directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Cystal Ball, point predicition time!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cystal Ball, point predicition time!

The 16 teams that made the playoffs last season on average scored 233 goals. The high being the 262 scored by the Montreal Canadiens while the low was the Anaheim Ducks notching just 205.

The Columbus Blue Jackets scored just 193 goals which was the worst in the league.

There were many dissapointments last year - espeically when you consider what the starting 6 scored last season:

Nash (38) Fedorov (11) Vyborny (7)
Zherdev (26) Peca (8) Modin(6)

That is a grand total of 96 goals. Obviously not nearly good enough. Both Vyborny and Modin had horrible seasons for their own reasons.

In fact the Jackets had just 5 players in double digit goal scoring in Nash (38), Zherdev (26), Chimera (14), Fritsche (11) & Manny (10). So 3 of our top 5 goal scorers were 3rd to 4th line guys -- again not good enough.

Here are the goal totals from last year for our projected top 6 this season:

Nash (38) Umberger (13) Huselius (25)
Modin (6) Brassard (1) Torres (5)

That total is actually a drop from last season with 88 goals but Brassard only played 17 games in a reduced role. If you throw Peca's 8 in there we are still 2 less goals than the previous top 6.

So what gives? Where do the Jackets get the extra 35 - 40 goals needed to be on par with playoff teams offensively?

To start with the Jackets must get a healthy year out of Modin -- same with Torres. Brassard is going to have to step up and the Nash-Umberger-Huselius line is going to need to produce. The bottom 6 will also need to chip in more than they did this past season as well as the defense will need to score more than the 24 they produced combined last year. Finally there needs to be a surprise whether it be Brassard, Vorack, Filatov, Russell or a guy like York producing much more than expected.

Without further adu here are my point predictions for the 2008-2009 season:

Rick Nash - 42g, 35a for 77p
Kristian Huselius - 24g 52a for 76p
RJ Umberger - 18g 41a for 59p
Fredrik Modin - 23g 21a for 44p
Derick Brassard - 12g 28a for 40p
Michael Peca - 11g 23a for 34p
Jakub Voracek - 15g 14a for 29p
Kris Russell - 8g 21a for 29p
Jason Chimera - 13g 14a for 27p
Raffi Torres - 14g 11a for 25p
Michael York - 6g 15p for 21p
Fedor Tyutin - 7g 14a for 21p
Kristian Backman - 4g 14a for 18p
Mike Commodore - 3g 13a for 16p
Manny Malhotra - 5g 10a for 15p
Rusty Klesla - 5g 10p for 15p
Nikita Filatov - 8g 5a for 13p
Jared Boll - 7g 5a for 13p
Andrew Murray - 4g 8a for 13p
Jan Hejda - 1g 11a for 12p
Craig MacDonald - 2g 8a for 10p
Derek Dorsett - 2g 3a for 6p
Tom Sestito - 2g 1 for 3p
OK Tollefsen - 1g 2a for 3p
Derek MacKenzie - 2g 0a for 2p
Aaron Rome - 1g 1a for 2p
Pascal Leclaire - 0g 2a for 2p

Total goals scored: 241

Just a couple of thoughts when I was putting this together.

* Mike York beats our Jiri Novonty for a spot and he's waived
* Kris Russell has a monster year
* Both Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek make strong contributions
* Fredrick Modin has a strong bounce back year and stays relatively healthy
* Scoring is spread around and 9 guys hit double digits in goals scored
* Nikita Filatov indeeds spends some time on the big team and add some much needed scoring punch
* Playing between Nash and Huselius RJ Umberger has a career best 59 points
* Nash and Hueselius put up similar numbers to last season

I will be the first to admit that this is a very optimistic look - especially for the rookies. Even if I'm off by 20 goals that still puts us in the hunt especially if our defense plays as well as it did last season. That Jackets are going to need to find some quick chemistry and we need guys like Brassard, Vorack and Russell to make impacts.

We also need health on our side in a big way.

Discuss - what are your point predictions for the season?



Anonymous said... are such a jerk. go get a job. looks like you are having way too much time!!!

Baron said...

I for one appreciate this site. Keep up the good work LTL.
One another note - I really hope we get more production out of Malhotra and Klesla than you predicted.
It's time for Malhotra to do more than win some faceoffs. We also have enough guys who can play the PK now. I'd rather see Murray get his ice time and a regular shift. At least he is willing to get his nose dirty and is not afraid of contact.

Jeff said...


you should at least "sack up" and leave your name on the site if you are going to call LTL a jerk. you also have another option......DON'T READ HIS BLOG. everybody else that reads it and posts here seems to be really excited by reading it (as am I) and to have a place to discuss the CBJ and hockey in the off-season. seems to me like you may be the jerk.

aside from that.....these seem like fairly ambitious numbers. LTL, i really hope you're right!

Erik said...

I think assigning points at this point is almost impossible. There are so many changes; I think every line will have a boost in numbers this year. Combine that with similar or better defense numbers and we should be in the running for a playoff spot. I sure hope your predications are true. However I personally think the top line will be more productive.

jeremy said...


Nice work. I agree that you probably have too much time on your hands, but I would tell you to "Just say no" to a job and keep up the good work.

On the numbers. I think some of the numbers are a little high, Brassard at 40 points? That seems a little bit of a reach but if it happens, the CBJ can say hello to the playoffs. I dont think its out of the question for either.

