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Les Habitant Fall Victim to Emotion and No Ammunition!

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

February 24

The CBJ took Mount Royal by storm as they shutout Les Habitant 3-0 on a special night where Montreal hung Bob Gainey's #23 jersey into the rafters of Le Bell Centre in Montreal.

Witnessing a legend being immortalized was one event the game produced and sill being remembered by all, but the shutting out of the Habs was the real story. Pascal Leclaire returned home to produce his NHL leading ninth shutout and earn first star accolades. He had a solid team effort in front of him as the Jackets shut down the #1 PP (0-6) and the #3 ranked offensive team in the league.

Manny Malhotra had a great night with a goal and an assist, was 65% from the faceoff dot, +2 and had four shots on goal. Rick Nash had his fifth GWG of the year and his team leading 33rd. Adam Foote played 29:24 and was +2 on the night and played as the leader of the team should.

Jason Chimera was a rock as he created seven shots on goal and several scoring chances. He also was involved physically and had his nose involved in the main street of everyone's business. Jan Hejda also played 24:27, 4:41 of shorthanded time, +2 on the night and had three hits… heavy, heavy, heavy play is what they needed against a quick, skilled and impressive Hab team. The match up with Foote and Hejda was superlative.

The questions on the makeup of the CBJ are now to be answered in the next 72 hours… are we buyers?... are we sellers?... it is anticipated the team will have a new look come Wednesday night against Jody Shelley and the Sharks. Who, what and where can only be answered by when… that is by 3 p.m. Tuesday February 26th. The likes of free agents David Vyborny and Sergei Fedorov stand the possibility of changing addresses. Captain Adam Foote has expressed his want to stay in Columbus… but… Scott Howson and Hitch will entertain the thoughts of others and decisions will be made to develop this franchise for the future and not short term success.

The five game road trip produced six points. Beating the Western Conference Detroit, and then beating the two top Eastern Conference teams in Montreal and Ottawa, reserved the fact the CBJ on any given night can shut the door on the NHL's best. It can also be noted that when you lose to St. Louis and Toronto, in the same breath, the lack of consistency with this team remains the problem with making the climb up the ladder for the post season. Five points back with 18 games to be played allows the team to still be in the race, but there is the need to produce a string of wins quickly.

Some tidbits:
-The CBJ is now 3-1-0 in le Bell Centre
-Ron Tugnutt shutout the Habs December 18th 2000
-Montreal has not beaten a Quebec born goalie this year 0-5
-6 points on the 5 game road trip marks the most significant this year
-The Faceoff % remains in the top 4 of the NHL… the PK in the top four also


*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 2/29 @Vancouver.

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