directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Day 1 reaction

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 1 reaction

By now you've read in numerous spots who won, who lost, who scored and on and on about yesterday's fantastic first day of camp. I'll leave it to the Jackets and the Dispatch for those details.

Instead I'm going to give you some general and specific player observations. Remember of course the same guy could look at the same player and see two completely different things so not that you don't already -- but it's only 1 day so please take these comments with a grain of salt.


* Again, how about that fan turnout yesterday? Great showing and I think it's safe to call this format a rousing success.

* The players hit it hard out of the gate. The urgency and tempo to the scrimmages was terrific. Yes there is some rust to shake off but that's expected.

* I'd estimate attendance to be at 1000+ plus.

* Very physical affair. Archibald and Harvey set the tone early with their fight and it just kind of took off from there.

* I know it was a owner draft but there was definitely some tweaking. How else can you explain Boll, Sestito and Mirasty on the same team? I understand it though.. you don't want those guys beating the snot out of each other.. save that for Nashville.

* The Commodore-Russell pairing didn't do a whole lot for me the first time out... I thought Russ got caught up the ice a little too much for my liking... I know Hitch is trying this one out but I'm not a big fan yet mostly b/c I don't think Russ is ready for those big minutes against other team's top lines... maybe it's just me being comfortable with Commodore-Hejda and uncomfortable changing it.

* Best part of the scrimmages -- NO INJURIES!!


Brassard - looks bigger and better. If this guy can stay healthy watch out NHL. The thing I love about him is how he creates space for himself to make a play. A cut here... a little quick puck flip there...then bam either a pass right on someone's tape or a shot on net.. it's what great players know how to do at this level.

Klesla - looks like he picked right up from where he left his game at the playoffs. Was a physical force all scrimmage long. Had some nice plays with the puck as well. Didn't see him get beat at all.

Clitsome - looks like he's taken another step in the positive direction in terms of his development. Nothing fancy but just good smart hockey plays. I love his poise. Had a sweet goal late to top it off.

Calvert - kid has skills and speed to burn. Love his motor as well. He'll open up alot of eyes and should be under contract by the time he leaves camp. Give him another year with Brandon (who hosts the Memorial Cup this season) and he'll be ready for pro. He reminds me of someone but can't quite put a finger on it yet.

Pahlsson - I read somewhere that scrimmages like this aren't really his thing.. i.e. he won't shine... I agree. What surprised me about Pahlsson was that his body type and skating style reminds me of Brass.... offensive ability.. not so much ;)

Voracek - can't post about Jake without mentioning the locks. It's not all that grew over the summer as he's noticeably bigger physically. He played okay along side Filatov making a nice pass for a goal... not as many scoring chances or "wow" passes as I was expecting but those will come. Guy is going to be a complete player if he isn't already.

Filatov - speaking of "wow" this kid's speed is jaw dropping... some people say Pavel Bure but he really reminds me of Paul Kariya with this explosiveness and ability to find the soft spots of the ice for scoring chances. Was really working hard on his defensive game -- needs to keep that up.

Nash - Nash was Nash. Maybe it's just b/c I haven't seen it in a while but his wrist/snap shot looks even stronger. When he wanted to turn it up he did... that's what dominating players do.

Huselius - still a magician with the puck. You could tell what a year of playing with someone can do as his chemistry with Nash looked much better the first day of camp this season compared to last. They were connecting well and tried some stretch passes. Oh and he hit a post.. albeit just the outside of the net but any clank from this guy conjures up bad memories.

Picard - the energy was certainly there. Held on to the puck too long in one stretch.. but was trying to find the net and really working hard..... and who didn't get a kick out of the exchange he had with Dorsett? Glad those two didn't drop em though.

Dorsett - was one of my standouts from yesterday. Don't know if it was the wet ink on the contract still drying or what but he was fabulous. Looks like he's taken that confidence from the playoffs and has built off it. Got to ask -- where did that spin-o-rama move come from? Yeow!

Moore - here's the scary thing about Moore -- the kid didn't look out of place at all next to Tyutin... You obviously want to be patient with a dman but I'm already asking myself if he's this good now can the Jackets keep him off the roster next year? I'm probably getting ahead of myself so we'll see how he looks the rest of preseason.

Tyutin - I keep comin back to chemistry and being familiar with the organization... Tyutin's game at this stage compared to last was vastly improved.. his game oozed confidence as he just looks more comfortable out there.

Commodore - a veteran who knows it's camp. I saw him let up a bit at one point where he could have absolutely flattened someone... as far as the roughing up of Filatov in the corner he kndw exactly what he was doing.... I put all the dough in this picture on Commodore having a chat with Nikita afterwards saying no hard feelings but that is how you are going to get played this season -- I want you to be ready for it. After the play itself Filatov shook it off which was a good sign.

Modin - was pretty quite.

Chimera - same with Chimera although the speed looks like it's back which hopefully means the groin injury is behind him.

Legein - another bit of a surprise for me. I thought he was pretty active in all facets. He's workin his way back up the latter... I hope to see more "under the skin" agitation from him once he get's into the actual preseason games.

Torres - looks a 100% healthy to me. Was really workin and playin physical. I'm excited to see what he can do with health not being a concern.