1st line numbers seem very close to what I would predict.

DRU said...

I was wondering what you thought of Steve Kelly? I noticed that you left him off of your projections list. Is it because you don't think he'll see any time with the BJs this year?

Kelly is nothing special that's for sure but he has had significant time playing in Germany the past 4 years, averaging around 30pts a season. I don't know if he's got NHL skills but he is a vet and I could see Hitchcock wanting to try him out for a handful of games next season depending on slumps or injuries.

My question is, what the heck is up with Steve Kelly? This guy is an enigma to me and NEVER gets any mention from blogs, talking heads, or the Dispatch. His signing flew way under the radar and I haven't heard a thing about him anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Okay, here are my predictions--some of them are close to yours and some a little off--I also only did the NHL guys including York--no Dorsette or Sestito etc. I also only did goals since that is all I really care about!!

Okay here it is:

2008/09 Scoring Prediction

Torres-18 (15)
Brassard-15 (10)
Peca-12 (10)
Boll-8 (15)
York-15 (10)
Manny-8 (15)
Chimmer-12 (20)
Novotny-8 (5)


Backman 5 (10)
Klesla-7 (10)
Total: 229 (I added it 3 times and got three different totals haha!)His total: 261! Wow! Love that optimism!

The numbers in brackets are what a friend of mine things (LTL knows).

I was surprised by some of his 10 for Klesla, 15 for Manny, 20 for Chimmer, 15 for Boll.

Anyway, I find it fun to predict and see how it all shakes out at the end of the season. We should do a little pool--a quarter a point per player or something. Makes it kind of fun!

Anonymous said...

I think I mucked up my adding and my initial was correct at 249. LTL help!! Can you confirm my totals for me haha!

Anonymous said...

I just scanned your totals it was have Malhtoltra taking a pretty big hit in goals production and you see very little coming from York, in spite of him gaining a roster spot from Novotny.

You have Voracek scoring more than Brassard, yet I think you have Brassard higher in the lineup than Voracek. You also don't see RJ reaching the 20 goal plateau considering the fact that he will be on the top line with two pretty darn good players.

Interesting stuff! I can't wait to see how it all shakes out. Now everyone needs to put the 'stay healthy' energy out there. Just a reasonable amount of injuries would be appreciated oh hockey gods :)

LTL said...

Jerk? lol.. for the record I do have a job folks although wouldn't it be nice to get paid to talk hockey... I just do this blog for fun.

Last anonymous... the reason for Manny's drop is that I think he plays 4th line minutes most of year...same with York.

Umberger/Brassard/Peca will hold down the top 3 most of the year barring injuries. Manny/York will fight it out for the 4th and fill in for injuries. Novotny is the odd man out.

Brassard at 40 points is based off my belief that he will get that top 6 spot and quality PP minutes. I only have Voracek at 29 points.

Dru - Steve Kelly... I thought about throwing a goal up for him but I just can't see him getting much NHL time with the detph in front of him (I have MacKenzie and MacDonald ahead of him but who knows he could outplay both and get the callup over them).

Anyhow.. just some predicitions to generate some discussion during the dog days. I'm sure I'll get burned on some of these like Modin, Brule and Vyborny burnt me last season.

Thanks for the comments!


LTL said...

Oh and as far as those goal predictions in parenthesis from the 2nd anonymous -- trust me when I say pay close attention to those!


Anonymous said...

Interesting--I see York getting some pp time, likely 2nd unit. I also see him playing some 2nd line duty intermittently with Brassard. I don't really see Brassard being on the ice in crucial situations, at least early on which is where I see York slotting in.

I can see Manny on the 4th line, but if we some injuries, I would predict that he would be a guy that would move up in the lineup as needed. Same with York.

I agree that Novotny will be the odd man out, but if we have injuries he could be anywhere.

I am with you, I don't think anyone could forsee Vyborny taking a big dump like he did last season, nor did we envision we would be without Modin all year. Brule with 1 measily goal? I never would have dreamed of it. Let's hope we get surprised the other way this year!

Anonymous said...

i would give voracek a shot on our 1st line. think he has some great hands and putting huselius on our 2nd would balance out our top 6.
so hope we'll go with:


Anonymous said...

This is certainly food for thought, especially in the dog days of August, however I think that it is WAY TOO EARLY to project numbers, because of all of the variables involved. For instance, we don't know if the CBJ will pick up another player (due to salary cap issues with another team), nor do we know chemistry on lines, line mates, etc.

dw said...

241 seems a little too optimstic, especially if the top offense in the league last year scored 262, and that would mean almost a 50 goal improvement over last year.

241/82 games comes to basically 3 goals/game. I don't think our offense has improved to that point, and we'll probably still see a lot of 2-1 games.

Remember that the 233 average were for playoff teams, and as a fringe playoff team at best, I would have to think we would skew under the average if we were to make the playoffs. With a hopefully improved defense, something in the 220 range would be a drastic improvement and would turn a lot of those 1 goal losses into 1 goal wins.

I say we end up somewhere in the 210-215 range.

tom said...

I really think that Nash will top 50 goals this season. The focus has been on developing puck moving defensemen which should account for an increase in goals this year for the top 6. I believe that we will increase time of possession thus increase scoring. That simply is the reason that we contend for the playoffs.

I think that Voracek and Brassard end up on a line together and gel for years to come. Eventually Filatov joins the line. Huselius will be around 30 goals, Umberger around 50 assists.