Increased expectations remain in the mind of Ken Hitchcock, as he talks about the Chicago game and future games to play against the Central Division foes.
The plus-minus ratio is a quality with only three players in the minus column. Hitch alludes to the fact that is the true result of a decrease in goals against average by the team and the consistent goaltending the CBJ have worked hard to accomplish.
David Vyborny is coming along and is finding himself into the confines of scoring areas more often, as his shot total is fine but the results are waning. No need for panic at this time… chemistry from the line of Federov and Brule is bubbling and waiting to boil in the near future.
A tweak here and there on the power play has Federov in the "dead spaces" in front of the net where his stick and second sense should result into a few more goals. He has three on the team already second only to Rick Nash with four.
What to expect from Chicago is a desperate team that has lost three in a row at home. Expect them to rush through the neutral zone and the CBJ to nullify it by reading the given situation, 3-on-2, 3-on-3, etc. The practice on Tuesday was one that worked on the speed and the pressure of a forecheck.
I asked Hitch this thoughts about Patrick Kane and his abilities. His comment about his ability to take a hit or check and continue with speed and precision is the best he has observed in years. I mentioned how great it was to see such talent and his response was quick and simple - "Yeah… for you guys."
By the way, I chatted with Nikolai Zherdev today, wishing him a belated Happy 23rd birthday. I told him he should be ready for his first English speaking interview. He said OK, and is ready for his first challenge. This is history in the making. We are going to keep it short and sweet for TV and radio. Stay tuned for the keys of the game against Chicago by #13… he has come a long way and it continues each day!
Now the decision for tonight and dinner is Ditka's, Harry Carey's or a bowl of soup in the hotel. Time will tell!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings". The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcasters will try to keep you update on all the behind the scenes action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets hit the road. The next road game is 11/7 @Chicago.