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09-11-2012, 10:37 PM
  #43
Sore Loser
Since 2009
 
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Spokane, WA.
Country: United States
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2012-13 Columbus Blue Jackets

Average Age: 26
Average Height: 6’1.25”
Average Weight: 202 lbs

Analysis: The Jackets might be considered by many to be a contender for the first overall pick yet again, however I feel that if there is a season, they will surprise a lot of people. The reasons for this are various – I think that we brought in a lot of guys who are still very young, have plenty of talent and compete, and a lot to prove in new surroundings. There is plenty of grit all around, if the team can develop chemistry early, there is a good chance that we see a very quick turn-around from our rebuild. While Rick Nash is an exemplary player and person, one has to wonder if he was the right guy for the job here, and this year will go a long way towards deciding if the team went in the right direction. As it stands, the salary distribution on this roster is completely different, and every player will have to battle for his spot on this team all throughout the season. There can be no more free passes, no more lackadaisical play – if that starts to happen, it is on the coaching staff to send messages early and often. For the first time ever, we have tremendous depth on defense, and we also have some depth up front. The biggest question marks will be where the scoring comes from and how far the two inexperienced goalies will take us.

Pros: Size, depth, high compete level, new leadership, physical play, numerous players with numerous roles
Cons: Who scores? Who starts in goal? Fairly young roster

Reasonable Expectations: With so many guys with so much to prove, it’s hard placing this team. I definitely think that while we’re short on high end offensive skill, the effort that these guys have shown they can put forth may make that moot. I love our defense corps, I feel there are 11 guys who could play on this team’s blueline this year, and with a quality guy like Jack Johnson leading the way, I think we have a great role model for whichever prospects make the team. I expect us to have three lines that score at roughly the same pace (whatever pace that may be), and it’s very reasonable to think that we have 6 or 8 guys that could score in the 50-60 point range. While nobody is likely to surpass that mark, I think a guy like Ryan Johansen will surprise a lot of people in his ability to be a playmaker. The team needs to restore its confidence in whichever goaltender is playing on any given night. We all saw what Steve Mason’s play has done to this team, particularly that stretch early last season where he was literally being scored on by passes. Confidence is huge in this league, especially with a young team. For me, I think we finish somewhere between 10th and 14th in the West, and earn some respect around the league as a team that doesn’t back down, a real building point for the future of this franchise. I think this has to be our identity from this point forward; a hard working, blue collar type team. Yes, we are beginning to forge an identity, and I like it.

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