Saturday, March 24, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 74: Carolina

Steve Mason continues a string of strong hockey
Doggone it!  I really liked that hat!  It was a gray/faded blue, with the flag and star logo, and it had another small civil war hat logo near the back.  I got it after I tossed my hat for the Jeff Carter hat trick, and it was a real beauty.  But there it is.  Now I have one with the ol' Napoleon on it, and it is my first cannon logo hat.  So I guess that's okay.  But I'm still bummed about that other hat.

And now on to the 5 thoughts.

1, 1a, and 1b are hereby repeated.  You know what DBJ thinks.

2. Not a star of the game, but I really liked Cam Atkinson's game last night.  He brings a lot of speed and jump to the top line, and effort wise he pairs up well with Brassard and Umberger.  One important measure of how good a player is depends on whether you make the players around you better.  With Umberger and Brassard relieved of  the 'making sure you feed the Captain the puck' duty, they seemed to thrive.  Atkinson was all over the ice last night.  Sure he gets out muscled with regularity.  But it never deters him, and he never quits on a play.  I'm gonna call him my Third Star of the game, though no one else did.

3.  Hattie for Umby - Again, best game by far that Umberger has played this year.  In large part due to the magic Brassard was working with the puck. Umberger just LEANED into the one-timer for his second goal.  He just cranked it, hard!  It was really good to see.  And for his third, Brass just toyed with the defenseman before dishing to Umby.  Very nice to see, very fun game to go to.

4. Jack Johnson - JMFJ was all over the ice.  I remember on one play, he took the puck to the net in the O-zone, and the puck got turned around the other way.  Johnson's mates had his back, so Carolina didn't get out on an odd man rush, but JMFJ was the second Blue Jacket back in front of our net, though when the play started up the ice, he was last.  Dude can fly.  I also just saw him knock a Hurricane player down in defensive coverage, where he just sorta shoved him aside, and took the puck.  Not a big hit, just sort of a casual 'get out of my way, fly'.  One thing I am looking forward to next year is a solid year of JMFJ and Wiz on that top pair, especially with Wiz healthy.  That could cause other teams some real trouble.

5. Steve Mason - In spite of the bomb game against Chicago, which was a real team non-effort, Mason has put together a string of very CONSISTENT hockey games.  That is a very important thing, and a huge building block.  If you are anything like me, I expected instant miracles from Ian Clark on Mason's game.  It has taken much longer than that, but Mason is playing a much steadier, settled brand of hockey.  One play that exemplifies this, was a series of shots where he was down in the butterfly, and his first block rebounded out into the scrum at the right side of the net.  Mason had lost track of the puck, and I felt by how he was looking around, that he really thought it had gone to the left side of the net.  But not finding the puck, he stayed right where he was, and sure enough the Carolina player put the puck right back into his chest.  I feel that earlier in the year, he would have scrambled to try to make a play that didn't exist, and moved out of position.  Now he seems to understand that sometimes you just have to make the other guy miss you.  This leads to a much more settled player in the crease, and is having some good effect on his play.

6. Vinning - Vinny Prospal got it all started with a really nice, all important, first goal.   And of course, a great celebration.   Interestingly enough, I thought the Prospal, Letestu, Nash line was good all night, even though Nash did not stand out much.  Prospal and Letestu, as relative newcomers, seem like they don't subjugate their game to the Captain as much, which I think makes all three of them better players.  I am pretty pleased with the acquisition of Letestu, and I think he brings a lot that I didn't really expect.  Both top lines are playing better with the current mix, and I expect that Richards will leave it as is for the next game.  It should be interesting to watch how these lines match up against Detroit next week.  Letestu's goal at the end of the game was a beauty.  I nice odd man rush, and Cam Ward had no chance.  It's great to be playing Vinning hockey!

All in all it was a really fun night to get a new hat.  Lot's of kids in the crowd, and they were treated to a real fun game.



  1. I thought Brass was the best player on the ice last night. Great vision and passes.

    It's great to say that the last CBJ player to have a Hattie is not named J.C.

  2. agree - I cannot wait to see 82+ games next season out of JmfJ and the Wiz.

  3. ...and some day when #61 is gone; people will finally realize even though he was "the face of the organization" blah, blah, blah, the team stats FAR out weighed his individual stats and he will become nothing more that a faint memory of a losing record proposition, part of the poor culture that was the CBJ. The team captain (small c) that didn't lift anybody's play and certainly didn't raise the level of play of team. Be gone, be gone.

    1. Professional athletes that participate in a team sport that make $7mil+ per year are expected to raise the level of play of their teammates and elevate the organization, and compete for championships, especially if you designate that player your team captain. The #61 experience here in Columbus is a self-indictment of the ownership group and GM’s lack of knowledge and experience. Mr Nash should never have been paid that kind of salary having never demonstrated the requisite “raise the level of play” thing.

      The CBJ will find it probably pretty difficult to find another NHL organization that will pay him $7mil+ because he has never demonstrated the complete package worth that kind of money.

      There’s a BIG difference in the money a player is asking for and what that player is truly worth to an organization. Good will shouldn’t get you $7mil+ per year. Only results should get you that kind of money.

    2. Should read....There was a big difference between the money #61 signed for and what he was worth to the organization. Good will shouldn't have gotten him $7mil+ per year. Results normally get you that kind of money, but apparently weren't effectively weighed-in by management when the deal was done.

      What is #61 agent's name?...

  4. First, replying to your own comment is poor form, Anonymous.
    Replying to it twice is self-absorbed, narcissistic behavior. Man up and identify yourself.

    Second, Nash is recognized for his talent all across the league. You saw a glimpse of it in the third period as he carried the puck around and through three 'Canes d-men - especially with a truly special twirl move that left two of them wondering what just happened to them. I don't necessarily disagree with you on one point (re: raising the play of others) but Rick has been 70% of the CBJs talent and scoring threat the entire time he's been here.
    Unfortunately, this summer we will likely see if he is worth $7 mil+ to another team, and what kind of results they can get out of him.

  5. Can't remember where I read/heard it but apparently he took a pay cut to "help the team". Regardless it always seems like Nash is missing something from his game. Kind of like Kessel in Toronto before Lupul and at times, while playing with Lupul. While both players are high level goal scorers, they are both complimentary players, in the sense that they can't carry a team by themselves a la Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin (when he was good). The thought of Nash with an elite level playmaking center is downright scary and I'm sure that he could be a 85+ point scorer if this would come to fruition.


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