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No Gold in Them There Hills!!

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

December 8

We went to California looking for gold in the manner of collecting some points toward a run for the playoffs and come up with nothing to show for it. For all of us involved in the organization, it was a tough pill to swallow and the frustrations were many. Tough losses were the theme of the trip with the most disappointing occurring in San Jose where the CBJ out shot, out chanced and outplayed the opposition. The final outcome, a 3-2 deficit. It was led with a want to throw them a little adversity and that occurred. The goal was to dig in for 60 minutes and that occurred. The problem on this night was to stay disciplined and aggressive, but stay out of the box….but giving up 2 PPG on 6 opportunities was the killer and that proved to be the difference. Nabokov was the first star, making 29 saves, Thornton was the second star scoring the game winner; and Marc Eduard Vlasic had 3 assists. A game the CBJ dominated for 60 minutes was not good enough for the win. That is concerning as they had more than enough opportunities to bury one of the best teams in the NHL.

On to LA… this was a team that did look like an image of the CBJ. Young with a mixture of veteran players dotted the lineup. It was a must to come in and play a solid team game. It was a want and desire to "outwork the goal tender" and be hungry to finish…but what we found was a step behind in every facet of the game. It was one of those nights where the players try to work, tried to compete and nothing to show for it, as the 3-0 score was indicative of the problems on this given night. It is not like this team wants to lose but it becomes apparent this team has to run on all cylinders to have a chance to win. There will be no easy games for the Red White and Blue during this month of December. Six games @home and 8 on the road is what the NHL has ordered.

To the Duck Pond we go in search of a win. Knowing the task at hand, the goals set were to regain the lost step from LA, some how, some way. With short shifts, chip and chase and play physical had to be in the cards. A makeover, though not extreme was in place as Backman and Voracek sat and watched. Clay Wilson and OK Tollefson were injected into the lineup. A PP specialist and a physical presence were in place for a battle, and that was the meal of the day. Clay did a superb job of QB the PP as he collected and an assist and demonstrated the ability to create space and opportunities… he is in the initial stages of finding a home on the #1 unit. Tollefson was a trooper all night, involved in being part of the trenches and a battle that left him with a few stitches in the back of his head. A scary moment for all is when he fell to the ice, helmet less. He was stunned and was able to get to the dressing room with some help. On the trip home he was sharp and cognicent. His game is what this team can use on a nightly basis… by the way we lost 5-3 as Ryan Getzlaf had a couple of goals… and the best CBJ on the night was Fedor Tyutin who chipped in a couple of assists.

Home again, home again jiggity jig… it is time to get back down to the bare tacks of being a team that is supposed to be hard to play against. Are there more changes to be made?

Stay tuned!!

*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.

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