With no immediate moves on the horizon, and almost two months til the season starts (assuming it does on time, anyways), give me 5 predictions for the bluejackets this coming season.
Number 5: Ryan Murray is not on the CBJ opening night roster. John Moore has a very good camp, Tim Erixon is hungry to win a spot, Savard and Holden really push hard and Murray is squeezed out this season.
Number 4: At some point, Steve Mason will be called upon to be the number one for a significant stretch of time. This is almost a no-brainer for me.
Number 3: Artem Anisimov will be the CBJ points leader at the ASB.
Number 2: Ryan Johansen will finish the season in Springfield.
Number 1: Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who can play center or wing, will make Derick Brassard finally expendable in this organization.
I'll start with some fighting-related predictions
5. The Blue Jackets have the first line-brawl in years, after somebody takes a run at one of our younger players and Dubinsky, JJ, Wiz, and Foligno all end up dropping the gloves
4. Jared Boll will chicken-wing Jeff Carter when we play the Kings
3. At some point during the season, Jody Shelley is reacquired
2.One of Ryan Johansen, John Moore, or Vinny Prospal has their first fight wearing Union Blue
1. Mike Richards and Brandon Dubinsky will fight at Nationwide Arena. Carter can be seen weeping in the corner
5. Ryan Johansen breaks out for a 50+ point season.
4. Sergei Bobrovsky proves to be a serviceable enough #1 to allow the franchise to part ways with Steve Mason (likely anyhow).
3. Ryan Murray not only makes the Jackets, but plays in the top-4 and gives the team a quality 20+ minutes every night.
2. One of Nick Foligno or Brandon Dubinsky outscores Rick Nash's last season as a Blue Jacket (30 goals, 59 points).
1. The team not only makes the playoffs, but also wins their first playoff game this year.
Some big "ifs" there, but someone has to bring the cheer ;)
5. Tyutin and Nikitin continue their insane play together, and the rest of the NHL stands up and takes notice.
4. Mason doesn't "bounce back" per se, but he does turn in a GAA under 3, which almost counts.
3. The Blue Jackets end the season with a top-5 power play and top-10 penalty kill.
2. Anisimov cracks the 20-goal barrier for the first time in his career.
1. No playoffs, but the first draft lottery win in franchise history helps make up for it.
1. Someone will step up. Be it Atkinson, Johansen, or someone else. I'll use the 1992-1993 Hartford Whalers to illustrate my point. In 91-92, the Whale points leader was John Cullen with 77 points. A young man by the name of Geoff Sanderson was a rookie that year and scored 13 goals. The next season, Cullen was traded. That same year, Sanderson exploded with 46 goals and 89 points. Of course, it helped that Andrew Cassels and Pat Verbeek had good chemistry with him and also put up a lot of points. I just remember in high school thinking "wow, where did this Sanderson guy come from?" I'm not saying a Jacket will experience the same level of "breakoutness" as Sanderson had that year, but I'm predicting someone will step up and surprise us.
2. We, the fans, will like this team. I'm not going to predict number of wins or likelihood of playoffs, but I think we'll see an entertaining product on the ice.
3. The Jackets will not have as many man-games lost to injury as last season. Knock on wood.
4. Rimer or Davidge try to be clever with Anisimov's name. Something like "Anicemove by Anisimov" or "Weneedsomemore Anisimov."
5. Someone else gets the captaincy, but Dubinsky becomes a big-time team leader.
89 posts in five years? Man, I suck.
5. Mason and Bobrovski do a solid Job spitting starts, Both are deemed "high end back-ups" by experts.
4. Jackets barely miss the play-offs in 10th place
3. Johansen has a break-out year and is centering the top line by the end of the season.
2. Foligno, Bobrovski, and Savard are traded to Buffalo for Ryan Miller at the deadline, Mason is re-signed in the off-season to a reasonable NHL back-up salary after not getting any better offers.
1. The LA Kings Tank this year, due to injuries and drama surrounding the carter-richards bromance. the Blue Jackets get a Lottery pick from LA. CBJ Select Mackinnon after flipping 2 1st round picks for 1st over-all
1. Ryan Murray will stay for 9 or fewer games and will be sent back to the Dub. Only because we have the luxury to do so with him. ('13-14 prediction: Murray comes in next season for the full year and is solid as a rock.)
2. One of our top 4 defensemen (JJ, Wiz, Nikitin, Tyutin) has a bad year, but one of Moore, Erixon, or Savard fills in more than adequately as the season progresses.
3. Brassard leads the team in points (!)
4. Umberger leads the team in goals with 28. Dubinsky, Brassard, and Foligno all break 20 goals as well.
5. There will be at least a month-long stretch of a patchwork forward corps (well, more so than it already is :laugh: )
I think this team is the most reminiscent of the inaugural roster in the sense that I feel a lot of the guys are seen as castoffs or afterthoughts from their former teams, or if they've been here long enough, don't give much reason to believe they can do much better. There's gonna have to be a lot of over achieving this year. The difference, though, is that most guys are still in their primes, whereas the inaugural club had a lot of aging journeymen.
5. The Jackets end up with 6 or more players with 20+ goals on the season (Dubinsky, RJ, Brassard, Foligno, Atkinson and Anisimov at a minimum)
4. At least 3 defensemen end up with 40+ points (JJ, Wiz and Nikitin at a minimum)
3. Ryan Murray sticks around through 15 game although only playing 9 and gets sent back to Juniors
2. The Jackets finish ahead of the Red Wings and Nashville in the Central division
1. After a hot last 1/3 of the season, the CBJ clinches the 8th playoff seed but loses 4 games to 2 in the first round.
Not CBJ directly but CBJ related bonus predictions:
2. Jeff Carter continues to have foot troubles and the LA Kings make the playoffs but are ousted in the 1st round.
1. Rick Nash is benched by Tortarella prior to the All-Star break prompting Nash to take notice and bring back the beast.