Sestito - first thing I noticed (well after his size) was that his skating has improved. He was throwing his weight around. He won't make the team but if he can take another step he could see some callup duty -- especially if a Boll/Dorsett type goes down.

Mirasty - a total plug but who didn't smile when he scored a goal? We know where this guy shines and it's not in the actual playing of hockey department.

Umberger - pretty quiet day for him but like Pahlsson this isn't really the kind of thing where he excels. He had some good physical battles in the corners.

Lynch - everybody I'm sure had their "who is this guy" player of the scrimmages. This guy was mine. I just thought he played a solid game and moved really well for a big man. Definitely will be on my radar as pre-season continues.

Garon - best goalie out there yesterday. This guy was just incredibly solid.

Mason - didn't get to watch him as closely as I was on the other end of the rink but from what I could see he picked up where left off last year... no softies from what I could tell.

Loverock - seriously, a guy with a name like this just belongs in the NHL!

Methot - I really like Methot... he was the only NHL d-man on his team and it showed... like most folks yesterday he missed a play here or there but for the most part he looked very sharp in his decisions, skating and puck control.

Blunden - dude is big... real BIG. I can see why the org is interested in him. Played physical and seemed decent w/ the puck. Like a lot of these guys, I need to watch him more.

Sigalet - pretty small guy (think Russell but a little bigger) but turned in a pretty effort. He knows he's a bubble guy so I expect him to hang around pretty deep into this pre-season. You could see the confidence with the puck... want to watch him more on the PP.

Russell - struggled a bit early but then found his game. I want to see him carry the puck and use that speed more. As I said earlier I'm not yet sold on a Commodore-Russell pairing. I don't think he made any friends with Plekanov as he caught him late behind the net with a solid hit.

Plekanov - just didn't do a whole lot for me. I was waiting on that rocket shot but never saw it... just wasn't that involved. Need to see him more.

Regner - not quite as quick as I thought he'd be... definitely has some offensive instincts which were evident by his goal... want to watch him more defensively.

Mayorov - another standout for me. His game from last year to this year looks remarkably improved. I thought this skating was light year's better... I thought he controlled his body better on the ice... still raw in areas but I really liked what I saw yesterday in terms of overall improvement from last year to this year.

I know I missed some guys as it's hard to watch everyone every shift but those are just some general thoughts that I had coming out of camp yesterday.

Fire away - who stood out to you? Who didn't?



Anonymous said...

I went to the "Champoinship" game today and here is what I took away:

- Nash and Juice looked solid together.....and that is with MacKensie at Center.....Man what I wouldnt give to see Brassard at Center between those two....oh wait we will!

- Speaking of Brass, solid all around game.

- John Moore - Rookie, but the skill is there. He is definately not ready for the NHL (Gave the puck away to Nash for an empty netter), got pushed off the puck too easy. Give the kid about 2 years and we will have a nice point man on D.

- David Liffiton - I have no idea who this guy is but he looked both good and bad. Early on he put a hit on Boll and took the puck off the boards. Later he pushed another jacket off the puck. He was also on the ice during some odd man rushes (1 of which resulted in a goal) but this kid....whoever he is looked pretty good to me.

- Sestito - Noticably better this year over last year. A line with Boll, Sestito and Dorsett.....hummmmm that could be interesting in a couple of years.

- Calvert looked alright, nothing special

- Doug Lynch - Stood out. Not one big play that sticks in my mind but I remember seeing around and with the puck alot.

Clitsome and Savard - Both looked decent, but again they need more experience.

Blunden - Nothing special that I could see in this game. I was disappointed as from all of the talk I was expecting more. Maybe I am expecting too much out of a player they are looking to convert to a 4th line center.

Overall, a great experience for my $2.00 parking. I do hope that they do this every year as it was awesome to get to see some hockey.

Stephen said...

Is anyone aware of other organizations doing this format to open camp? Just curious if this is something that other team do as well.

LTL said...

Thanks for the updates anml034. I read from some other folks who liked Liffiton as well - will keep more of an eye on him.

Stephen - this is the first I've heard of this format.. but this is a league of copycats to expect others to follow.... and I love typing this.... the Jackets lead next year!


Patrick said...

LTL, we talked about this yesterday at the RBar, but just want to mention it here as well... my "who is that" player is C Matt Caria. Every time I saw him, he was doing a little thing right. Excellent hands and body control. Scored a nice goal to put the feather in his cap. He's an invitee from the OHL, and he's 21. I would love to see this guy get a chance somewhere in our organization.

Mary said...

Some more pics...

Wally said...

A lot of the returning vets looked very comfortable being on the ice in Columbus. Nash & Juice seemed to compliment each other nicely, it'll be interesting to see what Brass adds to that duo. Raffi looked like he had fire in his eyes from the getgo and Chimmer's speed is definitely back. I don't envy Hitch one bit... it's going to be difficult to pare the roster down.

LTL said...

Yep.. glad you commented on Caria Patrick... I didn't get to watch him as closely to have an opinion but like I said at the bar there was another CBJ fan over on HF whose eye Caria really caught.. I'll pay more attention to him next time.

Boll is another guy I missed.. although I'm sure he would have loved to have missed that high stick!