Saturday, February 02, 2008

DOOOOWN the stretch they come

In the days following Nasher getting hosed out of being the MVP of the All-Star Game, a number of things have transpired for the Jackets...

- "We're still in it!" has been through the press a number of times. Prior to dropping two straight to teams we're "in it" with, the Jackets were sitting 9th in a virtual tie.

- Jody Shelley got moved to the Sharks.

- Dick Tarnstrom was acquired for the blue line at the cost of Glencross.

- Pascal Leclaire looked human in Nashville.

The Jackets are still in it, more in it than they've been in their brief history. However, the two points looming against the Wild in Nationwide tonight are getting bigger as the game approaches. Can't afford to drop 3 games, or you'll be fighting to get back in it rather than staying in it. No Modin and no Feds won't help, but the rest of the boys in blue have showed they can step up and play in the absence of some of the vets.

Moving of Jody kind of came as a surprise. Him being scratched often wasn't a big surprise, but him not on the roster is a surprise. The guy meant a lot to the team and the community, so hopefully he returns when his NHL days are done. For now, he'll likely get a shot at some playoff games and provide the Sharks with some "punch." Best of luck to the big guy, and hopefully he gets enough games to earn his retirement package from the union.

The acquisition of Tarnstrom yesterday was a bit of a head scratcher. Again, not shocking, just didn't really see it coming. Glenncross, while fun to watch, is AnyNHLer on the 3rd line. He's solid, but not a standout. He'll fit in nicely in Edmonton, maybe even give the sagging Oilers a lift. Tarnstrom brings some puck moving, power play ability to the blue line for the Jackets. The question now: Is a blue liner on the move for the Jackets? Stay tuned.

Leclaire had a real downer against the Preds, but a few of his teammates joined him. Seriously, can we just put a beating on the Preds already? We'd ice the Western Conference All-Stars in Jacket jerseys against the Preds, and the Preds would get every bounce, call, and goal in the game. I'm sick of losing to these guys, especially now that they're no longer head and shoulders better than we are.

With 29 games remaining, the Jackets sit 2 points out of 8th place. Not unattainable by any stretch, but the wins are going to have to come to keep pace. Especially when you consider that the two losses this week are now ahead of us in the standings.

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