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Thread: Retired - Columbus Blue Jackets

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by guthey View Post
    I wrote a piece recently on Calvert but some things have changed and I am always willing to answer any questions. The fact that Cam Atkinson has made the team and if he can sustain his play with regular production, I do see this as an issue because Prospal and Atkinson for the time being appear to be ahead of him. It also doesn't help that Calvert tailed off considerably last year after his initial hot streak. I am really not sure if Calvert will ever reach 70 points but he might some day. However I wouldn't bank on it especially any time soon.
    His injury during the preseason didn't help either, so him starting on the thrid line maybe just a case of getting up to speed.
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  2. #62
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    Good thing to add. True his pre-season injury doesn't help but with Prospal and Atkinson ahead of him and with Mayorov having a chance to make an impact, I think Calvert can't bank on all of them to fail to preform. Between The three of them at least one or two of them will at least play well for the fist few months if I had to guess.

    I agree that while Calvert may start on a third line, chances are at some point he'll get his shot at the second line for one reason or another. The only things he somewhat controls that could keep him from playing in a higher role are his injures or extremely underachieving play, which I think either are unlikely too persist for long since he strikes me, from what we have seen briefly, as a streaky player. Once he hits a hot streak (and I believe Columbus has enough depth that he should hit one from the third line), he could soar up the depth chart depending on how everyone else plays as well.
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  3. #63
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    Sorry if this has been covered ad nauseam, but I just landed Carter with the hope that he can pot 40.

    Think he will?
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    40 goals for Carter could certainly be in the cards or at least that general range. It is no less than 30 and probably tops out realistically at 45. It hard to say not having seen him in a live regular season game yet but as of now that is what I would expect.

    Also expect a good amount of assists, even though he isn't a great passer and is more of a shooter. Countless times his shots get redirected or cause a rebound plus with Nash being a good finisher around the net, the numbers go up again. It probably goes without saying but SOG and PPs should be pretty good too but it remains to be seen if they'll be any better than when he was in Philly, if anything they could be slightly down depending on chemistry.
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  5. #65
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    Default Game Notes of 10/8/11 vs. Nashville

    Sorry I am a bit later than I would like getting you some of the notes from the Nashville game.

    Vinny Prospal

    I certainly didn't give him enough respect in the preseason writeups. If he can continue his chemistry with Jeff Carter and Rick Nash than he is a great buy right now, especially in one-year leagues. He had a very good start with a goal, an assist, and a shot off of the inside of the post in the waning minutes of the game. Overall, he is showing some good signs and actually I felt like he was the strongest part of that line as Carter and Nash seemed to be putting in strong individual efforts but lacked the team play that Prospal had last night. Expectations should be high if he stays on that line if he isn't there and someone else steps up, he will see less points doubtlessly. If Prospal can keep it up it will be a great year for the Ceske Budejovice native.

    Fedor Tyutin

    The Russian defender was having a pretty strong game, helping out on Columbus' first goal. However, as has happened many times throughout his career, Tyutin's mental lapses can prove fatal. In the opening minute of the third period, he failed defensively to keep Matt Halischuk from getting to the net and scoring what turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Nasvhille Predators. He was seeing some top unit PP time, we'll see if that'll continue if he doesn't get on the scoresheet more, also assuming the mental mistakes he is known for cannot be remedied at this point in his hockey development. Tyutin needs to prove that he is as good as the big money he signed over the summer and last night didn't help.

    Steve Mason

    Alot was made by the Blue Jackets' TV commentators about how Steve Mason has "matured" and "is a new man just by looking at him now." I saw it in the first period to a degree, Mason looked better technically in net and seemed in control which is a must going against an elite goalie like Pekka Rinne of the Predators. However, I am not going to buy that Mason's hard work and new mindset has made any difference in terms of his play until he proves he can play multiple full games with the focus and the economization his movements that helps build his control of the game that made him Rookie of the Year in 2008-2009. He seems like he is scrambling too much, generally appears unsure of where he should be positioned and occasionally how to react-- all of which seems like a lack of discipline and focus.

