In this (hopefully) weekly review, I am going to provide the entire roster and make some comments regarding their efforts, either overall for the year, or in the past week. If roster rankings work out in the near future, I may include them as well, in a sort of depth chart quality meter. Bear in mind there will more than likely be some honesty, some overreacting, and plenty of ‘snark’ (as a few of my twitter buddies would call it). So let’s begin:
Boll :: I wish I had some good things to say about Boller, but he’s been beat up pretty good in his last couple of fights and hasn’t shown much on the ice. Starting to wonder how really valuable a heavy-ish weight fighter is in this league anymore.
Brassard :: Despite all the off ice conversation, Brassard has made a point of returning to the lineup and being relevant. An assist, +2, and 10 shots on goal in his three games back. He’s also been functioning well in the top 6 and on the powerplay.
Carter :: Scoring goals, finally! One in each of his last two games, and creating with Nash. I have a feeling it won’t be long before we really start to see him connecting with Nash on a regular basis.
Clitsome :: The highs and the lows for this guy are pretty substantial. Between making bonehead plays and taking solid shots, I can’t decide what to make of the kid. I wish he’d go back to the prospect and not the guy who thinks he’s got it made.
Dekanich :: His twitter isn’t even fun anymore.
Dorsett :: Dorsett for captain? I kid, seriously, but wow what a difference he has been for the club this year. Solid breakaway goals against Edmonton and Nashville (can you say snipe city, on Rinne?!) with an almost goal against Boston that you’d expect more out of Nash.. Shame he has an injury, but optimism suggests he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
Huselius :: President of the bandaid club (bolded for effect). He was relevant for a whopping game and a half or so, before succumbing to a groin injury that will leave him off the ice for weeks, not days. I am getting really tired of his brittle mediocrity.
Johansen :: I’m still big on the kid, but I hope the woes of Columbus don’t stunt his success and development as a hockey player. I do think playing with Vermette and Brassard has been a positive change for him, as they are both speedy players who see the ice well.
Johnson :: Healthy scratch. Pretty please.
Letestu :: Gotta give the kid credit, going from worst to relevant between Pittsburgh and Columbus has been fun to watch. That said, he’ll have to work hard to find his place in the lineup if players like RJ and Vermette begin to find their form, not to mention Brassard actually getting to play and Huselius testing the healthy waters.
MacKenzie :: DMac has been a monster in +/- although kudos to not playing in the top six (and recently not even in the top line) leaving usually weaker players to compete against. That said, the bottom three is where he can be most relevant for this team, so I think it’s great.
Martinek :: In the bandaid club. I am fairly certain half the fan base forgot about him.
Mason :: Snoozing for twelve straight games may mess with someone. Here’s hoping it just drove Mase to be better. All suggesting he may see time against Vancouver.
Methot :: A perfect example of a player meeting the expectations of the team and answering the call. Stepping in to play on Wisniewski’s line and doing a great job, albeit probably a line above where he should be lining up.
Moore :: Not all that much to say, although I feel like he has done a decent job when given the opportunity. Certainly a better option than Johnson, who belongs in the AHL. I still have high hopes that Moore can become more and more relevant, and I hope he can find someone on the team to mentor him.
Nash :: Flashes of greatness against Nashville drawing penalties and deking through players as though they don’t even know whether they are right or left handed. This is the Nash I demand on a nightly basis. A truly entertaining player when he feels like being one. That said, hard to ignore the -15 that is plaguing him.
Nikitin :: A tremendous pickup for the Jackets, in what seemed to be fairly irrelevant 7th D-man for 7th D-man at the time. He’s answered the call and made Tyutin slightly less of a defensive liability, which is saying a lot.
Pahlsson :: Moron penalty leading to the game tying goal in Nashville and right out again in the overtime… Arniel may not blame him for it, but he’s on my list after that idiot decision.
Prospal :: Dude is a fireball. I have a feeling when management brought in Clark and Moreau, they were hoping for even half the veteran presence Vinny P has had. This team seems to feed off him. (this hasn’t changed. I still love what Prospal is bringing to the team)
Sanford :: The Sandman. It’s hard to not be impressed with how well he has shouldered the brunt of a failing season and given fans hope with his quality positioning, although the success has slowly settled with him struggling in a few recent games. Regardless of where he goes from here, he has done more than I could have expected out of him already.
Tyutin :: I’ve tried to be patient, but I do not see Tyuts even coming close to earning his fresh contract. He has a bomb of a shot, but he has no capacity to keep it low and on net. In fact, I bet more than 70% of his shots are chest high (or higher) and wide of the net. That’s not how a defenseman should shoot at all.
Umberger :: Some life for RJ! Two high quality goals (with defensemen draped on his back of course) in his last three games and he’s been plenty relevant. It’s about time!
Vermette :: Watching Vermette with Johansen and Brassard has been a very positive change in my opinion. While he’s only managed one goal during that stretch, the line itself has looked strong and his capacity at center especially in the faceoff circle is strong. Looking forward to seeing what some chemistry will bring for him and his new linemates.
Wisniewski :: Brutal. At least for his contract brutal. Terrible decisions on the pass, shots and refuse to hit the net, and no real solutions to the mistakes. Tied with Nash (and it’s not even close) at -15, problems need solutions and he needs to be one of the front runners.
Homestands are great, but some tough competition lies ahead! Hopefully the next few games find the Jackets on the right end of third period success.
Carry the Flag!