All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: 10 burning questions heading into camp

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

10 burning questions heading into camp

With September upon us and camp less than 11 days away I figured it was a good time to list a few burning questions that I have headed into camp:

1. Can Derick Brassard hold down a top 6 center position and make an impact?

2. With Christian Backman likely to be our #1 PPQB (at least until Russell shows ready for that role) will he be able to get the job done and help improve a bottom ranked PP from a year ago?

3. Will the other Kirstian (Huselius) find chemistry with Rick Nash and live up to his big UFA contract?

4. Can RJ Umberger perform as the #1 center the Jackets desperately need?

5. Have enough changes been made to the Jackets offense (both in forwards and in defenders) to propel it to a playoff caliber goals for total?

6. Can Pascal Leclaire stay healthy and maintain his early 2007-2008 form?

7. What about the other two blue chip rookie talents in Voracek and Filatov -- how do they do in camp and where do they end up come opening night?

8. Can Freddy Modin bounce back from an injury riddled 2007-2008 season? Same with Raffi Torres?

9. How quickly can Hitch find chemistry with so many new faces in the lineup?

10. Can the Jackets make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history?

Many of these we'll have to wait until the season unfolds to find out but I like these questions and the names that need to answer them much more than the quesitons and names of year's past.

Discuss - what questions do you have heading into camp?

-LTL

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can the CBJ solve their Nashville problem?

Can't wait until the home opener...

Anonymous said...

Part of the nashville problem is already solved, imo.

For the first time ever, Nashville as an org, is paying attention to us. The players used to not care if they got outworked and outplayed by us because they knew we couldn't score. Suddenly our top line of Nash, RJ and Huselius is a triple threat instead of just a single.

I don't think scoring goals will be an issue as it was last year. Sure we lacked in skill last year, but we also lacked in guys who were willing to pay the price. Vyborny, Feodorov, Peca and Zherdev (4 of our top 6) weren't willing to go to the dirty areas to score the scrappy goals. Nash was the only one who continually drove the net. Manny and Chimmer got better later, but it wasn't enough. RJ doesn't have a problem going in there, either does Torres or Modin. Put that at 4 of 6 in our top 6 willing and that is already a huge improvement over last year.

I think Tyutin will be a little better managing the puck on the pp than people think. I also think Brassard will qb a unit of pp since that is where he normally plays. I don't forsee Russell taking over that role until his shot gets a lot heavier.

Will RJ be the end all and be all center that we would love to have? I doubt it, but there is no way in hell he is worse than Fedorov, therefore, we have improved dramatically in that area. I see RJ breaking his previous reg. season goal totals (20) and scoring between 25-30 this year.

Pub said...

1. Can Derick Brassard hold down a top 6 center position and make an impact?
We have to get lucky at some point right?

2. With Christian Backman likely to be our #1 PPQB (at least until Russell shows ready for that role) will he be able to get the job done and help improve a bottom ranked PP from a year ago?
Russell would do better with a year in Syracuse...so yea.
3. Will the other Kirstian (Huselius) find chemistry with Rick Nash and live up to his big UFA contract?
Yup...they will be great.
4. Can RJ Umberger perform as the #1 center the Jackets desperately need?
Cant be any worse than our past centers...can he?
5. Have enough changes been made to the Jackets offense (both in forwards and in defenders) to propel it to a playoff caliber goals for total?
Yes...because we still have a rocking goalie.
6. Can Pascal Leclaire stay healthy and maintain his early 2007-2008 form?
Probably not.
7. What about the other two blue chip rookie talents in Voracek and Filatov -- how do they do in camp and where do they end up come opening night?
Filatov=Syracuse Voracek=3rd lineCBJ
8. Can Freddy Modin bounce back from an injury riddled 2007-2008 season? Same with Raffi Torres?
Yes
9. How quickly can Hitch find chemistry with so many new faces in the lineup?
Very fast...I hop
10. Can the Jackets make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history?
I hope the hell they do!!

LTL said...

Good point about Nashville - that is certainly a burning question.

I agree with anonymous #2 breakdown as to why we will fair better against those guys this season as well.

..and classic Pubs in post #3!

-LTL

Jeremy said...

