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Same Old Jackets?

You would think so if you only pay attention to the 3-1 loss. And this most certainly will be what the fickle fans of Columbus will be looking at when they hear the results. Judging by tonights attendance, I would be surprised if there were more than 5,000 people in the stands, the general population including those fans seated around me have already made up their minds that it's going to be another long year in CBJ country. The results may have been the same tonight but things are definately not the same.

The Blue Jackets dominated this game especially in the third period. They outshot the Predators 33-18 and had numerous chances to score but similar to the beginning of last season they could not put the puck in the net. Pascal Leclaire let in all three goals, two shorthanded and one on a screen shot. One of the shorthanded goals was because of miscommunication with his defenseman behind the net and the other on a breakaway. Dan Fritsche scored for the Jackets, also shorthanded. The team never gave up until the final horn and continued to pressure the Preds without success. The end result was still a loss.

A loss in pre-season is nothing to get alarmed about especially when you see the effort. I saw that effort tonight. But seeing David Vyborny laid out from a vicious hit from behind from Martin Erat was something to get alarmed about. Vyborny was taken to the hospital but preliminary reports on the post game show, although vague, seemed positive. Losing Vyborny would be a tremendous blow to the team. Chris Beech was also hurt during the game with a reported lower body injury suffered when hit in the upper thigh with a slapshot on a clearing play. He attempted to play through it to no avail. Let's hope both players are ok and that they get back on the ice soon.

Looking through the loss there were some positive signs. Because of the injuries several players made the most of their extra ice time. Jared Boll and Tom Sestito both played physical games with Boll involved in the only fight in the game. The line of Platt, Pineault and Lindstrom also put on some pressure without being rewarded with scoring.

There were some negative things to be concerned about on the power play and penalty kill but those can be written off at this time due to a lack of practice. I'll be concerned if the trend continues through the entire pre-season.

Back to practice tomorrow and look forward to the White Teams game on Tuesday night against the BlackHawks.

Wishing you well David and Chris.