Saturday, December 22, 2012

On the Road Again

Joonas Korpisalo is playing for Finland in the WJC
Got a couple of things to wrap up here, so I thought I would plunk this stuff down real quick.  All that schlepping into work every morning paid off as I shut off my alarm, got a little extra shut eye, and was still up in time to watch the 6 AM World Junior Championship Prelim round between USA and Finland.

I felt like USA carried the play in the first period, but kept taking stupid slashing penalties.  Finland managed to can one to take a 1-0 lead.  The Refs missed a quick in-and-out shot for the USA that bounced off the back bar of the goal.  I never saw it, half the guys on the ice never saw it, and the refs did not have a functioning replay system to check it, so it passed as one of those things.  The first period ended 1-0 Finland, and they never looked back.  I thought they carried the play through the second period, especially as USA took more penalties, and they pulled away to a 5-1 win in the third period.  Joonas Korpisalo, our 3rd round pick last year looked VERY solid in net for the Finns in the first period and a half before he was rotated out for another goaltender.

Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly, a Minnesota Gopher, and an offensive defenseman is a bubble player for USA, who may, or may not make the cut simply because the US has many of that type of defenseman.  He did a good job of jumping up on offense, but couldn't bury any chances, and was victimized on the defensive side with some bad bounces, once deflecting a shot up over the US goaltender for a goal.  He probably did not help his chances with the WJC USA team, but this is a guy to keep an eye on as he develops.

I was not able to follow the second WJC game of the day, Canada vs. Sweden, but according to Twitter, Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner may be looking at supplemental discipline for a hit that injured the shoulder of a Swedish player.  Canada won in OT (or a shoot out, I'm not sure).  The WJC officials may not like the hit, but Jackets fans have to love it.  Jenner is having a great year, and if we ever have any stinking NHL hockey may make a real bid to make the CBJ.  He is a great prospect.
Todd Richards addresses the crowd at the CBJ open house

The real reason I wanted to do this post was to close the loop on the Season Ticket Holder open house last Monday.  In this post and this post I engaged in a good discussion with a gent using the handle of Roadman over the merits of trying to leave our good young talent down in the AHL to try to win a championship down there (hence the title of this post).  I mused if we had the 'organizational courage' to leave them down there.  Roadman disagreed with the wisdom of this choice, and advanced several thoughtful ideas about why taking an alternative approach would be better.  Well Roadman, I never got to ask my question, but I found out the answer.

Pride might dictate attempting to say that we were both right, but a factor that neither of us considered would be the driver in the situation, so in the end, I think Roadman was right.  Having the young talent come in and compete for a spot on the big club is the way to go.  I believe that great benefits would derive to the organization from having the young talent complete what they have started in the AHL.  But even if we made that decision as an organization, and back filled the CBJ roster with veterans, injuries would be the deciding factor.  There is no question that if any hockey is played this year, that there will be numerous groin injuries. The end result is that even if we tried to keep the young guys in the A for developmental purposes, the number of injuries that are a near certainty would force our hand, and we would have to call players up from the AHL.  So the answer to my question is that it would not work, that injuries would force our hand, and so you might as well not try to artificially keep them in the A to achieve a secondary goal in the interest of development.  It just wouldn't work.  Of course, since the players in the AHL will be much less susceptible to that type of injury because they have been playing, they will end up with a good opportunity to play in the NHL.

So there it is.  Another great idea, down the tubes.  Ah well, some times you gotta dream.  Thanks for all the feedback Roadman.  It is much appreciated.



  1. Happy Holidays to your dot all !

    1. To you and to all !

      (Fat fingers small phone keys)