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Out with the Wild, in with the Ducks

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

December 9-10

The 2-1 loss to Minnesota was the first at home since January 18th, 2002. The CBJ are now 9-2-1 @NWA vs. Minnesota. That loss was the first since Rick Nash was drafted in June of 2002.

Hitch said the team played for a total of 12 minutes in the game, a game where skill was placed before the work ethic. It is becoming more clear and obvious to all of us, especially with the injuries to Modin, Vyborny, Novotny and Malhotra that the team has to be physical and get the pucks deep early and often. It should then be followed by a constant fore-check and cycle to work on the opposing defense.

How about the battle with Jared Boll and Aaron Voros; it was certainly one for the ages. It replicated the new craze in sport, that of Ultimate Fighting. Let us give kudos to "Boller" for trying to rally the troops with his NHL leading 11 major. Voros, certainly a proud product of Alaska-Fairbanks, will be glowing, as his alma mater shutout #1 ranked Miami in the confines of Steve Cady arena in Oxford on Saturday night.

Minnesota played a "quiet" game and the CBJ needed to be willing to work each and every shift. The team must rely on each other and sustain a group effort for 60 minutes.

Hitch also mentioned in his post game press conference that "consequences start now". After observing the Sunday practice, teaching and attention to detail on breakouts and fore checking were the taste of the day! Face-off alignments with the emphasis on breaking out was the final soother in a 45 minute impromptu… no side boards, no suicides, no severe punishment and especially no screaming and yelling. Once the team was finished with the stretch, all were informed to "get off the ice"… why?... Anaheim was skating at 1 p.m.

The Anaheim news out of their camp is one of discontent with a struggle in Music City. A 4-2 loss to Nashville was highlighted by 13 minor penalties to the Ducks. One of the heaviest penalized squads in the NHL, their lack of discipline cost Corey Perry the third period of ice time he usually earns.

Geoff Platt, former CBJ, is now playing on the wing with Bertuzzi and Andy MacDonald. This will be his fourth game since the trade for Aaron Rome and Clay Wilson, both defensemen. Geoff scored seven goals and had nine assists in nine games with Kevin Dineens' Portland Pirates. That earned him a call from the big club!

Getzlaf signed a new five-year deal. Scott Niedermayer is now on the "out of retirement" mode, training to get back to form. The team has been given a 21-day window from the league to get their $$$ in shape and in accordance with the cap.

The tilt against the Ducks should be one of mystery and intrigue, with the hope the CBJ can put 60 minutes to the test to succeed, it should be one of physical play early and often. A 4-0 win and 2-1 loss, in a shootout in Anaheim on November 1st, gives the CBJ 3 of 4 points against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.


*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 12/15 @Boston.

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