Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Sorting Hat Has Spoken

Joonas goes to house 'injured reserve'
Well the goal tending situation gained clarity rather quickly following the Nashville game, where Joonas Korpisalo sustained a groin injury.  To me this represents the normal ups and downs of a young player's development, and is not a big concern.  But it does lend organizational clarity.

After the Boston game Anton Forsberg was sent down to the Cleveland Monsters to be the starting net minder.  This is an excellent chance for Forsberg to get sustained action as the starter, which is what he needs.  Once Korpisalo returns from injury, he will also go down to Cleveland, and work to get into form.

Meanwhile, at the NHL level, Curtis McElhinney has the back up job for so long as he performs well.  In the event that McElhinney plays poorly, or is injured, we will see one of the young goal tenders come up from Cleveland.  Over the last few years McElhinney has not had the type of sustained pressure to perform that these youngsters will apply this year.  It is to be hoped that he responds to that pressure with strong play, and we start to see some wins emerge from the back up goal tender position.

While many Blue Jackets players under performed last year, the goal tending position was just brutal.  That needs to be dramatically better as 2016-17 unfolds.  Bob seems to be playing much better, and the World Cup tune up may end up working very well from him.  This team needs Vezina Bob for the first 20 games, or so, because Boston is the only non-playoff team (2015-16) we play in the first 17 games, and they are a pretty good team.  So there is real pressure to win, and win against good teams right out of the gate.

The fellows over at the Columbus Dispatch, Reed, Portzline and Arace are reporting that Campbell will be retained as the 13th forward, and the 4th line will be Karlsson, Calvert and Anderson.  We hoped this line would produce last year, but it didn't.  This is going with youth to see what they can do, and I gotta confess I like this line.  So, we have the last few defensemen to sort out, and then the roster will be set.  But boy, that opener against Boston is already starting to look like a 'must win' game, as silly as that sounds.  But the sledding gets a lot tougher after that.


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