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What a Great Effort

by Bill Davidge / Columbus Blue Jackets

January 24

Going into the third down 2-1, the CBJ showed some moxie as they scored three unanswered to walk away with a 4-2 win. It was truly a great overall effort and there were no passengers in this game.

Kris Russell scored his first two goals of the season including the game-winning goal.

Zherdev put on another clinic with three assists and was unselfish in handing off to Nash for his 26th, an empty net goal… in fact he went out of his way to get him the puck as he could have shot it in himself.

Andrew Murray scored his third goal in his first game back after a concussion. Sergei Fedorov is now on the IR with a concussion. This move allowed Murray to dress.

Dan Fritsche is very fortunate as he went into the boards full speed. He was able to get off the ice and did not return after the first period. Walking on to the plane today on our way to Chicago, he was still in a little pain, but able to get around.

Pascal Leclaire put on another clinic saving 31-of-33 shots. He was able to covet rebounds, minus the two that were directed of the low stick. Morrow and Ott were able to capitalize five minutes apart in the second period.

Jan Hejda and Foote continue to be horses. Hejda is so smart and deceptively strong in and around the puck in our zone. He has been one of the most underrated players on this team. He collected three hits, an assist and played 23+ minutes. He has played 20+ in 21 of the last 25 games.

Another guy that is flying under the radar is Jiri Novotny, who had eight hits, an assist, three shots on goal and won 58% of his face-offs.

A lesson learned again by those of us who love to coach. After the disappointing loss in Colorado, it would have been easy for Hitch to give the guys a day off. They looked tired and despondent. What does he do? They practice for over an hour the next day with high tempo and grind… how does the team respond? They played their hearts out last night and walked away with a well earned win… the moral of the story? Do not be afraid to push the players hard. Fatigue can be a product of the mind and not the body. Therefore work it hard and results can arrive. Once the desired outcome has arrived give a little, but get back to business soon!

Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock have a history going back to the Finals of the Stanley Cup in 1999. Buffalo was in Dallas waiting to play, and were on their way out to the practice arena at Farmers Branch. Little does Lindy know that when he goes to the double pad rink, one is named Bob Gainey Arena with a picture of him holding the Cup and the other is called Ken Hitchcock Arena with a picture of Hull scoring the controversial goal on walls of it… Hitch is just chuckling to himself on this day. That in itself deserves a follow up phone call to Lindy to see what he thought of the facility.

Off to Swoop with the Hawks!! Stay tuned!


*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 1/31/08 @Nashville.

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