    I fully expect Mason to improve at least somewhat but last night was still the same old Mason-- one good period and two you'd rather not see.
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  6. #66
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    Default Game Preview vs Vancouver Canucks

    The Big Picture- Stars and Chemistry

    Coming off of two straight losses to start the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets face the reigning Western Conference Champions, the Vancouver Canucks. In many ways, this start is not surprising considering many organizations have tried inserting superstar(s) into their lineups and the more stars you have sometimes the more complicated getting the expected end product becomes. However the trade-off is that your end product could be much better with the potential to win more games. I don't believe it is usually any personality clashes among superstars that make it difficult to achieve the success in hockey rather it is figuring how to hone everyone's abilities into a strong unit.

    It is hard to determine how inserting star players into a lineup will work out: a great example of how it can create a dominant juggernaut is the 2001-2002 Red Wings with Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille, Dominik Hasek, Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Brendan Shanahan, Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom. An example of it not working well would be the New York Rangers in the same year (although many years for that team would work) as that edition of the Red Wings that loaded up on talent with Eric Lindros, Theoren Fleury, Pavel Bure, Petr Nedved, Mark Messier, and Mike Richter. The difference in these two could be health and coaching (Detroit's Scotty Bowman is miles ahead of almost all modern hockey coaches and certainly Ron Low who was the coach of the Rangers that year). However this is my point, you need everyone playing (paging Mr. Wisniewski and Mr. Huselius) and you probably need to rethink how you use certain players. Now Coach Arniel's plan may still work since we are only two games in but if it doesn't start panning out than he will need to hastily need to reassess how his team plays.

    Rick Nash's Role

    I particularly wonder if Nash can play well for long stretches with other elite talents like Jeff Carter with Columbus. He has pretty much had supplemental players that were not that close to matching his talent but at times both Nash and his linemates could make each other better. I certainly think you can't simply insert Carter into the lineup and tell specifically, Nash to keep doing what he has done in the past. The small things like how long and where Nash looks for other options before he takes it by himself are directly related to a new environment with multiple stars for both Nash and the Columbus coaching staff.

    The Rest of the Team and Tonight

    I will say that the Nash-Carter-Prospal line was good in the first game especially, the rest of the team seems to have lost some unity too. Atkinson, Calvert, David Savard, etc have been doing little in terms of creating good offensive chances regularly. There will be growing pains and it is hard to tell fans that have seen plenty of pain while watching the Blue Jackets over the years that fact.

    I expect a better effort tonight but still facing a team like the Canucks right now even though the most recent report is that Cory Schneider will be starting instead of Roberto Luongo. However maybe that effort will be at another level and suddenly Nash and Carter are utilizing each other better. They have been finding each other and Prospal has done a good job but everything they do seems pretty basic or conventional thus far. Just as important maybe the secondary scoring will appear. Let's not forget the biggest longest-standing question goaltending; Mason will have to be strong tonight and that is the feature of the Blue Jackets' game that I have less optimistic for both for tonight and in the near future. Prove me wrong guys.
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  7. #67
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    Default Game Preview vs Colorado Avalanche 9/12/11

    Looking Back at Last Game

    I asked for the team to prove me wrong and they were on their way to a win until Steve Mason proved again that he is still the Steve Mason we have learned to expect. Even with though he is the back-up goalie for the Canucks, Schnieder played quite well. Columbus carried the play out of the gate but wore down over time.

    The secondary scoring was there with Cam Atkinson opened up the scoring and his game as a whole had a greater impact than before. Unfortunately, the rest of the secondary scoring was lacking and the PP units were generally horrible. Prospal has been the best player on the line with Carter and Nash that while they have generated points and shots on goal, for the number of chances they have had there should be more production.

    The key word is efficiency with consistency a close second for what the Blue Jackets need to have more of in their play. Six powerplay chances with little happening besides the Canucks clearing their defensive zone and Columbus retreating only to retreat again. There were glimmers of improvement but nothing sustained for the full game. The door was open for the Blue Jackets to get the win but they failed to grasp it.

