directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Here comes Clitsome!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here comes Clitsome!

Reading into Hitch's comments from the coaches show yesterday it sounds like, to me anyways, that Grant Clitsome has rocketed up the depth chart possibly right into that #7 or #8 slot.

What that little segment also told me is that bubble guys like Aaron Rome, Marc Mehot and Clay Wilson -- guys that the organization were hoping to step up their game a notch -- haven't done so. What happens with these guys remains to be seen.

It should also be noted that Methot, Clitsome, Wilson and Tollefsen will all be in the lineup tomorrow night. It may be the final time for some of these guys to make their final impressions.

Another nugget shared is that Kris Russell has made this team and will play a key role and rightfully so.

It appears the wait if over, Nikita Filatov to make his North American hockey debut tonight in Nationwide Arena. I wasn't planning on going to this game but this news just changed my mind -- I have to get a look at this kid in first game in a CBJ uniform.

Puck-rakers reported that Maksim Mayorov has been sent to Syracuse. There had been some debate as to whether Mayorov would be sent to the AHL or Major Juniors but it seems that question has been answered.

While failing to notch a point Mayorov has certainly shown through camp that he has the tools to become an effective NHL player. He just needs the time to get his toolbox in order. previews the central. Here are their thoughts on the Jackets:

Story line: Columbus' Scott Howson could be the NHL's most soft-spoken general manager, but he made himself heard loud and clear this summer with two significant trades and two major free agent signings. He overhauled the defense by signing Mike Commodore and acquiring Christian Backman and Fedor Tyutin. Howson then tried to find a center for Rick Nash by acquiring R.J. Umberger, and he also signed 25-goal scorer Kristian Huselius.

Goalie: Pascal Leclaire

Three reasons to like the Blue Jackets: 1. Huselius and Umberger should help Nash take his game to another level. 2. Coach Ken Hitchcock's iron-will approach seems to be worth a few wins every season. He will ensure that this team is committed to strong defensive play. 3. Leclaire's performance in 2007-08 had the feel of a breakthrough, and not just a hot season.

Three reasons to worry: 1. The Blue Jackets were the NHL's lowest-scoring team, and a 10% to 15% improvement might not be enough. 2. Although Columbus dramatically altered its defense, it's difficult to know how much better it will be. 3. Fans are becoming restless because of the lack of success, and another missed postseason could result in a backlash.

Forecast: The Blue Jackets are the only current NHL team never to make the playoffs. Even if they improve, that distinction could remain. The West is tough.

Check out these new "Is this the year" ads from the NHL. Believe me when I say these are very well done....probably the best ads I've ever seen from the NHL.

While we are at it
, check out this marketing strategy from the Phoenix Coyotes.



Anonymous said...

I disagree on the NHL ads. They look kind of cool, but they're friggin' depressing.

"Hey guys, I'm pretty good, but my team still failed."

Anonymous said...

Someone told me to check out the new NHL ads, and I came here to see if there was anything new, and there they were. LTL delivers!

Re: Nash-Brass-Huselius vs. Nash-Manny-Huselius

I think both lines can and will be extremely effective in different ways. Yes, Brassard has all the offensive flair that we will need and will make plays and find both Nash and Huselius off the rush and somewhat down low BUT, Brassard will likely get schooled in the face-off circle, therefore this line will rarely start with the puck and will have to expel a lot of energy checking it back before they can get their offense going.

Enter Manny--Manny has the speed and the tenacity to go to the front of the net. No, he doesn't have the skill to make the plays, but enter Nash and especially Huselius. Manny will just need to use his big body to get to the front of the net and with both he and Nash barging their way in, Huselius will find one of them. PLUS, this line will more than likely start with the puck more often and will be able to get into the offensive zone quicker and work together to generate offense.

I think this is going to reflect how extremely important the acquistion of Huselius has been. Because he is a playmaking winger, it takes the pressure off that center position while Brassard gets up to the physical challenge that his position will face. You change that center on that line and you have a completely different and effective dimension with both guys in the middle.

It will be great for Manny too as he will become a bigger part of the team, have more responsibility and play more minutes. He has been deemed a leader and will get the chance to round out his game.

Anonymous said...

Re: Clitsome: The thing with Clitsome is that he doesn't have to pass through waivers like both Rome and Methot too. So, if you look at our d (assuming we are going to carry 8 guys):


That will leave one spot for either Methot or Rome to jump up and take it, and the other to be traded. It is highly unlikely either Methot or Rome will get through waivers before getting picked up so Howson, being the prudent GM that I know he is, will look to get at least something for a guy who they have put lots of time and money into.

If they see continued progress in Clitsome, they can recall him at will without having to worry about waivers. They want him to be playing not sitting in the pressbox so it is actually a nice position for the jackets, and Clitsome to be in.

Let's see how both Rome and Methot look when paired with a solid NHL player.

LTL said...

Good point about Clitsome.

I get the feeling that the organization isn't impressed with either Rome or Methot and that both could be shipped out.

That is probably a bit extreme.

...and what about Matvichuk? Any chance the org signs him to a 1 year deal? At this point I've actually liked him better than either of those guys.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Clitsome in game action tonight for the first time for me.

It sure would be nice to hit a big on a late round pick.


BZArcher said...

I haven't seen Rome or Methot in game action this pre-season (but I will tonight!), but I will say that I suspect Matvichuk might get offered a coaching position.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Matvichuk makes the team...just a tad to slow methinks.

A coaching position? Where does that come from? Who would he replace and why would you think that he would want it?

Anonymous said...

Please. If Manny is our top line C for any real length of time, this team is going to be in trouble. We've been searching for a center for years and it's not like he's been here under our noses all along. He's ok for some spot duty, but don't deceive yourself into thinking he's more then what he is. The role that Hitch defined, to help ease the younger players (in this case Brassard), is good and the extent of any such thoughts.

Clitsome could get the #8 spot? That rocks. Shows the kids that hard work gets you a spot. Get to see Filatov as well? Can't wait for the game.

BZArcher said...


I could see him added as an assistant or as a member of hockey development with Tyler Wright to help pass on some of his skills. One of the things everyone's talked about is that while he's slow, he has an incredible eye for puck movement, shot blocking, and position. I bet he could show guys like Commodore, Klesla, Tytutin, and Backman a few tricks, to say nothing of all the younger guys in the system.

JN said...

LTL, glad to hear you decided to go tonight. The Wapak contingent is making the trek down to Columbus tonight. Garage Bar??t

LTL said...

Oh yes.. Garage Bar definitely for post game.. going to try to make it for pre...

See you Wapakers there!!


Anonymous said...

Who said anything about Manny being more than 'spot' duty? I never once implied that he is anything more than a good face off guy, a fast skater and a big body to drive the net. Clearly you missed the point that it is HUSELIUS that will be key on that line if and when Manny has to be up there.

You are delusional if you think Brassard is going to be able to fully compete effectively vs. guys like Getzlaf, Thornton, Iginla and Ribero night in and night out. You are also in dreamland if you think Hitch is going to let Brassard get buried in a game either. Brassard has played only a few pre-season games and he is already out of the lineup because of a hit.

Get used to the idea of Manny being on the top line more often than you think because it is going to happen, especially early on. If we didn't have Huselius on that line to make plays, it might be more of a concern, but Manny and Nash with Huselius isn't going to suck as much as it did last year. How could it?