Monday, March 8, 2010

Raffi's post-mortem on the 2009-2010 Blue Jackets

With a tip of the fedora to The Fan's Lori Schmidt for finding this piece...

Recently-traded forward Raffi Torres was able to bite his tongue for about three days before sharing his thoughts on the train wreck that the Columbus Blue Jackets' season has become.  In a piece published on Metro International (whatever that is), Raffi said of the Jackets:
“It was kind of weird. We had high expectations for this year. We struggled in our own zone which put pressure on (goaltender Steve Mason) to make saves; he was fighting the puck a little bit earlier this year,” Torres said. “It was a little bit of everything. We were not scoring goals when we needed them. But I think the most part was (that) defensively, we weren’t good.”

I've heard CBJ GM Scott Howson make the same assertions about the defense as well. The fact that Howson let Milan Jurcina go back to Washington for a song, and that the only meaningful defensive help that he picked up - Nathan Paetsch - is playing as a fourth-line forward, suggests to me that Howson will be a player in the forthcoming free agency market for defensemen. Perhaps even the draft, where a Cam Fowler sits within striking distance of a potential CBJ first-round slot (the link suggests that he's first but I've seen more recent rankings of third - the profile on Fowler in the link is better, hence I used that).

Let's hope the market is deep, and that Howson's scouts are good.

1 comment:

  1. I'd have to say his scouts are at least better than MacLean's were. Howson's drafts (though the time to judge is obviously much shorter) have been stronger at the top (Filatov and Voracek), and shown some surprises in later rounds (Mayorov and Calvart). I still suspect that the Jurcina trade was something of a tryout for a potential free agency signing. Most of the potential free agents at defense are either aging or unproven, so I'd wager Howson is looking for frugal (read: cheap) solutions and saving money to pursue the much deeper center market. But I'm just some guy.

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