Thursday, October 27, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on Game 10: Buffalo

Buffalo 4 - Columbus 2
1-8-1, 5th in the Central Division, 15th in the Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets went up to Buffalo hoping to create a two-game winning streak and came up short, 4-2, against the Sabres in regulation.

1. With the exception of the second period Vinny Prospal goal and a period of time immediately following, there just didn't seem to be any spring in the CBJ's step once again tonight.  Chemistry looked off, the team looked a step slow once again.  How long will it take for this team to get its groove?

2. The James Wisniewski "return from exile" honeymoon lasted one whole game.  At the same time, he probably was still the best defenseman out there.  Yet why the coaching staff did not plant his skates out at the point on the power play is beyond me.  The only explanation I can muster is that the team needs his puck handling on the wall more than his shot - a suggestion I would quickly dispute.

3. Ryan Johansen had 10:23 of ice time, stapled to the bench after blowing a play on one of the Buffalo goals.  Considering the many blown plays up and down the roster, this seems inconsistent at best.

4. The CBJ put 43 shots on net.  However many of them were target practice with the logo on the goalie's chest...I lost count.  Sadly for the Jackets, the Sabres (backup) goalie didn't allow much in the way of rebounds.

5. I appreciate that there are different styles of playing goaltending, and that Steve Mason plays the "butterfly" technique, but Mase sure drops to the ice quickly on his saves and then takes a while to pick himself back up.  It seems to me (an amateur observer) that Mase, by going low so fast, exposes the top of the net.  I presume that there's some logic behind that approach that a coach could explain, but I can't see it.

NEXT UP: Saturday night at 8:30PM in Chicago, home of the most annoying goal song in the NHL.

4 comments:

  1. 1. I disagree. The forecheck was going early and often. The pressure put on while we were down 2-1 was strong and sustained. We put 43 shots on goal to Buffalo's 26, that indicates we had possession of the puck for long stretches during the game. The Jackets also skated themselves into 6 power plays...which they could not convert into goals. I don't know when they'll get in the groove, but they did play a high pressure game tonight similar to the Detroit game on Tuesday.

    2. Agreed, the Wiz was the strongest d-man on the ice for us tonight, though Tyutin played a solid game as well. However, I doubt the coaching staff is giving him explicit instructions to go to the half-wall on the power play. The Jackets are clearly setting up a 1-2-2 power play with the #1 unit, which puts one of the d-men on the half-wall. Which d-man goes there is going to be dictated by the play...what the defense gives them, how they enter the zone, etc. Wiz spent a fair amount of time at the point with the cannon ready to fire with Tyutin on the half-wall. When he wasn't on the point, his passing stood out, and the team moved the puck well and maintained possession for long stretches. I'm sure as the season goes along, he and Tyutin will figure out how to rotate positions to get his shot at the top of the umbrella.

    This game was lost with special teams. 5 on 5, the Jackets were the better team tonight. But 0 for 6 on the power play, and giving up 2 goals on 3 times shorthanded will get you beat every time that happens. Our special teams need to get their act in gear, and quickly. They cost us two points tonight.

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  2. Re #5: Go and look around youtube for clips of goalies from the 80's or earlier. You will see why goalies go down more now. Basically, it is much easier to move your arms and take away the top of the net than it is to move your feet to take away the bottom of the net. I do agree that Mason looked sluggish tonight getting out of the butterfly. My initial thought was that he is feeling some lingering effects from his injury against Detroit.

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  3. After Ryan Johansen got pulled and once again Scotty starting doing his line shuffle. All chemistry was lost and the little energy and confidence that many players had was gone! On Tuesday when we looked amazing, I'm not 100%, but I feel like Scotty actually left most of the lines alone. And what happened? A chemistry and confidence was made and the team looked awesome. Scotty just needs to trust his team and let them work together. Yeah there were some mistakes made, but don't punish them right away. The player punishes himself enough! Let them get through it and see what happens. I also think that York needs a start. I'm not being down on Mase, but 10 starts! He at least needs a break! Show some confidence in York, what could it hurt. I think he'll be in the pipes Saturday.

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  4. At what point would a coach realize, "You know, every time I tell my 3rd line to dump and chase, they ALWAYS give up possession?" Clearly, the other teams sees the 3rd line, knows they will dump and thump, and plans for it. It's insane to think that it will produce anything besides turnovers.

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