Back in October, I took a look at what the addition of John Davidson would mean for the Blue Jackets on the ice. As a follow up to that, I started looking at the evolution of his rosters in St. Louis. We have seen the Blues rise to being on the edge of the league’s elite over the last couple of years. Of course we all want the Blue Jackets to get there. The question is how long will it take. To answer this, I broke down the initial Blues roster compared to Davidson’s initial Blue Jackets roster. Then I did the same for Davidson’s final Blues roster to see just how far we are away from seeing that caliber of team in Columbus.
Seasons Greetings all! It’s a light week – all but three of the NCAA prospects and most of the European prospects are off till after the holidays except for Anton Forsberg and SSK who will be back next week. So without further adieu let’s get going.
As always, starting off in Springfield it was a bit of a rough weekend with the team going 1-1-1 and losing two of their best defensemen in Saturday’s game. Starting on Friday with a rough one, the Falcons traveled to Providence to face off against the Bruins in a stoplight game – the Falcons wore their red alternates and the Bruins wore their yellows. The Falcons would spot Providence a 3-0 lead before Tomas Kubalik would score his sixth of the season when Tim Erixon‘s blast bounced off the end wall and Kubalik backhanded it in. 18 seconds later Nick Drazenovic would make it 3-2 with his sixth of the season. Midway through the third period Cam Atkinson would score his team leading 14th goal of the season. Curtis McElhinney would make 23 saves in the 6-3 loss allowing an empty net goal. Continue reading December 10-16 CBJ Prospect Week in Review
Well folks, I’m back for another season of weekly reports on the Jackets’ prospects. It feels like I’m getting off to a late start but the cancellation of the Traverse City Rookie Tournament leads to that feeling. Lockout or not, the team’s prospects have been playing since mid-September – it’s only the CHL and European based prospects that have been playing but that will change with the Falcons having preseason games this week and the NCAA prospects playing preseason games against Canadian colleges. So without further ado, let’s get this season started.
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters (OHL)
Season Stats 4GP 1-3 5.47GAA .873SV%
Looking at Oscar’s numbers probably led most you to make some snarky comment about him; well, let me say a few things. Oscar is playing on a young Erie team that only won 10 games last year and Oscar’s three losses were against three of the OHL’s Conference Semi-Finalists from last season. Oscar’s OHL Debut came against Niagara IceDogs who lost in the conference final last season and are one of the many teams quietly thanking the NHL for the lockout. They now have the services of Islander’s top prospect Ryan Strome and Bruins top prospect Dougie Hamilton, both who would more than likely be in the NHL. In the 4-2 IceDogs victory, Oscar made 26 saves on 30 shots. Of the four goals, Dansk had a chance on three of them but was screened (by his own teammate) on the fourth one. The next night, it was off to London to face the OHL Champs and well…yeah it was ugly. Oscar was pulled after the second period and allowing seven goals on 39 shots. Moving on, in their five game season opening road trip (due to Arena Renovations) it was off to Peterborough to play the Petes. This game ended up being Oscar’s first OHL win with him making 47 saves in the 5-1 victory with the only goal coming on a cross rink pass that Oscar couldn’t get across to in time. After a night off against Kingston, a 6-5 OT loss for the Otters, it was off to Ottawa to play the 67′s. It was another ugly one with the Otters losing 8-1 including a natural first period hat trick. In the 8-1 loss, Oscar faced 41 shots making 33 saves. As for next week, the Otters will finally play a home game in which yours truly will be reporting live as Oscar faces off against fellow Jackets prospect Josh Anderson and the rest of the Knights the next night.
Around 1AM Thursday morning, news hit the hockey scene that Shea Weber had signed an offer sheet with Philadelphia that runs for 14 years and amounts to $110MM. After we picked our collective jaws up off the floor, more details were released and we learned this contract is insanely huge, and insanely structured with $26MM alone being due in year 1 in salary and bonuses.
