directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: 10 questions heading into camp

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

10 questions heading into camp

1. Powerplease!
Will there be any power this season to the Jackets 30th ranked powerplay? If not can they pull off a repeat performance and make the post season for the 2nd straight season despite it?

2. Nikita chic-Fila-tov
He'll make the team but where does he fit and will he be happy?

3. U-haul.... Budget...Two Men and a Truck.... don't really care who -- just get me a puck mover!
Lot's of defending defensemen in the Jackets top 6 but the only true puck mover is Kris Russell. Does Howson swing a deal to bring in another body or does he hope guys like Russell and Tyutin improve from within to fix the problem? ..and then who steps up to fill that 7th spot?

4. Ex-lax
Chimera, Modin, Torres, Boll, Dorsett, Murray, Picard, Blunden... lot's of names for the 4 bottom 6 wing spots. Perhaps there is a trade to be made to get some relief?

5. FRAGILE rock
The Jackets need Brassard to stay healthy. In fact they really can't afford any long term injuries to any of their key players. Can they stay healthy?

6. Gimmie a signed Vermette
Does Howson ink Antoinne Vermette to an extension before the regular season starts?

7. Slumpbuster
Fear the dreaded sophomore slump. Can Mase stage an encore performance or does the NHL figure him out in year 2?

8. Weird science
With only 2 new faces expected in the starting lineup, how does the team chemistry mesh this year right out of the gate?

9. Order of the Phoenix
The Jackets had their problems with team like Phoenix (0-4) and St. Louis (1-4-1) last season. They can't afford to give up those kinds of points in a tight Western Conference that seems to have gotten only better -- how do they respond?

10. Captain Cash
Nash was shown the cash and in by doing so the Columbus Blue Jackets sent out a loud and clear message that he is their guy -- does he reward them with a career year and back to back trips to the playoffs?

HM: Sammy better than Manny?
The Dispatch has reported that Manny was willing to sign for 2 mil a year -- his replacement in Sammy Pahlsson got 2.650. Will he be worth the extra 650k?



Rick said...

1. If the PP stays the same, it'll be much tougher to make the playoffs with as strong as the West is.
2. I think 3rd line is wehere he'll start initially.
3. This should be Russell's breakout year. Prepare to be amazed.
4. Modin with his NTC ties Howson's hands, but as much as I like Chimmer, I think he gets traded.
5. As long as Brass doesn't try to emulate an MMA fighter he should be ok.
6.I'd like to see Vermette signed before the season starts, but he (or the CBJ) might be waiting to see how his season goes.
7. With a quality backup for Mase and his poise in net, Mase should have just as good (if not better) a year than last year.
8. Chemistry shouldn't be an issue at all. Look for them to gel much earlier than last season.
9. The CBJ needs to stay consistant and not give up the so-called "easy games" to lower ranking teams. Play Phoenix like they play the top teams in the conference = 100+ points.
10. Nash is on the verge of becoming an "elite" player in the NHL. With the supporting cast surrounding him, look for him (and others) to have a career season.
HM: Manny's good, but his claim to fame was face-off winning%. Pahlsson is arguably one of the best checking line centers in the league. Yes, the extra 650K will be worth it.

JAL said...

I agree with much of what Rick says. A few observations:

--I don't think PP will remain the same. I still think a couple of deals will get done. Even if not, look for Brassard, Russell and Tyutin to do more up top. While emphasis is at the point, we also need wings to move to create open diagonal passing lanes. Williams was good at this.

--I think Chimmer and Boll will somehow end up with other teams before regular season starts.

--Remember that Vermette has less than half a season with the CBJ. I think Howson watches October, then (assuming all goes well) signs him before Thanksgiving.

--Manny was a likeable guy, but between him, Modin and Chimera, we had more missed wide open nets than I can count. Pahlsson brings more grit and I think will provide more offense as well, depending on his line mates.

It will be fun to watch!! Countdown is on!!!

Anonymous said...

4. I think that Dorsett adds an energy that no one else on the ice can add. He needs to get some ice time in big games because he adds something that we dont always see. BALLS

eplagge said...

I think a good powerplay will be the difference between a playoff season or not.. it's simple math really.. you have an extremely though and competitive western conference.. a solid goaltender and a solid group of defensive defenseman.. we are going to win and lose games by small margins... any PP goal will have a good chance of deciding the game.. improving the PP from last to mid pack could mean as much as 10 extra W's over a season..

Here's some good stats regarding PP. (Regular season)
Best team: 90 goals (25.5%)
Average: 62 goals (about 18-19%)
CBJ: 41 Goals (12.7%)

Our average Goal per game for and against (2.68-2.72) it doesn't get much tighter then that !!

If we become an average team.. we would have 21 extra goals.... !!!! you do the math.. .PP is the key for the upcoming season.. if we don't bring in reinforcements we need to find setup that works with the current pieces quickly... 21 goals for a 0.02 goal differential team is HUGE....

LTL said...

Great post Ep. Might have to rip off your stats for a "stat of the day" post today!

If you don't mind of course :)