directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Day 2 impressions

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Day 2 impressions

Howdy all.

Lets get right into it.

Lots of breakout drills today followed by a scrimmage.

Unfortunately I had to leave before the scrimmage today so I missed the fireworks between Chimera and Klesla. Apparently though Klesla gave Chimmer a nice face plant against the boards which he then took exception to with Klelsa. Both pushed and shoved a bit and then the next shift all was forgotten. Hey its physical and intense game out there and these vets know how to let it go and concentrate on that next shift. That said lets see that kind of play against the Nashville's of the division boys.

The Nash-Brassard-Huelius line continues to just rip it up out there. Brassard has been the most impressive player for me in the two days I've watched. Huselius and his skill with the puck is right there with him. I don't think I've seen him fumble the puck or miss a pass yet. Nash is Nash - size, reach, skating, puck control, shot -- all in top notch form. Can't wait to see if this line can translate it game day play.

The other rook Jakub Voracek continues to look like a rookie. He struggled a bit early on but seem to get better as the practice progressed. Note to Jacket fans -- I'd lower your expectation for Voracek and increase them a bit for Brass. I see it taking about a half season for Voracek to start finding his game at this level.

Modin-Umberger. I like where this due is headed. I've been very impressed with Modin and as I said yesterday he looks very healthy. He ripped a couple of goals today. Umberger's play in tight spaces down low has been a pleasant suprise for me. He needs to work on them face offs though.

Norrena was okay again today. Struggles early but he did make a few sweet stops as practice went along (how about that one right off his stick as he was diving across the goal?). I was on the opposite end of Leclaire so didn't see him as much so can't really comment on his play.

Its so hard to get a read on guys like Boll, Dorsett and Sestito b/c they can't play their banging style of games. That said Boll's hands look improved... Dorsett looks like he belongs and Sestito's skating has come a long way in a short period of time.

Mike York had his moments out there but I really want to see what he brings in game situations.

Liked Torres again today. He looks much better than I expected coming off that injury.

The d pairing of Commodore-Hejda and Klesla-Tyutin remained in tact. I thought all had decent days. I've been impressed with Commodore's outlet passes. Not sure where the 'O' is going to come from this group though.

Backman has been a little better thus far than I anticipated. I really want to see what he brings in powerplay situations though.

The battle on defense continues between Russell, Rome, Methot, Tollefsen, Wilson and Sigalet. To be honest none have really pulled away from each other - at least to me but I think a guy like Tolly needs to step it up.

Dereck MacKenzie has been the best of the fringe guys (MacDonald, Kelly, Picard, etc).

Another really good crowd this morning to watch the boys in action.

Its hard to believe but their first preseason game is only two days away against the 'hawks.

Fire away - for those that got to see the scrimmage - what did I miss besides the Klesla/Chimmera fun?



drew dawg said...

According to Puck Rakers the only reason Sestito is playing w/ the A group is to give Raffi a break. This makes sense to me since I couldn't figure out what this guy was doing out there today. It seemed in the 2nd half of practice that at the end of every shift Tommy was almost falling down, and sucking major wind as he sauntered over to the bench. Clearly this guy just doesn't have the stamina.

LTL said...

drew dawn - I didn't pick up on his conditioning and that is certainly good info on the group B/Torres deal. Thanks for heads up.

What did you think of the scrimmage?


Anonymous said...

drew dawg--There is no way Sestito's conditioning is in question, he just spent the entire summer working out with Brennan. He had a back issue recently and it could be the side effects of that.

Anonymous said...

Great news about Brassard, but 2 days into camp I am not going to give up on Voracek.

This is 'bright lights big city' for him and it might take him a bit, but I think he will get there.

LTL said...

I'm by no means giving up on him but based on what I've seen my expectations are certainly lowered for him. He'll get there but its going to take a little bit.


section 204 said...

