At the halfway point of the season I wrote about the second half expectations for the Blue Jackets. I looked at my preseason goal predictions for each player, then predicted how I thought they would perform over the second half of the season. Before I got to that point, I briefly discussed the team results. At the outset of the season, I had predicted a total of 128 goals scored on the season. I was off by a bit here, as they came in at only 120. However, I was off by the same amount in their goals against, as I had predicted they would come in at 127 goals allowed over the full 48 game season. Instead, they finished with 119 goals against. Excuse me for a second while I pat myself on the bat for exactly nailing their goal differential. In my preseason predictions, I hit another point that I think probably raised some eyebrows at the time: that the Jackets offense would actually improve with Rick Nash off in New York. And believe it or not it did (barely). The Jackets scored 120 goals this season, or the equivalent pace of 205 goals over 82 games. Not a great number, but better than the 202 goals the Jackets scored in 2011-12. Continue reading Looking Back to Look Back: Reviewing Preseason and Second Half Predictions
The tUB team was all over the place with the Masterton. We had eight players receiving a vote and only two players receiving multiple votes. This speaks to a few things, chief of which is no obvious Josh Harding-like candidate (the Wild netminder battling MS). But to me, it also shows that this is a team built around guys who are very dedicated to the game of hockey, with a number of players persevering through age, injury, doubt, or just losing. This is a resilient bunch, and there were a number of very worthy candidates who didn’t even get a vote (Jack Johnson, Adrian Aucoin, and Cam Atkinson come to mind). However, we did manage to choose a victor…. Continue reading 2013 tUB Awards: The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Ah the Lady Byng. Every NHLer’s least favorite award. The official description reads as such: ”Outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” In general, this award tends to go to the good player with the least number of penalty minutes. Or, as many think of it, the good player who is also the biggest pansy. I object to that description, as there are a number of Jacket players who fit the bill this year, while also playing very hard shift in, and shift out, taking abuse, going to the corners, and playing a tough game in general. However, what sets those players apart from the Matt Calverts and Brandon Dubinskys is their ability to do so without putting the Jackets shorthanded very often, constantly being good sports, and playing like gentlemen. And the award goes to…… Continue reading 2013 tUB Awards: The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Ask yourself honestly – if someone had told you in January of 2013 that the Blue Jackets would be in contention for a playoff spot, would you have believed them? What this roster of players has done this year is nothing short of amazing. A group of guys that pretty much every major media outlet slotted into 30th in the league refused to listen to the naysayers. They fought their way through a compressed schedule, crisscrossing the country to play 48 games of hockey on little rest. Somehow, these guys, these Blue Jackets, now find themselves battling the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild for 8th in the Western Conference and last night, in the latest in a string of “must win” games, the team stepped up and delivered once again – bringing home the 3-1 win.
So pick your adjective – stunning, shocking, wonderful, amazing, timely, deserved, due – whatever you choose, the Blue Jackets are it. This isn’t the team we’ve seen in years past – where sometimes we as fans felt like we wanted success more than they did – this is the team that demands respect and demands success. So what is a fan base to do? Well, we wanted to find a way to send a love letter to this team – to let them know what it means to see them build this kind of season of hockey. We’ve stood behind this team for a long time, this kind of run is what we’ve hoped for. So what better way to do that then to help the community in which this team resides while celebrating all that the boys in Union Blue have done. Thus, the second Money on the Board was born, and it caught like wildfire.
As of this morning, the final tallies are in:
A huge hard fought win for the Blue Jackets finally brings them into sole possession of a playoff birth. A great road game from the Jackets paid off huge, even though it looked like it might slip away from them in the 3rd period. Sergei Bobrovsky was his usual stellar self, only really getting beat on one goal. I’m not going to break down that ridiculous Dave Steckel goal (which even Puck Daddy thought was very strange), other than to say that it could have broken the team. Goals like that are the ultimate deflators. It could have ended the Jackets in this game, which probably would have ended their season. Instead, they didn’t miss a beat, tied it up a few minutes later, and pulled it off in overtime (again). You can’t praise the heart of this team enough. Let’s take a closer look at the goals: Continue reading Goal Breakdowns @ Anaheim 4/17
It was the second night of a back to back and the Jackets were on the road tonight, this time facing the Wild. Given this team’s history, many were anxious to see how the team would respond given the high energy game of last night and the loss of home ice advantage. Well, let’s just say the game did not disappoint.
