Matt Calvert

Three Stars: CBJ @ NYR

Posted by The Coach on April 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

The streak is dead, long live the streak. After setting the franchise record with nine consecutive wins, the Jackets fell 4-3 in overtime to the Rangers under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden tonight. Down 2-1 in the second period, goals from Marko Dano late in the period and Brandon Dubinsky near the midpoint of the third had the Jackets looking like they would bring that streak into double digits. Alas, it was not to be, as Derek Stepan tied the game up with 27.5 seconds left, before icing it in overtime. The Jackets streak now sits at an uber-exciting OT 1.

3rd Star: Chris Kreider

2nd Star: Henrik Lundqvist

1st Star: Derek Stepan

Really New York media person who picked the stars? All three of them? I get Stepan. Dude scored the game tying and winning goals, picked up an assist earlier, and threw six pucks on net. That has first star written all over it. I can even buy Lundvist. He didn’t have great numbers in this game (gave up three goals, made 29 saves, for a .906 save percentage), but he absolutely kept the Rangers in it during a few stretches where the Jackets had some excellent sustained pressure. But then they added in Kreider. Who was perfectly fine. But no way in hell should all three stars go to the Rangers when the Jackets were under 30 seconds from a win in regulation. No way when Sergei Bobrovsky drops 38 saves, including a number of highlight worthy efforts. I get that there wasn’t another Jacket that was probably worthy of a star based on their boxcar numbers, but Bob was so much better in this game than Kreider it’s crazy.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ vs. MTL

Posted by The Coach on February 27, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Jackets dropped a 5-2 decision to Montreal, although that maybe wasn’t even the biggest Jackets related news of the day. Shortly before puck drop they announced they had dealt Nathan Horton‘s back to the Toronto Maple Leafs for David “Wendel” Clarkson. I’ll address that trade a bit later. As for the game, the Jackets took on the powerhouse Canadiens, and it didn’t go super awesome. After falling behind quickly, the Jackets evened it up just as quickly, before falling behind again almost as quickly. That third goal was one of the rare NHL goals that are almost entirely on the goaltender. After a brutal turnover by Curtis McElhinney, he then struggled to get set for the shot, and then let the puck go right through him. Not great. The game was never really in doubt after that, until a brief period after Marko Dano made it a two goal game but before the Canadiens iced it with an empty netter.

3rd Star: Marko Dano

I was all prepared to write about Dano bailing out on the first Montreal goal (gotta get in that shooting lane, no excuses there), and compare it to Brandon Dubinsky going hard to the net, scoring, and getting hurt. Was going to be something about about the difference between needing to win and wanting to win. Well then Dano plays the rest of the game like his pants are on fire, scores the second goal to get them back in the game, and even had a play he didn’t score on that was quite similar to Dubi’s play earlier. So now I don’t know what to think. No excuse for his work on the Subban goal, so I guess kudos to either himself for getting his ass in gear, or whatever coach kicked his ass in gear.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ MTL

Posted by Staff on February 21, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Game Discussion / No Comments

That was an interesting game. First in a storied barn such as the Bell Center, the Jackets seemed a bit overwhelmed at first but put up a strong showing – they just came up short on the scoreboard – which is of course, where it matters most. We got to see Carey Price be Carey Price. I had thought the Habs would have gone farther last season if Kreider hadn’t taken him out slid into the net during the post season causing an unforeseen injury.

Anyway, the Jackets are still doing well on this 5 game roadtrip – 2-2 so far, with the Rangers looming. Let’s take a look at the three stars from tonight’s match as stated by NHL.com:

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ OTT

Posted by The Coach on February 07, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The ultimate deceiving score game. A glance at just the score makes it look like the Jackets won this one handily against the Ottawa Senators 4-1, but an empty net goal and a post ENG goal made a super tight game look more lopsided. Even though the game was deadlocked at zero through two periods, it was a superb back-and-forth affair with some serious ebbs and flows. After the Jackets took the lead in the third period, the Senators pressed like crazy until Nick Foligno‘s goal gave the Jackets a two goal lead. That Sens continued to buzz, and managed to bring the game to within a goal, but Curtis McElhinney and company were able to hold them off until Scott Hartnell could bury the empty netter and Mark Letestu could bring it home with a rare post-empty net goal.

