directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Playoffs in review

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Playoffs in review

* RJ Umberger. After his initial adjustment period earlier in the season this guy has been nothing but a rock all year and that carried over into the playoffs as he was the Jackets best forward. He collected a team high 3 goals in 4 games and was strong..especially down low and in those high traffic dirty areas.

* Captain Columbus gets his first taste of the 2nd season. Nash won't be getting cold anytime soon --- not with the blanket the Wings draped over him all series... he finally did wiggle loose in that 4th game to finish with 1g and 2a in 4 games... he also saw first hand he's got to be as physical as anyone in the playoffs to be successful.

* Rusty Klesla. We now know the level of play you can bring big boy...! need to translate that into the regular season!

* The kids. Jakub Voracek showed why he will be a superstar in this league very soon. Derek Dorsett showed why he should never be healthy scratched again.

* Experience...experience...experience. You can't substitute it. The Jackets players and organization had to take this painful but necessary step. Nash/Klesla/Voracek/Dorsett/Russell/Mason/Methot/Boll..... believe me their games will be much different in the post season next year.

* The fans! Honestly have you ever seen anything like game 4 at Nationwide? It truly was a game I know I'll never ever forget... and signaled to me hockey has finally arrived in Central Ohio... I cannot not wait to see what an extended playoff run could be like.

* Dispatch.. WOW boys... you guys definitely upped your game for the playoffs.. Absolutely OUTSTANDING coverage..!!!! As fans we are lucky to have you.

* Ohio Health's playoff billboard by their Riverside facility off of 315... that was sweet and believe me if I ever lose a limb or need immediate medical care -- I'm comin to your ER!

* Octo-gate! Hey.. none made it to the ice in game 4! Columbus is done being the NHL's whipping boy.

* Jacket Backer doin their thang! Love the t-shirts!

* Raffi Torres was a guy who I thought looked bad in the first two games but then started to come around in the final two. He collected two helpers but I really like his physical play. Now healthy he's a guy I think could really surprise next season in a contract year.

* R Bar was rockin! A 10 a.m. opening for the first ever playoff game? Oh how sweet it was!

* Who was the most physical? Dorsett led the team with 14 hits... Commodore and Klesla each has 13 a piece.

* The Anchor Bar... the only bright spot in Detroit!

* I think Hitch milked this cow for about all it was worth. We all wanted a savior in Brass or Filatov but in all honesty it was probably a good idea to keep them out of this series with the way it went. The gamesmanship Hitch played up with the media in reagards to penalties and faceoffs was great entertainment.

* For me personally I would have rather lost to any other team than the Wings mostly because I can't stand their fan's arrogance. That said, if your gonna learn from someone it might as well be the best.

* At the very least b/c it was Detroit we got to see the Jackets first ever playoff game which is something we'll always be able to tell our kids/grandkids/etc.

* Scott Howson for not selling the farm to get here. For instance, could you imagine the outcry from fans right now if he traded their #1 pick to get here only to get swept? This man knows what's he doing and he knows what it takes to sustain a good team on a budget. As it stands now the team has all their blue chip talent, their #1 pick, plenty of budget space and a very bright future.

* The water cooler talk. This playoff run really captured the attention of the casual sports fan out there..... more than I expected actually. It was sorely needed considering this team's vast history of losing. Columbus Blue Jackets meet respectability.

* Fox Sports Ohio and lack of HD. No excuses excuses for not televising these games in HD.. NONE! This technology is not cutting edge anymore.. The Jackets better have a clause in their next TV contract that all games..especially the playoffs... must be broadcast in HD.

* In fact the whole broadcast setup across Ohio was a train wreck.. nobody knew where to find these games. There is a ton of work to do in this area.

* Mase.. great in the regular season but average in the playoffs... bottom line was this kid was fried. Still love ya buddy and can't wait for your sophomore campaign!

* MIAs... Huselius was a no show until game 4. Modin was still hurt and it showed. Chimera hasn't looked the same since his groin injury. I don't remember anything significant from Mike Peca. Williams was cookie dough soft. Malhotra was in way over his head. Hejda finished a -5 which was his game in a nutshell. Vermette couldn't really get anything going.

* I was in general very disappointed with the play of our "experienced" playoff veterans.

* Jarred Boll got pushed out of this series. This kid can play though and I expect a very motivated Boller this summer and a better season next year.

* Transition game just wasn't there. The Wings were too quick, too aggressive and too physical and the Jackets were not able to break it.

* Special teams. The PK couldn't dent the Wing's vaunted PP (who can right?)... the PP was powerless until the final game when it was too late.

* Unlucky... how many goals bounced off Jackets and into the net? Then again the winning teams usually make their own luck.

* The Jackets did everything they couldn't do to win this series. They didn't get to Osgood often and early. They allowed too many penalties. Mase couldn't steal a game. They weren't great in the faceoff circle which led to too much puck possession for the Wings.

* Not that we would have beaten Vancouver but I would have rather taken my chances with them. Not getting a point in the final two games thus drawing the Wings was a killer.

* Not sure about the rest of ya but I have never been more depressed that a season is over. I'm already having CBJ withdrawal. NFL Draft? Spring game? Who cares.. I sure didn't. I want more CBJ.

Fire away - what did you like/dislike about the Jackets first playoff experience?



scioto slim said...

you say chimera never looked the same after his injury, but he sucked before and he sucked after.i dont understand what good his speed is if he cant hit the net. over all good review but can someone explaine what im not seeing in chimera?

Anonymous said...

Hey LTL, FS Ohio had all of the playoff games in HD on ATT Uverse. In fact ATT showed the CBJ, Reds and Cavs all in HD for the first two games on seperate channels

Michael said...

wasnt chimera like 2nd on our team in points in the very beginning of the year?

LTL said...

I thought Chimera was off to a nice start playing with Brass and Voracek at the beginning of the year then that groin injury hit.

He'll never be more than a 3rd line wing but he was playing the best I had seen him anyways up to that point.

He does have hands of cement and only 1 breakaway move... and like Scioto says has a real hard time hitting the net... he's usually at his best when he doesn't have time to think and just drives the net with his stick down.


Liz said...

I agree - I am still very depressed about the season being over. Not quite sure what to do now... still watching hockey, but its not the same. When game 4 was over, I wasn't as disapoointed as I thought I'd be though. Our guys gave it their all, they were just gassed and out matched. Next year will be different, I can't wait!

scioto slim said...

okay chimera did have a decent start to the season but i think it had more to do with his line mates than his own skill. and if thats the case cant wait to see brass next to nash next season.

JAL said...

LTL -- Couldn't agree more about being depressed about the end of the season. Maybe not even depressed so much as just this huge adrenaline crash after Game 4. I have had to take a few days off from the blog, just to collect thoughts and start fresh.

I agree with the vast majority of your analysis. Our real veterans -- Modin, Peca, Chimera, Malhotra did not show up. You gotta love Chimmer's attitude and speed, but he just does not have the ability to finish.

I disagree a little on Vermette and Williams. Vermette was always around the puck at both ends and played his butt off -- things just didn't click. Similar story for Williams, though he was not as strong in our own end as Vermette.

Dorsett needs maturing, and needs to be able to finish more. He looked a little silly standing on the wing celebrating a goal that wasn't . . . That being said, I think Dorsett has a much better chance of being with the club next year than Boll does. With a healthy Brassard, Fialtov coming oup, and maybe Mayorov, we just don't have room for somebody who can't compete at a skill level. Jury is out on Andrew Murray.

I think that June and July will be all about depth, so that we don't start the post-season next year with guys like Mason and Hejda being absolutely tanked.

A Shot From The Point