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"Season in Review" 2007-2008

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Old
04-06-2008, 08:15 PM
  #1
CBJwheel
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"Season in Review" 2007-2008

34 - 36 - 12. 80 points. Fourth in the division, thirteenth in the conference, and twenty-fifth in the league.

Well, it definitely was an improvement. We were all hoping for a .500 team. Didn't reach that goal, let alone, the playoffs. It was an exciting season, though. For a while, they had the second-most points in our conference. The CBJ only trailed Detroit, and that was because they had played more than our team.

We can't forget Nash's goal against St. Louis,

or especially the one in Phoenix.


What about Leclaire's nine shutouts? He led the league in shutouts from the season's beginning until about last week. Nice to see him do that! :thumbu

We went from a GREAT October (7-3-1), to an okay January (7-7-0), to an abysmal March (4-7-3).

I don't want to take ALL of the things we have to talk about. Thoughts? Comments? Skraut, do you have a video yet?

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04-06-2008, 08:36 PM
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I KNOW I'm forgetting something, but here's how I would capsulize this season - a baker's dozen of accomplishments in point-counterpoint fashion (in no particular order).

PROGRESS MADE THIS YEAR:
1.) We are no longer saddled with $10+ million in salary for two aging veterans whose best days are behind them.
Counterpoint: We didn't get Brad Richards.

2.) We are no longer Colorado's b**ch.
Counterpoint: We are still Nashville's b**ch.

3.) CANNON!
Counterpoint: Attendance and fan interest is down.

4.) Emergence of Nikky Zherdev and Jared Boll
Counterpoint: Disappearance of David Vyborny.

5.) Pazzy comes of age - and stays reasonably healthy.
Counterpoint: Modin injured most of the season.

6.) Acquisition of Rome and Wilson, who both look like they're ready for prime time.
Counterpoint: Brule and Brassard aren't yet ready for prime time.

7.) A captain is named whose heart is in Columbus.
Counterpoint: Our former captain jumped ship.

8.) We stocked up on draft picks for an expectedly strong draft.
Counterpoint: We've made no significant veteran additions that are under contract for next season.

9.) We've made significant strides in turning back the Culture of Comfort.
Counterpoint: It's now apparent we don't have the skill needed to compete every night.

10.) We now have a sharp new crest and jerseys.
Counterpoint: That crest is nowhere to be found come playoff time.

11.) CBJ's highest point total ever.
Counterpoint: Whoopee! We suck at shootouts and have given away way too many points in games over the year.

12.) Our defense is looking good.
Counterpoint: Outside of two forwards, our offense still sucks.

13.) The MacLean era is over.
Counterpoint: The Howson era is still stuck in neutral.

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04-06-2008, 08:43 PM
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Leclaire is the story; he was most improved and most valuable. Without his play we would have been lucky to get 65 points.

The season was less than what I expected, I thought we had the roster in October that was good enough for the 8th seed-I was wrong.

I was disappointed with the needless trading of Jody Shelley at the exact time our team needed leadership and solidarity-it contributed to the post ASB collapse.

Zherdev gets second pick for most improved and Nash gets a small pat on the back for playing a much improved game after being given the "C".

Hitchcock gets an "A" for not quitting and holding together some resemblance of an NHL team.

The cannon rocked but many changes in the post Maclean arena atmosphere did not.

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04-06-2008, 09:33 PM
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This season's team was no better than the first season's team. Give me a poor start with a strong finish over a strong start followed by fizzling out any day of the weak.

Everyone knew what this team's needs were. Everyone. They chose not to address them and paid the price. Now, the choices are fewer going into this off-season, and the needs are the same. I am not optimistic at all.

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04-06-2008, 09:43 PM
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2007-08, "The Year of the Cannon" = "Smoke and thunder, but no shot."

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04-06-2008, 10:48 PM
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You know what depresses me? Look at the '05-'06 team. Look at that crappy defense. This year's defense was 10 times better and yet we finish with fewer wins?! This year our GAA went down by, what .75/game? And now Howson's solution to our woes is to replace 50% of the defense?