3rd Star: Nick Foligno

I was watching the Ottawa feed of the game, and boy do they love them some Foligno. He was a monster though, and that goal, just wow. He was very good all game, but he deserves a star just for his effort that ended up as the game winner.

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ @ BOS

Posted by DerDrache on January 17, 2015
Stars of the Night / No Comments

After what I considered to be a great game against the Rangers in Columbus I was curious to see how the Jackets would respond to not being rewarded with 2 points for their efforts. They did exactly what they needed to do in Boston tonight. Not only did they play well but they played very disciplined hockey and were able to open the scoring with a gorgeous power play snipe from Johansen. Continue reading…

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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: CBJ vs. WSH

Posted by The Coach on December 19, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Stars of the Night / No Comments

So I was planning on being positive tonight. My last few recaps have been super negative. I also seem to get saddled with the CBJ’s worst games. So the first period happens. Probably their worst period of the season. I come to the conclusion the team has the Union Blue recap schedule posted in the dressing room and choose to crap the bed when I have to write about it. I’m not going to say anything more about the first period other than it sucked and Sergei Bobrovsky kept them in it. Then the second period happened, and it was fantastic. One of the better periods of hockey the Jackets have played all season. They dominated the play, but they did it in the physical, “Blue Jackets hockey” way that we had all come to know and love. The third period wasn’t a dominant performance by any means, but it was damn entertaining. The Capitals outshot the Jackets in the third, but that felt more like a team down for a good chunk of the period pressing to tie it up. Which the Caps managed to do twice. Unfortunately, the Jackets couldn’t pull out the overtime victory, falling 5-4 and bringing the wining streak to an end. The Jackets now sit at 7-0-1 in the month of December. That is pretty good. Less good is the Jackets now sitting in no-man’s land in the standings. They are seven points back of the Caps and the Florida Panthers for the final playoff spots. They were 10 points back at the end of November. It’s just that hard to make up points in the standings, especially when giving out points to the opposition in overtime or the shootout. The Jackets have also pulled too far ahead of the bottom feeding Edmonton Oilers. So screw it. Let’s keep this thing going. Who cares if the Jackets only have a 1.6% chance of making the playoffs (per SportsClubStats). This team to too good to tank without sitting Bob (who is in a contract year), and a handful of other players. The odds may be stacked against making the playoffs, but they are equally stacked against ending up with McDavid or Eichel. So I’ve flipped back again, and am now pulling for the historic comeback.

Third Star: Karl Alzner

Any time a defensive defenseman has a multi-point night in a victory, he’s probably gettting a star. Even if his goal was Charmin soft (Bob really should have had that one). Alzner was fine, never really standing out in his 18:09 of ice time. Which I guess is good considering his role (think a less monstrous Dalton Prout).
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Three Stars and Game in One Picture: PIT @ CBJ

Posted by AlisonL on December 14, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

Well that was a game, wasn’t it? It had a little bit of everything and by everything I mean every possible way to score happened: short-handed goal, power play goal, penalty shot, shootout, regulation goal…and then you add in one almost line brawl and a quite a few scuffles, 55 hits between two teams and a first period that pretty much had your head spinning and you have one enjoyable night of hockey (did I mention the Jackets now have 6 wins in a row?). The Jackets were able to hammer out a win against the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs and ensured that this season’s record against PIT will include at least one regular season win. BUT for the third time in a row, the Jackets beat a conference opponent WHILE giving them a point. That certainly makes a climb to a playoff spot that much more difficult and the push and pull between what this team can do and what if they get a top pick in the draft continues. Ah the drama. Let’s look at the three stars from last night’s game as named by NHL.com:

