Monday, October 10, 2011

Very early season musings

The coaching Man of the Hour in Columbus,
goaltenders coach Ian Clark
In looking over the first couple of games, I've had fleeting thoughts that don't necessarily warrant entire blog posts (right now) but might be worth considering going forward:
  • In the "Don't Set the Bar Too High" department, I'm happy that the CBJ didn't get blown out at home on Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd against Nashville.  They probably bought themselves some time with the ever-fickle locals as a result.  
  • Could CBJ Assistant Coaches Brad Berry (defense) and Ian Clark (goaltenders) kindly report to Nationwide Arena?  The NHL 2011-2012 season is underway, and your players need coaching.  Badly.
  • To be Mark Dekanich right now is to be a study in anticipation and frustration.  Steve Mason's performing OK-to-poorly (with no comment on the defensive help Mase may or may not be getting) with a painful .870 goals against average.  And when Mase is pulled in game two for AHLer Curtis Sanford, DexShow has to be thinking, "If I wasn't injured, that would be ME!"  Let's hope that either Mase gets his game together quickly or DexShow is ready to roll once he returns.  At this point, I don't care which.  (Or that GM Scott Howson doesn't have to give up too much in the trade market to get a consistent goaltender...)
  • I can understand how the CBJ would have trouble getting the puck into the offensive zone against Nashville, especially when Nashville locked down after going up by one goal.  But Minnesota? Minnesota?  Ack.
  • Todd Richards was brought in to - at least in part - fix the power play.  No power play goals yet.  How long before we start asking tough questions?
  • Speaking of Richards, I will just cry if Arniel bag skates the Blue Jackets any time soon.
  • In the course of this morning's carting the Dark Blue Toddler around town, I heard some XM Home Ice guys talking in resigned tones about Nikita Filatov and how he just isn't panning out.  File this under: "Things I could have told you at least a year ago."
  • I'd love someone with serious AHL knowledge to educate me on the Scott Arniel run with the AHL's Manitoba Moose.  Was his success more a product of the talent level of his squad, or was it more because of his scheme?  Because I have to tell you after sitting through the opening night loss to Nashville, that defense-first approach doesn't look all bad right now.  And it got the Preds out of the first round of the playoffs.  Just saying.
  • Predictions based on what I've seen thus far: Ryan Johansen returns to juniors at or before the conclusion of his 9-game "tryout" period to which the team gets before his entry-level contract kicks in  (cue Dark Blue Toddler's tears).  Cam Atkinson never has to ride the bus in Springfield this season, but he's got to get out of the CBJ plus/minus cellar to make my prediction come true.  David Savard will be OK once Wisniewski returns and Savard isn't forced to play A-listers as much.  (My personal jury is still out on Max Mayorov, but he appears to at least be trying.)
  • His mind-numbing catch-n-throw of the puck in the Nashville game aside, Derek Dorsett kinda sorta has been playing decent hockey for a guy in his income bracket.  He charges the net, is logging minutes on the penalty kill...not sure you can expect much more from a guy like him considering he's only making $560,000 this season.  That's role player money, and he's playing a role.  
  • I think Matt "My mouth hurts" Calvert is perhaps the only Blue Jackets player to really miss Jared Boll.
  • Jeff Carter is really good - and fun to watch play.  Actually, the whole Nash-Carter-Prospal line has been fun to watch.  
  • Don't look now, but Derick Brassard appears to be inching his way back up the roster ladder.  
What do you think?  Any musings of your own to offer?  I know it's only two games, but first impressions go a long way!

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