Alright here is my take....for what its worth:

1. Can Derick Brassard hold down a top 6 center position and make an impact?
I agree with an earlier poster that we have to get lucky. I think that Bras adding weight will dramatically help him at the next level, so i think that he will hold down the number 2 center and produce. I say 15/25/40 for the year. Not bad.

2. With Christian Backman likely to be our #1 PPQB (at least until Russell shows ready for that role) will he be able to get the job done and help improve a bottom ranked PP from a year ago?
This is a major concern. I watched the guy in STL when I had season tix and he never developed. If STL let him go....that should say something.
3. Will the other Kirstian (Huselius) find chemistry with Rick Nash and live up to his big UFA contract?
I think this is huge! I see Ricks points going up and KHs staying steady. I say 25/45/70 for KH.
4. Can RJ Umberger perform as the #1 center the Jackets desperately need?
HUGE Upgrade here! How many other teams added a young center that has ave almost 40 pts a season....let alone on a second third line. RJ stats I see at 15/40/55 points
5. Have enough changes been made to the Jackets offense (both in forwards and in defenders) to propel it to a playoff caliber goals for total?
Yes. Legit 1st and 2nd lines now assuming the next three questions are not questions anymore.
6. Can Pascal Leclaire stay healthy and maintain his early 2007-2008 form?
I think Pazzy stays close to form.
7. What about the other two blue chip rookie talents in Voracek and Filatov -- how do they do in camp and where do they end up come opening night?
Filatov=Syracuse Voracek=3rd lineCBJ I agree with the earlier poster on this one.
8. Can Freddy Modin bounce back from an injury riddled 2007-2008 season? Same with Raffi Torres?
Modin I am confident will be back. Torres.....not so much. I dont think he is as far along as everyone thinks and I can see him rushing back like Modin last year.
9. How quickly can Hitch find chemistry with so many new faces in the lineup?
I think that this team will come together quick with the personalities that were brought in. This is were Commodore's value really lies!
10. Can the Jackets make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history?
If I am a betting man (and I am), I say yes. I see the Jackets in the playoffs in at number 7 with 94pts. That is 7 games that have to go from "L" to "W'. I see that happening.

Erik said...

Pub,

I agree with most of your observations.. however I disagree with you on Filatov...
Here is a guy who scouts say is in the same league as Stamkos, and TB is endowing massive responsibility on his shoulders... I strongly believe that if Stamkos is expected to do 1/2nd line duty in TB... Filatov could potentionally do the same in Columbus.. The CBJ deserves that break and I think Filatov will be too talented to play in Syracuse... He will be pulling 3/4th line duty in our lineup... If Stamkos is expected to that, why not expect the same from Filatov....

LTL said...

Great responses everyone.. keep em comin!

-LTL

Erik said...

I guess I am trying to say that I strongly believe that Filatov, Voracek and Brassard will be big contributors to our upcoming season... we deserve it.. we need it..

Anonymous said...

Another question would be: Will Mike York be the steal of the free agency and make it possible that we don't have to completely rely on untested players to push us over the hump?






BHG

LTL said...

Another question I should have added is who will round out our defense? We have been told the Jackets will carry 8 d-men but I think right now there 9 guys in this fight with guys like Clitsome and Sigalet who could make it even more interesting:

Locks: Commodore, Klesla, Hejda, Tyutin, Backman

In the mix: Russell, Tollefsen, Rome, Methot

Outside shot: Clitsome, Sigalet, Holden

Out of the top 9 if someone has to go who is it and how?

So many questions and way to long ot wait to start finding out some answers :)

-LTL

Pub said...

Eric,

I just dont want him rushed. I trust Hitch to do the right thing.

Erik said...

Pub,

I am with you.. I am confident that Hitch/Howsen will not rush this player... (unlike the old administration)...
But I just have a gut feeling this kid will contribute on day 1... Other teams have had that luck... now we can use some of that... the time has come..

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Russell will be better off with a year in Syracuse. He didn't score like crazy last season, but he didn't strike me as a liability. True, if Russell isn't a points producing player at his size, then he isn't much good to us, but after seeing him up close and personal last month, the guy is only going to be better this year. We need his type of game with the blue jackets and I don't see much point putting him in the AHL.

