All-Blogs.net directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Jackets magnified

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jackets magnified

We heard going into these playoffs and that was that every play is magnified.. from checks, to faceoffs, to line changes, to blown coverages, to saves, to goals, to penalties to everything in-between.

Well who am I to break playoff tradition...right? The following is my attempt to magnify the play of each Jacket over the first 2 games.

There are 3 categories... above the bar, at the bar and you guessed it, below the bar.

ABOVE THE BAR
RUSTY KLESLA
Averaging over 20 minutes in ice time Rusty has 6 hits, 5 blocked shots and is a +1. Beyond the stats though he has just been flat out nasty to play against. He gone toe to toe with Holmstrom in front of the net and has shown what kind of game he's capable of when he wants to elevate it. He's been the Jackets most engaged defensemen throughout he first two tilts.

JAKUB VORACEK
Averaging 12 min a game in ice time Jakub has 1 assist and is a +1. Jakub has shown an unexpected edge to his game and the ability to raise the level of his play in the NHL's second season. He's taken some questionable penalties but I have really liked his composure and competitive level. He's been the Jackets best forward... and let's not forget he's a rookie.

DEREK DORSETT
Another rookie who has played in just one of the two games. However in that one game he recorded 4 hits and showed the ability to be able to keep up with the Wings speed and play his game. Dorsett is a 4th liner but he was smart positionally and made his presence felt each and every shift.

RJ UMBERGER
The only player with playoff experience who I feel has upped his game in the playoffs. I love how RJ gets to the net to score the dirty goals and his ability to rush the puck, draw the defender with him and then make that cross ice pass for a scoring chance. That said I do feel that RJ has another level of two he can raise his game.

AT THE BAR
STEVE MASON
With a save% of .890 and a GAA of 4.00 Mason's stats aren't pretty but for anyone who has watched these games would know, these scores could have been much worse without Mase in the nets. He's had to face the best Detroit PP in their entire history and has been the victim of some horrible bounces. That said the Jackets need him to steal a game and he hasn't shown any flashes of frustrating the Wings shooters up to this point.

RICK NASH
Nash had a good first period in the first game then Detroit went to work on him. He was bottled up the rest of that game and was also contained in the 2nd contest. I thought he competed much better in the 2nd game than the first but couldn't break loose of Detroit's blanket coverage. Nash at times, especially in that last game, was a bit guilty of trying to do it all himself which is a sign of frustration from that suffocating D. He also hasn't been able to get those key take aways to get those prime time scoring ops. If Nash is getting tripled covered somebody has to be open and his teammates have to give him support.

MIKE COMMODORE
I thought he had a real tough game the first night but bounced back well in the 2nd. He leads the team in hits with 8.. leads the team in blocked shots with 6 and is second on the squad with 21 mins of ice time but is pointless and a -3. I like the edge he bought in the 2nd game but we need he and Hejda to be stronger on the PK and their outlet passes.

FEDOR TYUTIN
Another guy who has just been okay. He leads all players in avg ice time with over 22 min has 4 hits and 3 blocked shots. He's pointless and a +1. The disappointing thing for me about Tyutin is he hasn't been as physical as I'd like him to be and he's added zilch defensively. He like the rest of the d-men are not making those crisp and clean outlet passes that the Jackets need to counter on the transition.

BELOW THE BAR
ANTOINNE VERMETTE
A bad first game but okay 2nd game. No points but he definitely stepped up his engagement and his work in the faceoffs over the last 60....he has 3 hits and 3 blocked shots. 1 shot offensively though ain't gonna cut it. He's 40% faceoff winning percentage ain't gonna cut. His 10 mins in penalties definitely ain't gonna cut it. He'll get his chance between 61 next game.

JAN HEJDA
Just 4 hits and 3 blocked shots and is 4th on the team in average time on ice. On top of that Jan is a whopping -4 which is the absolute worst on the team thus far. Jan has been the victim of some bad bounces but I just think he was caught a little off guard with the pace of the playoffs and hasn't been that big black hole we are used to seeing in the regular season.

FREDDY MODIN
Dude just looked injured and slow. I know he's battling though injuries and wants to do anything he can for the team (which I admire) but right now he's not adding much of anything out there except for a big body... and against a Wings team in which every player brings it every night that just isn't good enough.

