catchup very well. Our Ducks are 17-3-2 when scoring first and 4-15-2 when the opposition scores first. Blue Jackets are 14-3 when scoring first and 6-14-3 when they don’t.

No secret here. Score first and outwork them. An early tell will be who’s winning the one on one battles and which team is first on the loose pucks.

No prediction. Our Ducks are 0-2 against the Blue jackets and a 2-9-1 against the Central Division.

  1. firerandy says:

    Great job of containing nash tonight! Just for fun, who do you think will win each category in the skills challenge tomorrow and who will win the whole event? That sucks getzy won’t be there, the hardest shot contest will be a little easier on the rest of the guys now.

  2. BackCheck says:

    Sorry firerandy, but I really haven’t paid any attention to the skills competition.

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