Re: Filatov: First let's get him over here! 2nd, I just have this gut feeling that he isn't going to be a blue jacket right off the hop.

Voracek: I see him swapping lines with Torres before too long and being our 2nd line RW. I just think he is going to come out of nowhere and really have an impact.

Regardless, Hitch has had a lot of success developing younger players and I have no doubts that he will bring them along the right way--if anything faltering on the side of conservative with them.

Anonymous said...

McCabe sent to Florida for a 4th rounder in 2010 and Mike Van Ryn. That is a good place for McCabe, it won't much matter when he trips over the back of the net!

Matt said...

Just an interesting story - I went down to try the Boston Pizza by the arena today after my friends and I picked out our season tickets for this year.

The servers heard us mention we'd gotten our tickets, and we ended up having a 10 minute bull session - one was very convinced that the team is in good shape re: Nashville because of the changes. "That's where the 6 wins we needed last year are going to come from."

I guess Nasher was at the bar last night. Shame we didn't see him. :) I'd love to get his thoughts on the Preds!

Anonymous said...

Here is Nikita's latest blog entry that I had a website translate. You can kind of get the 'gist of it I think:

World Cup - is sacred

In America, leaving from 7 to 9 September, booked a ticket at that time. Training camp opens somewhere days after three or four after I appearing in the location of the club, and this time enough for me to adapt. Some, I know, fly to America before, but I thought that this does not make sense. Sitting two weeks without ice? In Russia, I regularly ride and this training is very useful. And with the family wants more time to carry out, with friends.

There are still trains with CSKA-2, even taking part in friendlies matches. I say that with this team I have kept a good relationship, so no problem there. And in "Columbus", probably not against that, I support the form. Maybe someone sedition that, with its contract with the NHL club, speaking for another team. But this exhibition games, do not worry. Incidentally, in the three matches I scored nine points - five goals, four transmission.

This year we have a very strong team, is bound to become champions

I know that youth team now Russia is preparing for the four nations tournament in the Czech Republic. I am not with it, but we talked about this topic with the chief coach Sergei Nemchinovym. It was decided that the next tournament, I missed. The point is that when the defined range of candidates, it was unclear how many I send to America. Well, but coaches have a chance to see other guys.

I have discussed this issue with the "Columbus" - was released to me, both at exhibition matches in Canada, and at the World Championships. And no matter where I will be speaking at this point, even in the first team. On the exhibition match against the Canadians may have problems, though, I think that this issue can be resolved, but soccer - sacred. It seems like, found a mutual understanding on these issues with the leadership of the club. There is a high probability that this will happen and all. This year we have a very strong team, is bound to become champions.

In "Kolambuse" I will act under 28 - m number. To choose between him and 90 - m, but then thought that the last three years, played in the team just under 28 - m. I am not an advocate changing rooms. For children I was 20 - and, last year in CSKA-2 - 90 - th. But all the same decided to stay at 28 - m.

Our women's team is very impressive gandbolnaya

Now all attention is paid to the Olympic Games in Beijing. It is understandable that tried not to miss the broadcast of his favorite tennis, but now switched to game species. I am happy for our gandbolnuyu women's national team, which went to the finals, and for voleybolistov who fell in four.

With the winner volleyball I have no doubt. The first will be Brazil. It is stronger than all their rivals, it is immediately striking. But our gandbolistok great chances to win. I watched their last three matches. Very impressive.

http://www.sports.ru/blog/filatov/5535793.html

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Looks like he will be here between 7th and 9th and will wear #28?

Mattlund said...

How will Steve Mason react coming off surgery, coming into his first pro season?

Max said...

It's great to see Filatov had 4 transmissions in his exhibitions! LOL love those translator deals, always make me laugh!

SoupDog said...

LTL

I just saw a story that gives another view on where the Jackets are at, and answers most of your questions, that is located at: http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=379926&page=NewsPage&service=page

LTL said...

Thanks soupdog -- I acutally just included that one in my latest post. Really good read by that staff writer.

-LTL

Anonymous said...

matt--The guys in Boston's may have been pulling your leg re: Nash being in there (unless they were referring to his brother) because he isn't in town until sometime next week.