Friday, January 25, 2013

DBJ's six-pack for Game 4: Colorado

Colorado 4 - Columbus 0
1-2-1, 4th in Central Division, 8th in Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets wrapped up their two-game, two-night road trip with a 4-0 shutout loss in regulation to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

I'm saving the entire six-pack for myself. In my opinion, no Blue Jacket deserved one. I'll probably also need it to forget what I just saw.

So let's go meta instead.  The Blue Jackets are winless since the opener in Nashville and have not yet won a game in regulation.  They were outscored 9-1 over this road trip, highlighting significant issues on both offense and defense.

Offensively, I see no chemistry.  Todd Richards was shuffling lines all night long, trying to find something that would click.  Nothing did, as was indicated by the score.  If any group on this team needed a preseason to figure themselves out, it was the forwards.

Defensively, I'm a little harder pressed.  Arguably the best pairing, Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin, was -2 on the night (as in, each guy was a -2).  Jack Johnson's terrible positioning gave away the third goal.  Honestly, I think the Adrian Aucoin-John Moore pairing was the best one tonight.

Sergei Bobrovsky appears to be a better choice than Steve Mason, but that's not saying a lot.  Bob has a nasty habit of letting a very early goal slip by him before settling down into the game.

I feel for Richards as he was put in a no-win situation with so many important new pieces of his roster and a whopping six days of training camp to make them all fit together.  Which he clearly hasn't done.  Richards was wise to demand a two-year contract.

All the preseason talk over the condensed, 48-game schedule suggested that a four or five-game losing streak may be an insurmountable obstacle for a team's playoff hopes.  This team has now lost three in a row.

The clock is now ticking on John Davidson to make a move and start righting this ship.

Were the CBJ outworked? I'm flipping back and forth on this one, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say, "No."  Colorado didn't necessarily play harder in my book, but they sure worked smarter with opportunistic play that capitalized on the CBJ's many, many mistakes.  It makes  sense, though, as the Avs are a couple years ahead of the Blue Jackets in rebuilding.

NEXT UP: Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks invade Nationwide Arena.  The Blackhawks are the league's only 4-win team.  As Richards said after the game, the Blue Jackets has best come out ready to play lest the game be over before it has a chance to get going.

3 comments:

  1. Of late the CBJ have often had trouble coping with Colorado's speed. I think that is part of the "work smarter " factor. Matt Calvert looked like the only one keeping up, and Cam was out of the lineup. Problematically they have the same issue with Chicago. Loved Dubinsky's grit.

    Looking around the league there are many teams in the same boat with only one win. So everyone but Chicago is having a bit of a rough start. But they certainly need to find some winning ways at home.

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  2. Regarding a possible move by John Davidson, not sure what player moves are available to him. One suggestion might be to name a captain.

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  3. I thought the Prospal-John-Calvert line played pretty well. Okay, they didn't get anything to show for it, but they were making chances throughout and came pretty close to scoring a couple of times.
    Question: Exactly what purpose does Boll serve anymore? Fighters are a dime-a-dozen and he's too small to be a true enforcer. Why is he even on the team when his spot could be taken by, say, JAM?

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