Predominant themes quickly arose from hockey-land. Many were shocked by Holmgren’s brazenness and creativity; others were stunned by Weber’s willingness to leave Nashville; and yet another group wondered if Poile would have the guts – and the pocketbook – to match the offer. As Jackets fans, we’re used to being the target of jokes and potshots. We’re used to suffering through situations such as “Nashpocalype”. I found myself in a position of not having a horse in the game of “who can we poke fun at for poor hockey dealings”. I watched as Nashville fans went through “accepting that you’re about to lose…something”. My curiosity led me to the weekly chat hosted by The Tennesseean. I read along with the comments in the wake of the Weber bombshell, and those Nashville fans? Well, they sounded a lot like Jackets fans.
Consider this. Read the phrases below and tell me which one was written by a Jackets fan:
[A] “At what point do you have to start holding [the GM] responsible? It seems that from last [significant dealing on major player], he’s really losing the public perception battle. Fair or not, he is seemingly losing the confidence of his players…”
[B] “…losing [all-star player] would really make it seem like the [NHL team] simply cannot compete. Would make me think long and hard about cancelling my season tickets.”
[C] “Bottom line I think they ask him if he wants to be here even if we rebuild or will he be disgruntled, if he wants to be here i believe he stays if not i think they let him walk.”
[D] “[young hot player not on your team's roster but possibly available via trade] is still young. He can still blossom. You just have to wonder if he can blossom with those coaches. Kinda like how [current/former young hot player's] blossoming has been a little stunted because of [NHL team's] coaches.”
[E] “Players that spend a significant amount of time in [your NHL city] seem to love it here. Players in the twilight of their career looking to establish a location for their families love it.”
Did you guess correctly? Continue reading Of Hearts and Minds
Last week both Dan and myself posted our game plans for the Blue Jackets offseason. Much theorizing has been done regarding how those rosters would fare, so I thought I would take a look at some statistics to see how they would do. Instead of just adding up goals, I checked out BehindtheNet.ca to look at the shots for and shot against rates for every player. Using stats from the last three years, I found the average rate at which each player’s team got shots on goal or allowed shots on goal. This gave me approximate shots for and against totals for the entire team over the course of the season. Using this, it was fairly easy to get a good approximation of how many goals the team would allow. To do this, I took the shots allowed at even strength and shorthanded, and multiplied those numbers by the goaltenders even strength and shorthanded save percentages. To get goals for, I used the shot rates for each player and multiplied those by their even strength and powerplay shot percentages. Shorthanded goals weren’t considered, as they are too random and too scarce for there to be a significant enough sample size (although a league-average number of shorthanded goals for and against was added to the final totals). So enough mumbo-jumbo, what does that all mean? It means a reasonably accurate portrayal of expected goals for and against for the Blue Jackets as constructed by Dan and I. The big question mark is minutes played. For every player I put together a reasonable range for games played and minutes played. Instead of an exact number, this gives us a reasonable range for next season. Without further ado, let’s see how our dream rosters would play out on the ice.
A few weeks ago I posted my breakdown of the Blue Jackets scoring chances at even strength . Since that article has gone up I’ve spent far too much time working through the data for special teams. The results are not exactly what I was expecting and I am not entirely sure what to make of it. The effectiveness of Derek Dorsett and Mark Letestu on the powerplay perplexed me. The ineffectiveness of Jack Johnson, RJ Umberger and James Wisniewski perplexed me more. The differing rates of scoring chances between Jackets powerplays and opponent powerplays put a wrench into comparisons. To combat some of these issues, I took a look at the rate at which scoring chances were converted while these players were on the ice. This painted a better picture of what players contributed to generating chances, as well as what players generated fewer chances but converted more of those chances to goals. Further, this analysis applied to shorthanded scoring chances was similarly illuminating. Again, many thanks to the awesome Matt Wagner at The Cannon for compiling the full breakdown of the Jackets scoring chances. Continue reading Special Teams Scoring Chance Rates