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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jackets 8th according to THN's playoff predictions

Despite having the 30th ranked PP in the league yet still finishing 7th in the Western Conference The Hockey News predicts the Jackets to finish a spot lower in the standings but still squeak into the Stanley Cup playoff picture.


I won't argue that both Nash and Mason will have to continue to be key ingredients for this team to find success but I think they are vastly under-estimating what a full year of Brassard and Vermette can do down the middle in addition to Pahlsson and what another year of development for guys like Voracek and Filatov could add to this squad.

Until they find a puck moving right handed gun I do believe the powerplay will continue to struggle which will ultimately cost us any hopes of having home ice advantage in the first round.

As of today my prediction is 6th in the West.

This story is a real headscratcher for me.

I had a buddy call up the Blue Jackets ticket department hoping to spend $250 dollars of Blue Jackets gift certificates on one of those 6 game packages.

Sounds like a slam dunk right?

Not so fast Chimera.

He was told sorry, they cannot accept gift certificates to purchase the 6 game packages as gift cards only work through ticketmaster.

Let me get this straight. A paying customer using Jackets branded gift cards tries to redeem those for actual game tickets where he will spend even more money on parking, concessions and most likely merchandise and you say 'no' and end the call without a sale?

This is precisely what drives customers and fans absolutely insane to the point where they just say screw it. I don't care what it takes but you never say 'no' to a paying customer -- you find a way to make it work.

I understand there is process and policy -- I deal with that crap every day.

Never let the process work you, you work the process.

Message to CBJ ticket reps - we don't need any more reasons to dress fans up as empty blue seats.

Yahoo Sports chimes in with their offseason power rankings:

17. Columbus Blue Jackets – We’re not sure what to make of this, but the Blue Jackets have never needed salary arbitration to decide what negotiations between player and management could not. Defenseman Marc Methot(notes) agreed to a two-year deal to avoid a hearing this summer.

They should have just stuck to hangin their hat onto the "Jackets Powerplay stinks" line than to whatever this is supposed to mean.

Bright side... it's better than being ranked bottom 10 which is where the Jackets typically start out on these deals.

Baby steps grasshopper.

-LTL

6 comments:

Jeff said...

Regarding the ticket office: I tried to get one of those Jackets Night Out deals w/ the 2 tickets/beers/pizzas for $50 through the office to save on fees. They said you can only do that through Ticketmaster... Which turns the deal into a no deal since the fees pretty much equal the price of a pizza and a beer...

Matt said...

Correct, Ticketmaster is the problem. They make these deals so they are the sole supplier of tickets and charge fees for this and that. One concert I wanted to see, ticket price 16.50, ticketmaster conienence fee 7.50. facility charge 7.30. total for one ticket 31.30

What a scam.

Matt said...

I am tired of hearing people saying a right handed puck moving d-man is why our PP sucks. I can't see how one player can make that big a difference on the power play.

Even strength hockey is about 75% skill, 25% about the X's and O's. 5on5 and 5on3 hockey is just the opposite 75% X's and O's, 25% skill. You have the man advantage. Our problem was with the X and Os and that fell on Claud "2 goals is enough to win a game" Noel.

And he is still going to be the PP coach!!

snappy said...

If Ross McKeon of Yahoo! Sports doesn't know what it means that Methot briefly threaten arbitration means, then why the heck does he write it? He's right. He doesn't make sense and I don't have a clue what that means either or why it is even one bit relevant to his ranking (17 is crap as well). Find another sport...or another job, Ross, if you can't figure all this out and give us some useful analysis.

LTL said...

It's not just about a right handed puck mover but it's a heck of a lot more than X's and O's.

Ken Hitchcock knows his X's and O's. He didn't win a Stanley Cup on guesses and luck. Claud Noel knows his X's and O's.

The biggest problem that I saw with the PP was

#1. the lack of ability to gain the zone with puck posession on a consistant basis which started with transporting the puck out of our own zone and finding and hitting the open man with accurate passes in stride

#2. when they did gain the zone having the skill on the blueline to move pucks quickly and accurately to enable hard accurate shots from the point on net.

Adding a puck moving right handed shots does a couple of things.

It upgrades our skill on the backend which overall should help improve both 1 and 2 above.

It also gives us better angles to get off quick one time shots on net.

That said guys like Kris Russell and Fedor Tyutin need to continue to improve. Also a full year of Brassard and another year of Voracek should help improve the overall skill on the PP.

I don't think changing PP coaches will magically fix anything. It's all about player personel IMHO - especially on that blueline.

Will this player single handily solve the PP's ills? Of course not but I believe it is a key piece of the puzzle.

-LTL

Max said...

Personally I think a righty on the blue line is over-rated. Puck moving defensemen are rare enough, trying to find a righty is like looking for a white tiger... Teams do it without right handed shots on the back end. We just need to trade a winger or two to get a decent puck mover.