    Tonight's Game

    Columbus isn't going to beat many teams if they

    - Continue to lack secondary scoring
    - Can't improve the PP
    - Play better in all zones as a unit
    - Keep the puck out of their net at least less than 3 times on occasion

    So the idea that the offseason moves would cause instantaneous positive results is obviously not going to be the case. The Blue Jackets have to take these expectations that "they're not the same old Blue Jackets" and prove them to be true. If the Blue Jackets fail to do that in many ways it will be an even bigger letdown.

    Tonight, the Avalanche come to town and Columbus will be in the hot seat until they get some wins-- the seat will only get hotter until they get a win unless it gets so bad people write them off, which would be business as usual for the organization.

    Colorado could be a nightmare in disguise with an offense led by Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny. However the biggest hurdle could be Semyon Varlamov who just shutout the defending champions, Boston Bruins in strong form. Right now I like the Avalanches chances with an established team that has chemistry. Even newcomer, Gabriel Landeskog has been fitting in like a glove with 10 shots and creating plenty of chances. Everyone on the Avalanche, new or veterans of the team, has been playing together and playing with confidence. I think confidence in themselves and each other is a trait that Columbus lacks and has contributed to their losses. However to build confidence they need something to build off of a win but it is hard to get that win without confidence. Something has to give at some point. We'll see how long it takes the Blue Jackets to get their first win, but any success starts there. The Blue Jackets have to take that first step sooner rather than later.

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  8. #68
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    Hey Guthey,

    Thanks for the CBJ coverage.

    I've seen that Johansen has been a healthy scratch.....How did he look in training camp, and - b/c of all these scratches, what are the odds he goes back to the A before his 9 games is up?
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    Default Johansen

    Honestly I don't believe with the limited action that Johansen will make it. The whole team, for the most part, played very well in the prospect and training camps, Johansen was not an exception to that trend. Calvert and Atkinson have been the victims of an overcrowded forward group meaning that true to traditional Columbus Blue Jacket form, they appear to be sticking with the veterans.

    Johansen hasn't done much with the limited role he has been playing. I think it comes down to the fact that it is easier to not have him on the lineup since he is a young player than trying to squeeze an NHLer through waivers or IR. There is little left for Johansen to grow in juniors but he also hasn't been given the time and opportunity to grow in the NHL game.
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    CBJ is so terrible at developing prospects. I mean history speaks for itself, but this year alone too. If they're not going to play Johansen, send him down. He may not have a bunch of room for development but it will be more than on the bench. They brought up Calvert last year and he went on a tear, then this year they don't even put him in a scoring role and then demote him for not producing..

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    It's hard for Johansen to prove anything in 17 total minutes in his NHL career playing with D. Mackenzie on the 4th line.
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  12. #72
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    Default The System is Bringing Them Down

    Exactly mapletreemarty you are getting at what I was saying with specifics: I don't blame Johansen as much as as the way he has been used. It certainly is not his fault that he has not been given a fair chance since he did everything in the pre-season and in the prospect games that I think they could've hoped for.

    To Dyz's point, I think that Columbus is horrible at developing prospects and it is hard to argue otherwise. Both Hitchock and now Arniel both seem to believe in riding their veterans but the fact of it is, take now as an example, what are these veterans going to do? Play like they usually have in the past at best but besides Nash now of these guys' norms are all that awe inspiring. I don't understand what he is waiting for and if he is worried about putting younger players into higher lines, I would ask how is that 2nd line's chemistry working so far?

    The sad fact of the matter is Columbus looked like a maybe it was changing but the mentality hasn't changed yet. The veterans are eternally safe and face little pressure to their jobs from young talented players. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that the youth will not preform if you don't give them an adequate platform to grow off of. Eventually, they will be set in their ways and lose some of that ability to use their talents creatively. Instead they will become like most in Columbus complacent with the players they became with the squandered talent in the name of a system. My guess is that Filatov learned nothing in the system and Brule probably didn't either. Mason certainly hasn't improved much since his rookie year. Heck he can't return anywhere near his rookie year. Someone in Columbus has to make a change, they have all the pieces to be a playoff contender, especially when Wisniewski comes back but they don't know how to utilize them and the talent they have in each player.
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  13. #73
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    Default After October (Month 1)

    Hey sorry guys it has been awhile since I posted. Schoolwork has really picked up but I have not forgotten about the forum and the Columbus Blue Jackets (though many have written them off).