Here's a thought, Howie, think of getting a second line wing who's name ain't Chimera to pair with one of the best young playmakers in the league.

I'm sorry, but I left the house today and we were winning 1-0. I told my wife "let's go now, so I can remember this season on a high note." I come back to see a final score of 4-1. Glad I left when I did. 80 points, another sub .500 season. What an absolute joke.

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04-06-2008, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
You know what depresses me? Look at the '05-'06 team. Look at that crappy defense. This year's defense was 10 times better and yet we finish with fewer wins?! This year our GAA went down by, what .75/game? And now Howson's solution to our woes is to replace 50% of the defense?

Here's a thought, Howie, think of getting a second line wing who's name ain't Chimera to pair with one of the best young playmakers in the league.

I'm sorry, but I left the house today and we were winning 1-0. I told my wife "let's go now, so I can remember this season on a high note." I come back to see a final score of 4-1. Glad I left when I did. 80 points, another sub .500 season. What an absolute joke.
Preach it.

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04-06-2008, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
You know what depresses me? Look at the '05-'06 team. Look at that crappy defense. This year's defense was 10 times better and yet we finish with fewer wins?! This year our GAA went down by, what .75/game? And now Howson's solution to our woes is to replace 50% of the defense?

Here's a thought, Howie, think of getting a second line wing who's name ain't Chimera to pair with one of the best young playmakers in the league.

I'm sorry, but I left the house today and we were winning 1-0. I told my wife "let's go now, so I can remember this season on a high note." I come back to see a final score of 4-1. Glad I left when I did. 80 points, another sub .500 season. What an absolute joke.
It's our crappy offense. We finished 30th in goals for this season. That doesn't win games. You win by goals scored, not goals prevented.

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04-06-2008, 11:38 PM
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In some areas, we improved. In some, we didn't.

Opening night surprised me. Going to that game, I figured it would be a good one, but I never figured we'd shut out the defending Cup champs. That's my favorite moment of the year. And don't give me that Duck jetlag bullcrap...the Ducks took the Wings to a shootout 2 nights before they played us.

I think the great start stunned most people (including myself) & when it became apparent that we could potentially have a glimmer of hope for a playoff spot, the expectations rose. We seemed to be getting hot at the right time headed into the ASB. Having Modin & the Vybes everybody used to know would've helped significantly, of course. Where would we have been with the 40ish goals they may have provided combined?

And then, the wheels fell off. It was shades of the past, with injuries aplenty to more and more players, up to the point where we became the Columbus Crunch. I enjoyed most of this season, but March/April were torture. I was hoping for 35-35-12today.

On the roster front:
-Rick Nash is God.
-Nikolai Zherdev, welcome back. We missed you. My dad's a big fan of yours & jabs at me for doubting you.
-Pascal Leclaire was incredible & picked up a winning season by a decent margin.
-Howson found a diamond in the rough in Hejda & a fairly good pickup in Novotny.
-We somewhat lucked into Peca thanks to Svitov's defection, but without Peca, we don't have his 31 points.
-Freddy Modin...I forgot we even had him.
-I'd never heard of Jared Boll until the pre-season. I learned very quickly.
-Where have you gone, David Vyborny?
-Thanks for the ride, Jody.

Howson's promise of bolstering the roster for a playoff push didn't go as advertised, with the exception of the attempt at Richards. I like the Bolts, but I have gotten a kick out of how well Mike Smith is working out for them.

So what do we need? Howson said he wants two centers & 3 defensemen this summer, Priest says as many as 8 new guys. I'd like to see Leclaire, Hejda & Peca resigned at least. And we've got deep pockets this offseason. Somebody in another thread called this summer Christmas in July. I'm just hoping we get the Red Rider BB Gun & not a lump of coal under the tree.

This season was fun. Here's hoping for an even better one next year.

