The CBJ's venture off to the west coast to contest three crucial match ups against Anaheim, L.A. and San Jose this week departing on New Year's Day. They arrive home next Sunday and then head right back to STL on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Hitch says it is not just good enough to play well on the road, but wins and points are a MUST. With Anaheim, the Jackets have a 4-0 win, a 2-1 SOL, and a 4-3 OT heart breaker at Nationwide. The L.A. record is impressive with a 4-1 win and a 2-1 win. We have only played SJ once this year Oct. 27 and walked away with a 2-1 home victory.
Looking back at the month of December the team ended up with a record of 7-5-2, garnering 16 of a possible 28 points. Hopes were higher going into the month, but finishing off with three consecutive home wins add fuel to the road fire.
How about the finish to 2007 - our two stars added to the offense. Zherdev ended up with being part of six of the last eight goals (2-4) and Nash was no slouch either with the Hat Trick (first for the CBJ since November '03) and an assist.
Jiri Novotny has emerged as one of the top three forwards for this hockey team, as added minutes have been sent his way… not really sent, this guy has earned every minute of them. He is 3-4 in his last nine and has played more than 20+ minutes in the last four games.
Ron Hainsey has been on fire since a healthy visit to the press box. In his last 6 games, he has accumulated 6 assists, mostly on the power play.
The goaltending duo of Pascal Leclaire and Fredrik Norrena rank in the top four of all categories and has been a constant and much needed part of the CBJ this year. It will assuredly allow Pascal a trip to Atlanta in January for the annual All-Star Festivities… his seven shutouts this year, lead the NHL… #61 should join him as well.
Looking at the players boarding the plane today, there are some pleasant additions with Modin, Peca, Malhotra and Vyborny all part of the casted contingent. Absent from his seat will be Gilbert Brule… it is my understanding at the time of this blog that "Bru" is going to get some much needed playing time in Syracuse.
Time on this trip will be dedicated to reading the Dave King novel, "King of Russia" in between blogs and prep time with our games. The seat normally to the right of George and I on the plane is usually accompanied by the TV crew of Jeff and Danny… but since the games are not televised, Gary Agnew now has elbow room to burn.
Stay tuned, in more ways than one on this trip; via the radio dial as George would say and via the blog!!
*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 1/3 @Los Angeles.