Things got going early when Charlie Coyle blatantly took his elbow and drove it in to Artem Anisimov‘s head. Arty would fall and Brandon Dubinsky would immediately answer the bell coming to his teammate’s defense. Coyle got a match penalty which kept him off the ice for the rest of the night in addition to the Wild’s next game; but, given the post-game news that Arty is out “indefinitely” I will be severely disappointed if more games aren’t dolled out in response to Coyle’s actions. Completely unacceptable. The other party to the scrum, Dubi, would get 17 total minutes of penalties and sit for basically the entire first period.
Last night continued the series of “most important games” for the Blue Jackets as the boys in Union Blue fight to claw into a playoff spot. There was a lot on the line, not only two coveted points but a battle for pride as JD faced his former club and Ken Hitchcock was once again in Nationwide. The Blues came in on the second night of a back to back riding a 6 game win streak and the Jackets were bringing Brandon Dubinsky and Jared Boll back into the lineup.
Ah, Hockeysfuture.com – the hockey fans main resource for info on your team’s future stars along with it’s sister site of a place to kill brain cells/have a few laughs (HFBoards). Recently, they posted the Jackets top 20 prospects and, well, as the fanbase’s resident guru/geek (whichever you prefer) I went over the list and, much like The Hockey News list featured in my State of the Prospect Pool post, I’ve got some issues. Much like THN’s list, in my opinion it still feels like “hey what are you guys doing here?”, in addition to having a few rank order problems. It was pointed out to me that HF has criteria of what it qualifies as a prospect but since this is my post I’m gonna give my own take on HF’s and then post my list.
First things first lets look at theirs:
- D Ryan Murray
- F Cam Atkinson
- D Tim Erixon
- F Boone Jenner
- G Oscar Dansk
- D David Savard
- F Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
- D Cody Goloubef
- D Dalton Prout
- D Austin Madaisky
- G Joonas Korpisalo
- D Mike Reilly
- F T.J. Tynan
- G Allen York
- F Lukas Sedlak
- F Michael Chaput
- F Daniel Zaar
- F Seth Ambroz
- D Will Weber
- F Spencer Machacek Continue reading My Take on HockeysFuture.com Top 20 CBJ prospect list
Another shutout win for Sergei Bobrovsky last night, but one much different than one would have expected based on the season so far. Instead of Bob stealing the show and helping the Blue Jackets grab two points they had no business taking, he made 30 relatively easy saves. The Jackets looked like the much more dangerous team last night, and while Bob still had to make a couple of gem saves (and get bailed out by a shaky no-goal call), the majority of the play was controlled by Bob’s teammates. All four lines were firing, as eleven different Jackets picked up points, including at least one forward on each line. After a such a lackluster effort against Minnesota, it was fantastic to see the fire we all know is there come out in force. Continue reading Goal Breakdowns vs. San Jose 4/9
Welcome friends. I have drawn the responsibility to write about the first game for Marian Gaborik in a Blue Jackets sweater, and what a game it was. “Gaby” met the team in Nashville for a matchup against a Predators team that was just as hungry for points as they were. The Jackets were searching for their first win in regulation in Nashville since April 3, 2006, and 7 years and 1 day later, they did it. The Jackets take home a solid 3-1 victory and two points. Here’s how it all went down.
The first period started a bit shaky with the Jackets looking slightly tentative, but Sergei Bobrovsky came up huge once again with some big saves early. Perhaps they were feeling out chemistry with a new star on the roster and Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky returning (not to mention the absence of Derick Brassard), but after eight minutes of tentative play, they were behind the Predators 9-2 in SOG and were lucky to keep the game at zero.