Bonus - Rangers suffer injuries like the CBJ (not wishing it on them just see the sad irony) and fail to make the playoffs giving the CBJ 3 top 20 picks in next year's draft
Brave prediction #1: Cam Atkinson puts up better offensive numbers than Rick Nash's last season with Columbus, scoring over 30 goals and 60 points.
Brave prediction #2: Brandon Dubinsky's game plays into a bigger piece of the puzzle than Nash's game does for the Rangers. Meaning Brandon plays a more pivotal role in the team's success.
Brave prediction #3: You have a 50 point defenseman.
Brave prediction #4: You're in a playoff position by All-Star break, but fail to hold onto it.
Brave prediction #5: Neither Bob or Mason are your starter at season's end. Dun dun dun.
1. JJ is the CBJ Captain and ASG Captain.
2. Cam puts up 25 goals.
3. By March, Johan is being questioned on here if hes a bust or not.
4. Murray doesnt make the team due to the glut of dmen.
5. We make the playoffs.
Jackets finish last in the Central, 14th in the West, and 29th in the NHL.
Howson is given a 5 year contract extension
No one scores more than 60 points.
Mason starts 50 games, and looks worse than last year.
Johansen is traded at some point.
Honestly I was thinking some kind of tiebreaker screwover or something.
5. Ryan Murray plays the standard 9 games and is sent back to Juniors.
4. Ryan Johansen doesn't take a top 6 spot in camp and is sent to Springfield to start the season. He is an All-Star and brought up for the last third of the season, much like Cam last season.
3. For the ASG, we have three players on the team (1. Whoever is captain, 2. Umberger, and 3. a huge ballot stuffing for Derek Dorsett).
2. We finish 12th in the West but end up earning a lot of respect from the whole conference.
1. The fans that show up at the beginning begin to talk about how this team resembles the first few year's teams, the crowds start to show up, slowly but surely.
Five predictions, eh?
5) Atkinson, Anisimov, and Audy-Marchessault compose the first line coming out of training camp. It's immediately dubbed "The A-Train".
4) Murray gets 9 games, spread out over the first 25 games, before being sent to the AHL as a "conditioning stint". His play has nothing to do with it; it'll be a simple numbers game. He then goes back to the WHL.
3) By mid-season, I'll have become so tired of stupidity that I start responding to annoying posts by saying 'hurr my DURR, you guys!"
2) All-Star Game slots go to the following:
- Jack Johnson (starter)
- Vinny Prospal (write-in)
- Rostislav Klesla (write-in)
- Derek MacKenzie (write-in)
MacKenzie then becomes a legend by wearing his Thrashers draft jersey in the skills competition.
1) I become a legend when my clairvoyance and optimism vindicates me.
1. We make the playoffs and bow out in the Semis in 6.
Nationwide Arena sells out at least 5 games this season
The game ops crew does a tribute video when Nash returns
Pizza prices at the arena are increased by 20%
When the Flyers visit, Jody Shelley gets a standing ovation from the crowd
Gary Bettman refuses to do an interview with Ron MacLean at the All Star Game.
Bonus- there is a lockout and it ends in mid-November.
- Brassard has a breakout season
- Johansen struggles early on, is sent down to the AHL but by the end of the season is back on track
- JAM is the star rookie for the Jackets this season
- Ryan Murray stays with the Jackets but spends a lot of time in the press box
- The Jackets are in the playoff hunt until March
1. People will be excited when the season starts.
2. People will get angry when things go poorly.
3. Angry people will post angrily on the boards.
4. Other people will get angry at the angry people for getting angry.
5. Howson will get to keep his job for some unknown reason.
Am I doing it right? :sarcasm:
1. The season will be delayed by a work stoppage
2. At some point CBJ mgmt. and/or coaches will have to defend Ryan Johansen's play. It will be blamed on his training program not his development path
3. The CBJ will get off to another slow start although the effort will be much better
4. CBJ will miss playoffs and be in the draft lottery
5. An attractive free agent will sign for the 2013-14 season
This sounds kinda dismal but I really think the team is much better positioned now from the back end out after the draft and the Nash trade. Although it isn't elite talent the depth is much better and the growing pains should start to ease a little. And I like our players a lot including Johansen.
Load up on skilled forwards by having a great draft in 2013 and be aggressive as you can in free agency/trades. If they do this the right way they could be rebuilt and dangerous by 2014-15. Whatever they do, just do it right this time.
Number 5: Keith was spot on with this: Ryan Murray is not on the CBJ opening night roster. John Moore has a very good camp, Tim Erixon is hungry to win a spot, Savard and Holden really push hard and Murray is squeezed out this season.
Number 4: RJ Umberger bounces back to be in the top three in CBJ scoring.
Number 3: Bobrovsky proves to be a solid #1 goalie. Steve Mason does not finish the year with the Jackets.
Number 2: Our defense proves to be not as good as we think it is, but our offense proves to be not as bad as we think it is.
Number 1: Jackets hang around in 10th place until late in the season, fade at the end, finish 12th.
5. The season doesnt begin until Winter Classic.
4. Team struggles to score. 1 guy gets 20 goals, 3 more net 15-20.
3. Mason continues to struggle. Bobrovsky is serviceable.
2. Team finishes last in Western Conference.
1. Howson returns for 2013-14.
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