Monday, March 9, 2015

Bjork! Bjork! Bjork!

Ven de Oliver he score de goal,
de Swedish Chef says: Bjork! Bjork! Bjork!
Something pretty cool for the Columbus Blue Jackets is happening in the Western Hockey League in Canadian Juniors.  According to @cbjprospects in his post over on the Union Blue, Oliver Bjorkstrand, of the Portland Winterhawks has scored 50 goals in consecutive seasons.  As of this time, according to @cbjprospects, Bjorkstrand has 52 G-45A=97P in 51 games.  This is nearly a 2 point a game pace, which is phenomenal.

Oliver had a very strong showing at the World Juniors, and really looked pretty decent in the preseason this year.  Thank goodness they sent him back to Juniors, or the poor guy would probably be hurt.  This is a late round pick that is starting to look like he might be a diamond in the rough.  Oliver seems to play a reasonably sound 2 way game, and looks like he will make the jump to the AHL next year at the least.  The 'Great Dane', as @cbjprospects calls him is looking like he has some real potential.

On another facet of the potential front, the Jackets face another 'must lose' game tomorrow night in Carolina.  I was joking about this with another fan today, and we decided it was a four point game, for all the wrong reasons.  Look, I maintain that the CBJ are a good team in a tough position, but while we're down here, sinking low enough to acquire the number 4 pick is not such a bad thing.  So while I want our guys to play well, I'm not really focused on the outcome.  We are looking at a veritable battle of the questionable down the stretch, as we have 2 games with Carolina, 2 games with Edomonton, and games with Toronto and Buffalo before we are done.  Whoever wins the McEichel tournament is going to deserve it.

This is such a weird place.  Losing is contagious, and I think we have been developing a winning culture in our organization, but it sure isn't happening this year.  I guess what I will be looking for is for us to maximize our benefit from this lost year, and then come in to next year with a real chip on our shoulder.  Believe it or not, this team has made some real progress in some areas this year, but that is over shadowed by some really brutal losing streaks.  Meh.  Enough of that.  Tighten your belts Jackets fans, grit your teeth, put your head down and work through this stretch.  I've watched a lot of lost hockey over the years, and this looks different, as you can see guys like Wennberg and Dano growing before your eyes.

Oliver Bjorkstrand is a bright spot in our development system.  If we have done one thing well this year, it is not unduly rushing young talent.  And a lot of that young talent is going to start percolating to the top starting with next year.  Add Bjorkstrand to the list of that young talent that looks poised to help our team like we have never been able to see in the past.

But for now, we wade in to the 'tournament of the damned'.  May the best worst team win!!


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