Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Not As Easy As It Looks

On paper, the Columbus Blue Jackets are another Central Division team the Canucks should beat. The Blue Jackets have won only three games in November and had lost eight in a row prior to Saturday night's win over the Minnesota Wild. They are also one of two teams - New Jersey is the other - to average less goals per game than the Canucks.

However, things are looking up for the Blue Jackets. Ken Hitchcock replaced Gerald Gallant as head coach last week and Hitch's winning ways (career record: 409-228-88-28) has already sparked the team. He's also changed their system to suit the talents of Sergei Fedorov, Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev and Anson Carter.

Under Gallant, the Blue Jackets' breakout play was "duck!" as defencemen hammered pucks around the glass to forwards who, when they weren't getting beaned, found themselves forehead-to-glass trying to make plays out of their feet. The forecheck was last-one-in-is-a-rotten-egg.

"It's been night and day," Carter, the ex-Canuck, said of the coaching change. "When he first came in, he said: 'Enough of the hard-arounds. Ds, make a play; it's the National Hockey League. And forwards, get back and support your D.' You could see guys weren't being utilized the proper way."
Sound familiar?

More from today's MSM:

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:15 AM


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