Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Points Off the Pace - Seriously!

I was trying to get a handle on this season, and really struggling. After watching Stralman miss the net with that bunny from the slot during an ice storm, I was wondering where this was all going. Some bloggers cough LTL cough have declared this to be a failed season already. History may well show them to have an uncanny grasp of reality. But, as executive optimist, I felt I owed it to myself to see what the numbers were really saying. And the only numbers that really count, are the true baseline for the CBJ, the 2008-09 season, when they made the playoffs.

What I found when I looked at the month by month point totals, is that this years edition of the CBJ are only 2 points off the pace from 2008-09. At the end of January that year, they had 53 points. At the end of January in the 2010-11 they have 51 points. Looking at the graph, with apologies for the quality of my printer, in 2008-09 the team picked up the pace in February, and acquired points at the greatest rate so far in the season. They held that pace through March, before tailing off at the end, and thus drawing the Redwings in the first round.

It is quite obvious that they need to kick it into gear to make the playoffs. The season that they made it, they were able to accomplish that feat. If I remember my history correctly, that run included some very improbable wins in a row, a win against San Jose, a win against Boston, and a win against Pittsburgh, all of who were either number 1 in their conference or the hottest team in hockey at the time.

To do it this year, the Jackets need to perform a similar feat, starting with a win at Detroit on Friday. From here on out the CBJ need to win 2 for every 1 they lose, or better. They just lost the one. On a positive note, they seem to play much better when Arniel has practice time with them. But I think it is premature to call the season, one way or the other at this point.

Go Jackets!! oops, forgot to shout. GO JACKETS!!!


  1. Yahoo! Sports had an interesting, quick summary of the situation at hand:

    "Making the playoffs is not impossible for Columbus, but it’s a steep hill to climb. It would require the hottest 10 weeks of hockey since the franchise came into existence 10 seasons ago, something in the order of 42-46 points in the final 32 games."

    That's not out of line with what you're suggesting, as two wins for every loss over 32 games is 20(-ish) wins, or 40 points. But the framing of such a run as "the hottest 10 weeks of hockey" in the franchise's existence...that's sobering.

    I'm not saying that they can't do it, and I'll be cheering for them to do it, but...let's just say I'm realistic, too. It's going to be really, really hard to pull off.

  2. Well, history says it is in reach. However, the Yahoo!sports quote seems right. And while sobering, its not that far our of reach based on past performance. Although that performance was based on actually playing defense, with a true shut down pair of Hejda?? and Commodore?????. And a defensively minded coach named Hitchcock. But that's a subject for another post. ;)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.