Saturday, September 11, 2010

Time to step up: The goalies

THE GOALIES

While Scott Howson didn't give the Columbus Blue Jackets defense a shakeup in the offseason prior to the 2010-2011 season, the countless injuries (and rent-a-player replacements like Nathan Paetsch and Milan Jurcina, both of whom are no longer with the CBJ) make it feel like we're going to see a new defensive corps in the upcoming season while likely not seeing any new faces outside of John Moore.  And the forwards are getting a bit of a new look with the return of Nikita Filatov from Russia, not to mention the possible (unlikely, but possible) ascension of the likes of Matt Calvert from the prospect ranks.

Barring injury, though, don't expect any new faces in the crease for the Blue Jackets.  Yes, Steve Mason and Mathieu Garon will be back as Columbus' goaltenders in 2010-2011.  And, as you'll see, I don't consider that a bad thing.

3 comments:

  1. DBJ –
    I take laptop in hand to write to you about our beloved CBJ. I have read all the stuff from the ‘pundits’ and I have a few thoughts I’d like to share. But first I must digress to Cannonfest. I’d never heard of many of the blogs I found out about while attending Cannonfest. So that was cool, and I now have them bookmarked, and keep up with them better. And I would like to personally thank you for the effort of new content in August. It was a long, and hockey dry August, and I appreciated reading your stuff. But, enough of that, back to the CBJ.

    Much has been made of last year. I’m still not sure I really understand it, except that winning 2 out of 24 isn’t good in pee wee, much less the NHL. Everyone makes a lot about the fact that Howson stood pat on that lineup. Over at ‘the Cannon’s’ new job, it even makes reference to that sending a message that Hitch is to blame. What I don’t hear people saying is that Howson stood pat on the third best team in Franchise history. That’s right, even including the horrendous December stretch, they were the third best we ever had. This is not exactly the same thing as standing pat with the first team that Hitch coached for a full year. That team became the best team in franchise history because Hitch squeezed them as hard as you can be squeezed, and they became our first team to surpass the point total of the original squad. This was a team Hitch said ‘maxed out’. Ultimately they were surpassed the following year by the team that made the playoffs, another team that Hitch said, ‘maxed out’ and became the best team in franchise history. So Hitch and Howson knew that the team was not equipped to go deep into the finals, so they dipped into the only available talent pool, the young guys. So instead of another veteran squad that Hitch could squeeze into something, the youth popped when Hitch squeezed. So it goes. But they are still the third best team in franchise history, a lot of which can be written off to youth, over-confidence, and quite a bit of bad luck.

    So Howson thinks that the third best team in franchise history, with a coach more suited to the personnel (that the GM put in place), has the potential to compete for being the new best team in franchise history. That’s not such a leap of faith. In fact, its kinda practical. We didn’t really have a coach who could take advantage of the offensive explosiveness we showed in the beginning of last year. This year we do. So while admittedly holding the position of executive optimist in our little season ticket cooperative, it has a better foundation this year than maybe in some years past. The good thing is we get to see it play out on the ice. For which I can’t wait.
    Thanks for listening.
    Gallos

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great comment, Gallos. Your comments largely resemble my end of the season wrap-up, but I might end up using some of your thoughts later on.

    So glad you took the time to jot down your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gallos,

    Thanks for coming to CannonFest! Glad you enjoyed it!

    I think the post you talk about on The Cannon was a fantasy hockey preview that I linked to - that wasn't our opinion. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression.

    Personally, I agree, this team has a very exciting core that Arniel should be able to take great advantage of. I'm excited for this year!

    ReplyDelete