Ryan Murray

Three Stars and Game in One Picture – CBJ @ EDM

Posted by The Coach on March 19, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments

The Blue Jackets took down the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout in the wee hours of the morning. Well maybe not the wee hours. I might just be getting old. Also, I’ve used “wee” in three consecutive sentences now. Clearly I am tired and punchy. Anyway, the Jackets and Oilers at least put on an entertaining show, combining for 67 shots (47-20 in favor of Edmonton), a few highlight reel goals in regulation, and nice shootout markers from Ryan Johansen and Alexander Wennberg to finish it off.

3rd Star: Ryan Nugent Hopkins

Sure. Scored his 20th of the season, marking the first time he’s done that. Good on the kid. He still looks like a stick in skates out there though.
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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: STL @ CBJ

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

One of the final teams for the Jackets to face this season came to town tonight and the Jackets played a full 60 to beat the St. Louis Blues 7-1. I mean good gracious, it was 5-1 after two periods! This was the type of play fans have been waiting to see – and that was something Nick Foligno recognized in his first star comments post-game. So speaking of that, let’s get on with it and name check the three stars of the night as named by NHL.com:

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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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Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, and the Roles of Defensemen

Posted by The Coach on May 28, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / 4 Comments

Jack Johnson. James Wisniewski. Two divisive players playing the same position. A quick Google search will bring up loads of examples of people saying how bad Jack Johnson is. A quick search of Twitter post-playoff elimination would have found numerous examples of people saying how bad James Wisniewski is. What all that super analysis tends to forget is the role of a defenseman. Which isn’t always easy to judge. It’s much easier to watch a forward play, look at his stats, and decide with reasonable accuracy how good (or bad) he is. For defensemen, it is MUCH more difficult. That stats aren’t quite as telling. Some of the most important aspects of playing defense have no stats, are barely perceptible to most viewers, and are significantly influenced by the role the defenseman plays on his team. Put a guy in his own end, against the best players, and make him the primary puckhandler on his pairing, and you’ll see a lot of goals against, a lot of turnovers, and not a lot of points. Put a guy in the offensive zone, against lesser competition, playing with scorers, and make him one of the focal points of the offense, and you’ll see less turnovers, lots of points and goals, and less goals against. Switch up either of those roles on the fly,  and you’re likely to see the results switch up. There are only six defensemen on a team, so unless they are just rolled over willy nilly, you can’t compare teammates (well unless they are partners). You need to look at how those defensemen compare to other defensemen playing similar roles. So that’s what I did for Johnson and Wisniewski to try and find out if they are good, average, terrible, or deserving of buyouts.
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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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The Second Annual tUB Awards: The James Norris Memorial Trophy

Posted by The Coach on May 13, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, tUB Awards / 1 Comment

I figured the James Norris Memorial Trophy, given to the best defenseman, would be an interesting vote. Considering that the bloom is off the rose for both Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski; reigning winner 2013 tUB Norris winner Fedor Tyutin had a slightly down year; and the emergence of youngster Ryan Murray, this vote could have gone any number of ways. Instead, we had a runaway winner, with unanimous across the board first place votes. That was surprising enough in itself, but then we also had a dead even tie for the runner up spot. Without further ado, the winner of the Norris is…..

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The Second Annual tUB Awards: The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Posted by The Coach on May 08, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, tUB Awards / No Comments

The Lady Byng. Every player’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 Dubinsky’s is their ability to do so without putting the Jackets shorthanded very often, constantly being good sports, and playing like gentlemen. We actually had a tie this year, with most first place votes used to break it. Last year’s winner was Cam Atkinson. Can he repeat? Let’s find out… Continue reading…

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CBJ to select 16th in 1st Round of NHL Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on May 07, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Draft / 1 Comment

When Aaron Portzline tweeted where the Jackets would pick in the first round of the NHL draft he thought it would bum out CBJ fans because it made them face the reality that it’s now officially the off-season. To me it said “well better get to work prospect boy”. As I said in my state of the prospect pool post, my knowledge is limited right now (the troubles of following a play-off team) but that’s nothing a few hours with my hockeyprospect.com blackbook can’t fix. The Jackets will pick 16th in the NHL Draft which ties their lowest original pick. (The team was supposed to pick 16th in 2009 but traded down twice to eventually pick John Moore at 21.)

To recap the picks currently available to the Jackets:

2014
1st Round 16th
2nd Round 47th
Could Get Toronto’s 2nd Round Pick (Anaheim’s Choice) 14 or 15
3rd Round 77th
3rd Round Edmonton Pick From LA(Scrivens trade)
4th Round 107th
5th lost in Schultz Trade
6th lost in Gaborik NYR deal – pick later traded to Minnesota
7th Round 197th

2015(<-I gotta be me ;) )
1st
2nd
2nd Toronto’s from LA if not used in 14
3rd
3rd(PHI-Mason Deal)
4th
5th
6th
7th

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The Second Annual tUB Awards: The Calder Memorial Trophy

Posted by Staff on May 06, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, tUB Awards / 1 Comment

At the conclusion of the 2013 Columbus Blue Jackets season, the Union Blue team handed out awards to Blue Jackets players mirroring the actual NHL awards. Considering this was unarguably the best season in CBJ history, we had to follow it up with the second annual edition. So, over the next few weeks we will be slowly unveiling our rankings for every single award given out by the NHL, minus raw total awards as they are already determined (the Art Ross for most points (Ryan Johansen), Rocket Richard for most goals (Ryan Johansen), and William Jennings for goals against by team with goalies needing 25gp to be included (Sergei Bobrovsky & Curtis McElhinney)). The tUB team (AlisonL, Canadan, CBJProspects, DerDrache, Coach, Brett, and GregIn120), will rank three players per award (with one obvious exception), and provide an explanation for each of our rankings. These ranks will then be combined to determine who the tUB team feels deserves each award. Up first, we have the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the top rookie performer.

Last year’s winner: Dalton Prout

Calder nominees: Boone Jenner, Cody Goloubef, Michael Chaput, Ryan Murray, and Sean Collins.

Drum-roll please……….

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