In his mailbag on Tuesday, Dan P. from The Cannon fielded a question from jkcpwilkin regarding which left handed shots will be playing on the right side, either as right wingers, or as right defensemen. Dan P. did a good job of catching a lot of the elements of playing the off-side, but after a couple hints in the article and a conversation on Twitter, I decided to delve deep into all the finer points of playing on the right side versus the left side.
The major difference, and one not commonly thought of is how your body opens to the play and your range of vision. Let’s do a little exercise. Stand parallel to the nearest wall you can find, with your right shoulder about a foot away from it. Pretend you are holding a hockey stick (with two hands) and bend over and place the imaginary stick on the imaginary ice. Now look at the angle of your shoulders. Those who shoot right will be opened up slightly away from the wall, making it very easy to see everything in that direction. Lefties will have their shoulders angled towards the wall, and to open their range of vision they either need to look over their shoulder, drop one hand off their stick, or turn their shoulders to the opposite angle (which would put the blade of the stick behind them). When learning to play the game this is a huge difference, and for a player not comfortable on their off-side it could force them to have to think about everything they do, as opposed to just reacting. Now onto the specifics of hows the off-side impacts forwards and defensemen.
Continue reading The Ins and Outs of Playing on the Left and Right Side
When he became a Blue Jacket last month, Brandon Dubinsky wasted no time in coming to Columbus. Within a week of the Nash trade announcement, “Duby” was C-Bus bound. While his first trip was documented by some in the media with comments regarding his dapper style, clothing choices and appearance, I wanted to delve deeper into the player. I wanted to understand what he could bring to our club which is so desperately seeking the elusive combination of significant talent and tremendous heart.
We have learned to be cautious with new players coming to town. We’ve had brushes with great skill but lack of heart. Current naysayers have said that the Jackets that are still here from last season have all the “desire to win” in the world, but can’t back it up with elite talent. I’ve now spent the weeks since the trade with the Rangers learning more about Dubinsky, and, I also had the chance to meet him at one of the CBJ open houses. I think we just might have our man.
Continue reading Brandon Dubinsky Takes on Columbus
While there have been many great recaps and write ups of the good time that was had at Cannonfest, we at TheUnionBlue.com felt like we might share something everyone wants to see: yourselves!! Enjoy this selection of images and if you see me at a CBJ (or any other) event with my camera, ask me to grab your photo! You just might find yourself right here on TheUnionBlue.com! Make the jump to the gallery by clicking Continue reading Cannonfest 2012 Photos below!
Continue reading Cannonfest 2012 Photos
Wiz Signing Autographs at Front Street Friday
This past Friday brought us another perfect Columbus afternoon and the opportunity to enjoy “Front Street Friday” with James Wisniewski. Among the Blue Jackets faithful, Wiz has stood as a beacon of what the Blue Jackets can be – both on ice and off, so its no surprise that a hearty turn out showed up to meet and greet with one of the most dedicated and generous Jackets players.
Wiz has always been one of my favorites. Since his arrival on the Columbus scene last July, his energy and passion were easy to connect with; and, Columbus has long been looking for exactly what Wiz had to offer: passion, the desire to connect with the fans, a quarterback for the power play and one hell of a shot.
I was honored to have a few moments to speak with Wiz after the hustle and bustle of the autograph session was complete and I continue to be only more and more impressed with the man. It is one thing to have players use well honed “PR Quotes”, its another to come across as one who says things because he means them. Both in his answers to me, and, as I listened to Wiz take time with everyone who showed up, one thing became clear: Nothing less than winning is acceptable. That message underlies everything Wiz says and does.
Continue reading Front Street Friday (and Q&A!) With James Wisniewski
Another week, another schedule showcase to get us looking into the upcoming season for those “must watch” games. This Friday, we’re focusing on the New Year’s Eve match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks. Though our team travels to Chi-town for their first game of the season, this game on December 31st will mark the first time we see Toews, Kane and company in our own house. And it promises to be a doozy.