Love the blog, keep it up. I've been lurking for a while, but I wanted to comment that I've been worried about Voracek's transition to the NHL since prospect camp broke. It's certainly not that I want him to fail, but it seemed to me that he wasn't quite ready skill-wise for the big show. I'm really hoping that he proves me wrong, and/or Hitch can merge him into the lineup throughout the season. Perhaps he can be "hidden" a bit on a line with Umberger and Modin. Soon enough - we'll see.

colin said...

i went to training camp and i left very, very impressed with modin and brassard. modin looked as healthy as he ever has, i really think we may get the freddy modin of old. with brassard hes and is really playing at a high level looks great with nash and huselius. also ive been very impressed with kris russel. i really think he will make the team he is just to good of a skater. he was flying out there.

Tom said...

I made it over today and strongly recommend going to practice for any CBJ fan. The experience is fantastic...the room is cozy, the rink is up close, and the players are REALLY good. A great experience for someone who enjoys hockey.

Anyhoo, I was most impressed with the outlet passing and speed on all fronts. Modin looked strong. Brassard appeared to be holding up to the pressure of performing on the Nash-Huselius line. Huselius is a sweet wingman. I spent more time watching the top line than the second, but I'd echo that it's coming a little harder for Voracek than for Brassard. Torres didn't look hurt. I was on Freddy's end of the rink, and he did warm up a little as the morning wore on. York was unspectacular.

Other thought - I'm an amateur hockey watcher, but I saw Andrew Murray busting his butt out there and constantly driving to the net. He just always caught my eye in drills. Watch him this year.

Oh - the team is Nash's. He's the captain, he's the man. It shows all over the ice. Gosh I hope Howson locks him up for the long haul.

From my 3 minutes catching the B-team, I love that we have a B-teamer named "Vigilante." Too cool. Also, we have a 6'6" defenseman named Delisle. That's right, 6 foot-6 inches. He's a tower out there. Hope he can play well; he's our Chara.

(I left the A-team practice a couple minutes early, so I didn't see the Chimera dustup.)

Fun fun fun fun fun! I can't wait for the season to start.

Did I mention that the rush drill was REALLY fast?

Anonymous said...

Brassard is 2 years (if not more) older than Voracek, so it will be no surprise if it takes a little longer.

Hitch knows how to 'hide' young guys within the lineup so they can gain confidence and get used to the pace. There is no question about the kid's skills being NHL calibre, it is just a matter of figuring out how 'heavy' you have to play to be effective in the NHL. I really feel like he is going to bring a lot to the table.

I do worry about, however, what Brass will be like when he is going up against the big, strong, experienced centers like Thornton, Igninla, Tkachuk etc.

In fact, both he and Huselius strike me as a bit 'light' to play on one line vs. those guys. The good thing is, however, that for the first time in a looooooooong time, Hitch has bigger, competitive bodies to slot in if it gets to hairy. Having the big bodies of RJ and Torres to slot in and out of those top 2 lines will be a huge asset.

It will be interesting to see who plays in the first pre-season games. It is so friggin' weird that you have 3 days and then you have to play games already!

LTL said...

Tom - so true on Murray. He was excellent in both days I saw him. He just does those things many players aren't willing to do that help you win.... he's very consistant in the game he brings every night and it appears ever practice.

Thanks for the comments everyone!


Lamdeveg said...

I'll also comment on Murray...he is always looking for the puck & sticking his nose in there, giving all he's got! Sorry Anon I'm with Dawg...I too saw Sestito sucking major wind!!! It's not a slam on the kid, just a comment on what we saw. He's a big boy & I cringed when Russell went in banging behind Freddy with Tommy on the boards!!! Russ's shot seemed off to me while Sigalet's looked good. I was very impressed with what I saw from Raffi too!!! Commodore just has an air about him, as does Haseluis & I LOVE IT!!! Let the man crushes begin!!! Go Jackets! In Hitch we entrust!!!