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The Salary Project: Introduction, Atkinson, Calvert & Dubinsky

Posted by The Coach on July 24, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Contracts, Stats / 2 Comments

Ahhhhh the doldrums of the offseason. With one major exception, everything in CBJ-Land is settled for the coming year. Even considering Ryan Johansen‘s lack of a contract, we still have a very good idea of what the Blue Jackets roster will look like for the coming year. The exact lines and defense pairings are still up in the air, but we can deal with that closer to when we actually get to see them. Right now there is one thing (almost) going on in the NHL: arbitration hearings. I say almost, as hearings basically NEVER happen anymore, with all the scheduled hearings getting canceled so far after the players and teams have come to agreements. However, I know a thing or two about arbitration in the NHL, having penned this article at the Score, this MUCH longer in-depth paper, as well as first hand experience working on NHL arbitration cases. I figured I’d take the arbitration approach to the current Blue Jackets roster. By looking at what players around the league would be comparable to the current CBJ roster based on their current seasons, we can see if their salaries (and by salaries I mean cap hits) are commensurate with what they contributed last season.

So how did I do this? Well I used a 15% filter (with exceptions noted) for goals and assists, a 25% filter for time on ice, a plus/minus two years in age filter, and of course a positional filter (although all forwards are lumped together). Those sets were used for every player, with a 25% filter for special teams play for players that warranted it. This was done over the last two seasons to find a group of five to ten players who best matched the CBJ player in question. Players on entry-level deals weren’t considered, as their contracts are not merit based (at least not NHL merit). I then looked over the resulting list and figured out where the CBJ player fit. That gives us a nice little range for what each player should be paid based on their market value (from last season), how they compare to players of similar ilk, and what kind of contract to expect for each player moving forward. For today’s post I’ll be taking a look at Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and Brandon Dubinsky. Why didn’t I start with Ryan Johansen? Well the outrage from some mainstream media folks over the Dubinsky project is what initially led me to this idea, I wanted to do them by lines (more or less), and I can only do so much in one post (these are VERY research intensive). Don’t worry, Johansen will be in part two. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

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A Look at the 2013-14 CBJ WOWY Numbers

Posted by The Coach on June 17, 2014
Stats / 2 Comments

WOWY. Also known as With Or Without You. It’s not just a U2 love song, in fact it’s a pretty useful tool for looking at how players perform with certain teammates, what players are driving their lines, which ones are dragging their lines down, and which combinations seem to work at bringing the best out of each other. The basic data came from Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, and boy do they have a lot of data. Within those pages you can find WOWY details for pretty much every player over the last few seasons, combined seasons, when the score is close, and much more. For this post, I used 5v5 data from the 2013-14 season only (to keep the sample size as large as possible). So I took all that information, and made a nice big fancy chart. It shows the Corsi percentage that each player is better (or worse) with each player. So the corresponding space in the chart of Johansen With (along the top of the chart) and Foligno (on the left side of the chart) shows the difference between Ryan Johansen‘s Corsi For % with Nick Foligno, and Johansen’s Corsi For % away from Foligno. Got it? Good. Let’s take a look at the chart, then go over a few things that need to be considered. After that is the good stuff: the players who come out best (and worst) in this analysis, the best combinations of players, and various ideal/terrible/etc. lineups.

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The Second Annual tUB Awards: The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Posted by Staff on May 20, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, tUB Awards / No Comments

Unlike last year, we had a consensus winner for the Masterton this time around. A reminder (as this one may be a bit more obscure), the Masterton goes out to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Last year the award was taken home by Vinny Prospal, so we’ll obviously have a new player take home this hardware. The champion is something of a no brainer, but the tUB team was all over the map in the second and third place votes. Continue on to find out the winner…. Continue reading…

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