Saturday, October 19, 2013

Here We Are, 2-4

This should be the post where I spout off about things we should hate about the Caps. Going to shelf that one for now, we've got a few more games against our Metro rival Crapitals to get that post in.

Instead, what is going on here? Why are we 6 games into the season with only 2 wins? And one of those is a shootout win.

Unlike years past for our beloved Blue Jackets, not everything is going wrong. Not all at once, at least. Yes, some things are clearly going wrong, but a number of things are going right.

As predicted by roughly everybody on the planet, scoring has been an issue, especially 5 on 5. That's the downer. The upside is the power play is clicking along at 27.3%, good for 6th in the league, something unheard of in these parts for a while. Granted, it's early, but the power play is doing a lot of things right.

Well, other than turning the puck over for that shorty against the Canadiens last night.

The forecheck is stifling, but it doesn't seem to be there at the first drop of the puck. Last night in Montreal was a prime example. The Habs jumped the Jackets early and often, but as the 2nd period moved along the forecheck came on very strong and stayed through the end of the game. It effectively nullified the Habs speed game, and is one of the reasons the Jackets were able to battle back to get it tied up.

So what do I see as wrong?

To me, Bob has not been as sharp as last season. The two blue-line-barely-screened goals last night, and the long shot in the Bruins game are pucks he has to have. Had those been shot last April, he likely would have had them. He wasn't sharp to start last season, either, but came on as the season went along. I have confidence he'll square it away and start making those saves.

Defensively we have been scrambling, both the d-men and the forwards at times. Last night's 3rd goal by the Habs was a prime example, all 5 guys had lost their checks and the Canadiens just zipped the puck around the zone at will until they put it in the back of the net.

Additionally, our transition game has not been clean. Johnson, Wiz, and Tyutin - our veteran defensemen - have been extremely sloppy with the puck below our own goal line. They're making risky passes when the check is coming rather than eating the puck, taking the check, and then making the play. Or, they're just not moving their feet to avoid the check in the first place. Those 3 have to get better with the puck, they are the guys that get things started back there, and more often than not they can skate themselves to a better pass.

Thankfully, many of these problems can be corrected. It's not a total dearth of talent as in years past, we have the players who can win games, and we have what appears to be the right systems in place for those players. When the Jackets play fast, move their feet, and forecheck hard, they are a very dangerous team. They just need to do that for whole games.

Starting in the first period.

For more than one game in a row.

1 comment:

  1. This is what I have been looking for many days. Really good work!


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