Murray - He was on fire last night. He's really playing hard every night it seems. His shorthanded breakaway, with 2 shot attempts really shows something. (how many guys have we seen skate off into the corner after their 1st shot on the break-away.) Murray, rather, shoots at the rebound, then goes behind the net, steals the puck, and has the presence to pass it infront of the net right onto Novotny's stick for an easy goal.
The Goat Line - This line continues to show up each and every game. I haven't always been big on Chimmy, but his speed absolutely creates scoring chances and his passing seems to have improved nicely with Brass and Vcek on the line with him. Chimmy's 3rd period penalty can't really be blamed. It was a bit questionable, but he did get his arm wrapped up on the shoulder and since the ref was behind he thought it was holding. Dem the breaks when you give up a rush when you're on the power play.
Defense - Regardless to who you look at on defense right now they are playing poorly. The 1st goal was courtesy of Methot standing behind the net for a full 30+ seconds and then we he finally made up his mind to come out, misses the pass and puts it onto the tape of Anaheim's forecheck. A few passes later and some cycling and the Jackets give up the goal.
Coaching - Hitch has refused to tinker with the defensive pairings. They clearly aren't working to this point. Tolle continues to be a healthy scratch, Russell, a + player, who earned the right to start the opening game, is now in the minors, and judging by the Syracuse blog, his confidence is now shot to all hell. At least this time we didn't ruin a 1st round pick... Additionally Filatov... he was a healthy scratch 2 games in a row. The kid wasn't getting any ice time. Hitch claims he was worried about his defensive responsibilities, but the kid was a + player, which is extremely hard to do when you're only on the ice 5 minutes a game. Let him play in Syracuse or give him a legitimate shot over those 9 games to see if he's ready.
Overall, the Jackets played fairly well, but towards the end of the 2nd period, you could see the Jackets starting to get tired and the intensity wasn't there. At that point I knew we wouldn't hold onto our lead and it was a matter of time until Anaheim got it turned around. I still believe conditioning is the main factor behind why the team can't hold onto leads in the 3rd period. A classic sign that a player isn't in game ready shape are pulled muscles, such as groins (ala Fragile Freddy).
The Jackets have one of the lowest medical budgets of any team in the NHL. I certainly don't think it's a coincidence that our team continues to get bit by the injury bug when you look at this little tidbit of a fact. Poor medical care & lack of conditioning lead directly to injury.
I'm not talking injuries like Boll getting a concussion mind you, but sprained ankles, pulled groins, aching backs... they all point to a lack of conditioning and medical care.