KRISTIAN HUSELIUS
A major disappointment. I really liked Juice for what he brought in the regular season but his game has been absolutely lost in the playoffs. Juice has 6 shots, is a -1, has 1 hit and 1 blocked shot. Perhaps he is playing injured as well but his strengths which are puck handling, slowing a play down, mis-direction and vision have not been utilized. His time and space have been completely sucked up by the Wings skill and competitive level - even on the PP. He has been pushed out of the series up to this point. If Mikael Samuelson can be strong on the puck then so can Juice.

MICHAEL PECA
Another "playoff vet" who hasn't given much of anything. Though 2 game Peca has 1 shot, 0 hits, 2 blocked shots, is an even +/1 and 2 give-aways. He's given nothing offensively and quite frankly I don't think there has been much there defensively either. He's not winning battles and I'm not sure how a guy averaging over 13 minutes in ice time has zero in the hit department.

MANNY MALHOTRA
Manny was much better in the faceoff department in the 2nd game than he was the first... but he is in way over his head playing top line minutes in a series like this and it shows. In Manny's defense he's doing what he can but he just isn't the answer up there.. he hasn't been able to create much if any offense and has given no support to Nasher... a 3rd line role this next game should ease the burden of scoring but he needs to up his defensive game.

JASON CHIMERA
Looks like the speed just isn't there yet w/ Jason. Unfortunately the hands of cement have been. Jason's had one fantastic chance to score in this series and he put the puck wide. We need shots on net and for Chimera to be effective he's got to be able to utilize his blinding speed and that size of his and drive that net. Thus far he's got 5 shots, 1 hit, 1 takeaway and is an even +/-.

RAFFI TORRES
Just another body out there for me. He's maybe had one good scoring opportunity and his most memorable play has been a shoulder he layed on a Wing (can't remember his name) that dropped him like a dead ocotopi. We need secondary scoring and Raffi is one of those guys we need to lean on to get it and he hasn't delivered up to this point in the series.

JASON WILLIAMS
The knock on Williams is that he's too soft. He can get buy with that in the regular season but like Juice, he's been completely pushed out of this series. Williams has 2 shots, 1 hit and is a -2 and hasn't been able to produce anything from the point on the PP. Worst of all is he's been ineffective offensively and like Raffi, this team counts on his secondary scoring.

JARED BOLL
Getting scratched in the 2nd game tells you about all you need to know about Boller. This is his first post season and unfortunately he just wasn't able to keep up with this Wings team who doesn't dress any tough guys. I would have seen his game translating much better against a team like Vancouver, Calgary or Anaheim.

KRIS RUSSELL/MARC METHOT
I group these two together b/c even though their games are completely different both their games have struggled. As Hitch stated they've got that "deer in the headlights" look. Russ hasn't been able to use his speed to carry the puck and create.. Methot hasn't been able to contain the Detroit forwards but he does have 6 hits.. Both have generally struggled moving the puck out of zone.

Obviously for the Jackets to have any kind of chance to win tomorrow they are going to need everybody playing "ABOVE THE BAR".

Remember to wear BLUE tomorrow Jackets fans!

FIRE AWAY - agree..? disagree? agree to disagree?

-LTL

3 comments:

Max said...

I think the hit stat for Peca is incorrect. I watched him hit a few Wings on Saturday...

Everyone needs to step up. Playing at home will be a shot in the arm, but they've got to use opportunities that are given to them (and they are there!).

Go Jackets!

Taz said...

I think you got Mason and Umberger in the wrong spots.

Mason is still playing above the bar, in my opinion. He's let in maybe 2 soft goals in the 2 games, but we can't forget that he's a 20 year old rookie. If he wasn't playing as well as he is we'd be doing a lot worse than we are in this series.

Umberger on the other hand has plenty of experience, got our first goal, and is digging to try and keep up the offense, but I think he can do better than he showed in game 2. I want more from him before I'd say he's above the bar.

eplagge said...

I agree with most of your list.. except for these alterations:

Umberger has been OK... I don't think he's above the bar yet..

Peca is at the bar... He provides a lot of cleanup which he doesn't get credit for.. His smart defensive and positional play has been really good.. His presence allows Torres to make runs, and Pecs also get key penalty killing minutes... The only problem with Pecs is that his age is showing... and we are not going to get the Pecs of old.. so in summary: Peca provides a defensive safety net and veteran leadership to a young group in the bottom 6...

BTW am I the only one who likes what Peca brings to the table ???