    Things We Learned

    1) Rome was not built in a day and certainly Columbus was not built in a month and, it looks like, even in season.

    2) For whatever reason the Blue Jackets do not utilize their prospects well unless they are given no other option. They'll sooner turn to Derek MacKenzie
    to center the top line rather than Ryan Johansen.

    3) Prospal is plenty capable of producing, even if no one else is regularly doing the same. Although Nash is producing again.

    4) The Wisniewski suspension made the Blue Jackets a winless team. He does make a difference but the take home message is that Columbus lacks depth on defense. They need more d-men that are consistent and make an impact in both zones. Players like Russell and Tyutin usually tend to have no impact most of the time that are mixed in with moments of contribution but not anything sustained or building off of itself.

    5) "Steve Mason is the new Andrew Raycoft," seems to becoming the general consensus. Raw abilities and potential only go so far if a player is continually given opportunities and generally fails to get good results. He has won two of the the last three games, which shouldn't be news for an NHL starter of three seasons. However anyone with a stake in Mason will take what they can get right now.
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    #CBJ C Jeff Carter likely out both games this week, vs. Toronto on Thursday and Philadelphia on Saturday.
    #CBJ GM Scott Howson said "it's a stretch" to think Carter will be back this week. He saw a doctor today for x-ray update on his right foot.
    -Aportzline

  15. #75
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    The addition of Letestu helps on faceoffs. However, even though I tend to say that people usually blame management more than they should for how hockey players play, I think it is time for some shakeups.

    My Reasons:

    1) The Blue Jackets have tried to be a budget success like the Predators in the past but unfortunately for them they do not have a Barry Trotz (Coach of the Preds) or a David Poile (Nashville GM). Even given a bigger budget this year has not improved, if anything the team is even worse.

    2) The blind faith in Steve Mason is perhaps their greatest miscalculation. Giving a young goalie, who has struggled for two straight years with a GAA above 3.00 and a SAV% just above .901, a two year contract with a cap hit just under three million seems to send to the wrong message. Yes it does say loyalty but it does not say "prove something to me." I jumped ship on Mason early last season and many have done so since but, for the Columbus management they are stuck because they did not bring in any proven goaltending talent to compete with Mason and have few options to acquire any at this point.

    3) The general failure to build around Rick Nash, who has been in Columbus since he was drafted in 2002, is also an issue. It was not until this off-season that the Blue Jackets management decided to attempt to give Nash more talented players, which wasted some valuable years for both the player and the team.

    4) Maybe they thought they would build through the draft but bringing up talent is well-known not to be a strong point for the Blue Jackets with Alexandre Picard, Gilbert Brule and Nikita Filatov (all top-ten picks) as the poster boys for this issue.

    5) Their love of veteran talent on the tail-end of their career has generally backfired. Sergei Fedorov, Kristian Huselius, Fredrik Modin, and Mike Peca are all great examples of the Blue Jackets tending to reward veterans with longer and more lucrative contracts-- not to mention ice time over younger players. For every Vinny Prospal they find there are a couple of these guys who have had good years and one may or may not have been with Columbus, but the issue is that they overstay the time where they can really contribute and keep players that should be developing off the ice.

    Summary

    The Columbus management has repeatable made the wrong choices when it comes to building a good hockey team and has compounded their miscalculations by sticking with those poor choices. Their ability to successfully draft future NHL producers has failed which, is likely related to a veterans-over-youth mentality. Regardless of the amount they have to spend, the team does not improve. Something has got to give and I think a shakeup of the management is in line because Mark Letestu is not going to save the team.
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