directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Russell down a good thing

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Russell down a good thing

It was good to get an explanation on why Russell was sent down this morning - from the 'patch:

"He was good with (the demotion)," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He wants to play. He knows he needs to play.

"He has the skills to move the puck out of trouble. We just want to see him do it on a consistent basis."

"He was very good in the exhibition season," Hitchcock said. "And very good in the first game of the season (in Dallas).

I've watched every game and clearly I'm missing something in terms of his play dropping off since the first game of the season. I thought he was skating well, looking for back door plays and finding some solid chemistry with Backman. If anyone was struggling it was the top 4 guys.

That said Methot has played well and there aren't any signs that coaching or management are prepared to sit any of the remaining five guys to make room for him so Russell to me, is more of a victim of a numbers game than anything else.

With Boll back in the lineup tonight somebody on the current roster had to move. The fact that Russell is the only non-waiver eligible defensemen on the list and not playing certainly made him a candidate. Although I'm still not sure why a guy like Filatov is still with the big team as he could have been sent down as well.

I'm starting to worry about some of the development decisions of our young guys in terms of getting their chains yanked all over the place. I thought the org did a great job with Brassard and Voracek but the kind of indecision with Russell and Filatov has me concerned a bit...

I suspect Filatov's future will be decided within the week (I'm personally hoping its the Junior route or at the very least Syracuse until he gets a regular shift up here) and Russell is an defensive injury away from a (total) re-call.

Regardless I'm glad Russell is getting sent down because its certainly not doing him any good warming the press box. Since he's down there I hope he gets plenty of playing time and if there are any doubts keep him down for a while and let him develop and gain whatever confidence he's lost, which I don't think is much because he wasn't playing bad, back. Hopefuly Filatov is right behind him when a guy like Modin comes off the IR.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the demotion and I've also added a related poll question.

More on tonight's game against Anaheim in a bit.



Anonymous said...

You left out "He wasn't playing well" on your poll question.

Which is the correct answer.

Hitch is right in there was a distinct difference in his play from the preseason and into the first couple of weeks in the regular season.

You are correct in that he wasn't the only on struggling, however we are going to live and die with our top 4. No one we have, right now, is ready to take on that role, including OKT and Methot. Certainly not Russell. If you think Russell moving up to the top 4 would have been any type of solution (or Methot), you are mistaken.

But at the end of the day Backman and Methot were playing better then Russell. So they are playing and he's on his way to the Crunch. The difference here is that the Jackets had the option of sending him down to work on his game. With no risk of being claimed. If Russell was on a one-way, he would have stayed up here.

You are making more out of this there what was there, LTL.

Anonymous said...

The kids need time to develop. If we have the competitive depth that Hitch says we have, let Russell and Filatov develop by playing in the AHL, if it was good enough for Brassard, it should be good enough for them. The kids won't develop by sitting on the bench or by being a healthy scratch. Play them in the minors, and let them get better down there to help us down the road

Max said...

I've just had a revalation about Filatov... What if a deal is nearing where the Russians will let him play in Sudbury, and we're keeping him in Columbus as a scratch so he doesn't go over 9 pro games?

Sean said...

When does Modin come off IR?

LTL said...

Anonymous #1 - what are those distinct differences?


LTL said...

Also I'll re-do the poll and add "he wasn't playing well" b/c I'd really like to see what everyone thinks on this one.


June said...

I actually think that may be what they're doing with Filatov. Sudbury has filed an appeal with the IIHF to get Filatov's transfer. So they're not giving up. Wonder who told them not to give up?