Read on to hear the Union Blue’s thoughts on the game, the match-ups, a key prospect and why we NEED to be at the game.
Continue reading 2012 Schedule Showcase – New Year’s Eve With Chicago
Let’s start this one off with some quick trivia. Tell me which one of these prorated stat* lines belongs to what player:
Player A: 21G, 21A, +3
Player B: 21G, 18A, +6
Player C: 11G, 38A, -8
Player D: 11G, 40A, +5
*Prorated stats devised from dividing total goals, assists and plus-minus by games played with the CBJ in their first full-ish year with the team, then multiplying those numbers by a full 82 game season.
I’m sure the title of this post will give away who the four players are, but without looking at their stats there is really no way to differentiate between Cam Atkinson (Player A) and Matt Calvert (Player B), as well as Nikita Nikitin (Player C) and Grant Clitsome (Player D). Traditional stats show almost no difference at all. Cam looks like a little bit more of a playermaker, but those three assists are basically negated by the extra +3 heading to Calvert. Clitsome on the other hand, looks like the better player, with 2 more assists and a +13 jump on Nikitin.
Continue reading Why Atkinson & Nikitin Won’t Be the Next Calvert & Clitsome
Hälsningsfraser Sinitakit fanit…(slaps face)…sorry, too much time looking up stuff on Swedish and Finnish sites. Let’s try that again.
Greetings, Blue Jackets fans! Time for a summer update on the Jackets’ prospects. Let’s start off in the “leadership” realm of things. As of this writing, the Jackets will have three players with a letter on the front of their jerseys. Boone Jenner, unless he has an amazing training camp, is more than likely headed back to Oshawa to serve as the Generals’ Captain for the second straight season. In the college ranks, Thomas Larkin will also be wearing the C as part of the team’s tri-captaincy for the second straight season. This makes him the first Raider captain since Rejean Boivin (86-88) to wear it two years in a row. In Duluth, senior defenseman Drew Olson will serve as a assistant captain for his senior season which will begin in Columbus when the Bulldogs face off against the Buckeyes.
Continue reading Letters From Camp
It’s summer. There’s no hockey to watch. CBA negotiations are underway. And, we are desperate to see what the new CBJ roster can do. Who understands this unique feeling of anxiety and anticipation better than fellow Blue Jackets fans? So why not hang out with a bunch of them?
Continue reading Cannonfest – Hockey Talk Blue Jackets Style
With the offseason at it’s peak right now (hence the lack of activity lately), a number of team-focused websites around the NHL have been posting on their team’s top players under the age of 25, as well as looking at the NHL Equivalency numbers (NHLE) of their prospects. I thought I’d combine those two ideas. What follows is a look at the NHL stats and the NHL Equivalency stats for every Blue Jackets player or prospect under the age of 25. After that, I ranked the top 25 Blue Jackets under 25. NHLE was established by Gabe Desjardins and finds the equivalent statistics for players who did not play in the NHL. For example, a point in the OHL equals 0.30 points in the NHL. So 70 OHL points in 70 games is equal to about 25 points in 82 NHL games. To further clarify, this is not a predictive measure, but historic, as it looks at what these players would have done in the NHL last season, not what they will do when they get there. Without further ado, a look at all the CBJ players under the age of 25.
Continue reading Top 25 Blue Jackets Under 25 (And a Look at NHLE)
The Schedule Showcase continues this week with a look at the November 23rd home match up against the Nashville Predators. Ah Nashville. The team we love to hate. The Friday match up will represent the first time these two teams match up in the 2012-13 season so both teams should have been able to settle in to their new rosters and see what they are really bringing to the ice this year. The intrigue should continue to run high with Nashville and Columbus being the topic of a lot of off-season conversation.
So once again, without further ado, read on to see our thoughts on what this matchup will bring.
Continue reading 2012 Schedule Showcase – The Predators Come to Nationwide