Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Excuse Me?!?!?

I put the old logo here so I wouldn't surprise
and national pundits.
OK, I get it.  We finished last.  It may come as a shock to the national pundits that we are keenly aware of that fact.  But this is the kind of 'matter' that drives me insane.

In this post, In Words and Phrases picks us 15th in the West, with this insightful comment:  Why I’ll Be Right: This team is essentially the same one that clunked into last place last year,

Really?  I guess that assumes that Rick Nash is still playing for us, and that we won't have 3 picks in the 2013 draft because we didn't trade Jeff Carter to the Kings.  Now this doesn't mean that the prediction is necessarily that far off.  You have to score more than the other guy to win, and that's not at all certain.  But to read this, it's like the Nash trade never happened.  Lame.  Must be fresh out of college football to follow, or checked out during the lockout.  Its okay to troll us.  That's the lot of the last place team.  It's not okay to be ignorant while you are doing it.  I'm sure Dubinsky, Anisimov, and Foligno are proud to be dismissed in this fashion.

At least do something like the post from Battle of California, that looked at the last 48 games of last year, a relevant number given the season we are looking at.  In that time period, the CBJ finished 13th in the West, still not a playoff team, but not last.  This is probably a little bit more realistic for us.  There are still of lot of unfinished pieces.

But like every other team in the NHL, the CBJ are a hot goal tender away from a run to the playoffs.  That's a crap shoot for us, I understand, but Bobrovsky has been playing very well in the KHL with an 18-6 record and a sub 2 Goals Against Average.  All you need is a little luck, and the CBJ sure used up a truck load of the bad variety last year.

Its a new year, and this team finished the season on a 5-1 run last year.  Anything is possible.



  1. Surely I don't count as a national pundit, do I?

    The overhaul is underway, but the Jackets are still in the midst of the adjustment. The core last year was Nash, Prospal, Brass, Umby, Nikitin, Wiz, Tyutin, Johnson, and sub-par goaltending. (Carter was a point contributor but was otherwise checked out, but you can count him if you'd like.)

    This year we'll see that same group, minus Nash, plus Dubinsky and Anisimov. (Bob is technically a new addition, but he's not much better than Mason.) Changing the face of the franchise (Nash) may be a big media change, but the essential set of players and overall talent level didn't move all that much. I assure you that as a CBJ fan, I'm not forgetting the changes, they're just not a total remodeling yet. But you are correct, the wording may not fully reflect that feeling.

    However, in the post I did suggest what I think needs to happen for the team to avoid 15th again (youth contribution, a randomly hot goalie, puck luck). I just believe that the overall talent level isn't high enough for the team to overcome without a significant amount of luck. I hope I'm wrong and I sincerely hope something clicks, but I won't be holding my breath.

    1. Ok, so perhaps I over reacted. It's happened before, probably will again. And the prediction may be dead on accurate. But the reasoning struck me wrong. Sitting in the crowd and hearing John Davidson say that our Defense is the strength of our team has a certain jaw dropping effect on a long time season ticket holder, since our defense has been a gaping hole since the beginning. Hearing him say 'we'll keep the puck out of the net' is a dramatic change from last years team, and induces the same effect.

      This team has some real holes in it, but it's not essentially the same team. If you want to include Johnson in the mix as to 'last years team', then the well earned 30th place is out the window, and you need to look at the clubs record 'post trade deadline'. Post trade deadline, the club performed very well.

      I wanted Gerard Gallant to succeed a lot, but that experience makes me take the post trade deadline record with a healthy grain of salt. But actually having Johnson and Wiz playing the point on the power play (which didn't really happen all that often down the stretch due to Wiz's injury) showed some remarkable stuff. That's something that is intrinsic to those two players, that won't change. Johnson has the skill and capability to effectively set up Wiz' shot, and I think we'll see more from there this year.

      So a 15th place finish in the West is a definite possibility. But I think its incorrect to ascribe it to essentially the same team.

      Thanks for commenting, and keeping me on the straight and narrow.


    2. How does the 3 picks in the next draft impact the performance of the team in this year's extended exhibition games? There is hope for the future, but realistically, the best case scenario that the picks give us is some improvement in 2014, but more impact in 2016 and beyond.

      The only real hope we have for 2013 is that the overall impact of our first true, bona fide hockey-minded leader (JD) and the stable, cohesive system of Richards will give us glimpses of what a real, competitive hockey team looks like.

  2. Gallos:

    I think it's a matter of perspective. For those of us up close to this team know that Nasher's departure was massive! And, while Jack Johnson joined the team before the season ended, I still see him as a newbie. With his arrival, the team started to soar to new heights toward the end of last season.

    So, imagine, what they might achieve this season especially with the arrival of Dubinsky, Anisimov, Foligno and Bobrovsky. Throw into that the young guys in Springy and juniors. Get a beast like Boone Jenner to the big club and then talk about an already ironclad defense.

    Throw into the mix the young guys in Springy and now you're talking about a team that is relevant.

    Doktor Z

  3. Gallos:
    Don't think you over reacted at all.

    "Why I’ll Be Right: This team is essentially the same one that clunked into last place last year,": is not remotely descriptive of this team. Yes there are some of the pieces from last year but how many games were those pieces all in place. In addition the dynamic of the team has changed perceptively, see the last 20 games. Arniel is gone, Richards is no longer interim, there are two new experienced asst coaches in Hartsburg and Acton. There is depth and prospects knocking at the door. And there is a new force running the show.

    "the same one that clunked into last place" I don't think so.

    It is the fate of any team that finishes last to be dismissed the next year and there are certainly some questions about this team, but if they stumble it will not be because they are the same old same old.

  4. The overall talent level has declined in Columbus and every other team in the West has gotten at least a little better. Is it possible the Jackets will exceed expectations and other teams may under-perform but 15th in the west and possibly last overall is a pretty valid expectation. Hopefully there is a new system in place for drafting since Columus' many high draft picks have pretty much all been wasted since Rick Nash.

  5. Definitely not an overreaction. IMO,this team is dramatically different. Case in point: TSN's top 300 scorers prediction: us (12), Chicago (12), St. Louis (10), Nashville (9), Detroit (11). Those are Umberger, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Brassard, Atkinson, Letestu, Johansen, Prospal, Foligno, Nikitin, Johnson, and Wisniewski. Last year 8 of those guys were not here/were not expected to contribute to this extent, while we had Carter, Vermette, and Nash. So we are plus 5 on scorers, even ignoring Tyutin, JAM, Calvert, and Erixon (justly, as they may not be here/offensively contribute).

    What I at least ignored in the lead up to last year and talk of three scoring lines was the fact that we were just as one dimensional as ever, regardless of Wiz's injury and Carter's apathy. Any team that could shut down Carter and Nash had shut down our team. Now our first line can be shut down, and we'll have two others that can score. On the goaltender front, we now have 3, maybe four legitimate options at the NHL level, if they perform. Last year, we had Mase. I'm optimistic that we can pull an Ottawa.

  6. I don't think any of these guys do much more then read the stats, look at a ouija board and go for their moment of fame

  7. From my perspetive this season's CBJ results will depend on two things: how the forwards play in their own end defensively (remember that?) and if the kids who make the squad from springfield can collectively chip in 30-40 goals. Leaving out the "energy" that will come from this year's team, just looking over the statistical production lost and added since last season, it's tough to statiscially say the Jackets are a dynamically improved team. Certainly the 'intangibles' will be much improved this year making for exciting times early in the season.


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