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Old
04-07-2008, 12:26 AM
  #10
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November, February, and March, all so so so sos os, Subpar. We all had a buzz about us when we went into the break, and we crumbled, and sent Footer and Feds off. Do I call this season a failure? Absolutely not. We have a core to build upon, Nash, Z, Hejda, Pazzie, Klesla. And with Howsen looking to fetch us 5-8 players this off season, I'm holding my breath in hopes that he does. Next year, hopefully Brass and Voracek can be our Toews and Kane, and bring us into actual contention. The Flyers did alot last summer, This Summer is the summer the jackets wow everyone...I hope/

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04-07-2008, 12:58 AM
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This season wan not good for some players. But where is written that next will not excelent? I think we shall keep our young players as Brass, Bru, Danny Fritsche, Kris Russell and Jared Boll and begin more working with them. All way is not in buying average players (because excelent players prefer the other teams with chance to SC) but working with young players. I think we have very good young.

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04-07-2008, 03:38 AM
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Hitch can't handle the young

Quote:
Originally Posted by mt-svk View Post
This season wan not good for some players. But where is written that next will not excelent? I think we shall keep our young players as Brass, Bru, Danny Fritsche, Kris Russell and Jared Boll and begin more working with them. All way is not in buying average players (because excelent players prefer the other teams with chance to SC) but working with young players. I think we have very good young.
Question?

Is the organization going to build a team around the coach's system or is the coach going to adapt his system to the personnel at his disposal?

Hitch has made it clear to management and players that he has no interest in developing players. He just made that statement again today that there won't be any spots on this team for players with "potential" if they don't belong in the NHL. Are they going to trade away young prospects because Hitch can't or wont' develop young players like other NHL coaches have such as Denis Savard in Chicago, Bruce Boudreau in Washington, or Craig McTavish in Edmonton? It's going to be an interesting "battle" between Hitch and GMSH this summer. One wants proven veterans now, the other wants to improve the team without trading away the future. So how is that going to be done? A choice has to be made. I don't think Hitch can coach a team without plenty of veterans, he relies heavily on them, and is known to have little patience for young players. Howson came from a team(Edmonton) that mostly had to develop from within and he doesn't have major experience in landing UFA's(he's no Kevin Lowe). GMSH has no easy task to entice proven veteran UFA's to a 25th place team, especially to Columbus. The only way as GM Doug MacLean found out, is to overpay veterans (who otherwise might not come) who get the huge bucks, but have absolutely no loyalty and will likely bug out as soon as the opportunity arises a la Foote. Where did that put us this year? Well we got a first round draft pick from Colorado true, but we were lucky let's not kid ourselves. Are we suddenly going to become the New York Rangers(of old) this summer and buy every available veteran that's worth anything this summer(2 centerman and 3 defensemen according to GMSH). Are we going to end up with more check cashing, disinterested, over the hill veterans, a la Federov, just because we have $20Million of cap space? Did it ever work for the New York Rangers? Yeah, that's it, let's go out and buy a whole lot of vets (for Hitch) without developing our young players at the NHL level and miss the playoffs yet again. Yeah! That should work! Naaaawt! This summer will answer a lot of questions about whether this organization has what it takes to build a winner.

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04-07-2008, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
I KNOW I'm forgetting something, but here's how I would capsulize this season - a baker's dozen of accomplishments in point-counterpoint fashion (in no particular order).



3.) CANNON!
Counterpoint: Attendance and fan interest is down.

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04-07-2008, 08:19 AM
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leesmith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiffler's Mom View Post
Question?

Is the organization going to build a team around the coach's system or is the coach going to adapt his system to the personnel at his disposal?

Hitch has made it clear to management and players that he has no interest in developing players. He just made that statement again today that there won't be any spots on this team for players with "potential" if they don't belong in the NHL. Are they going to trade away young prospects because Hitch can't or wont' develop young players like other NHL coaches have such as Denis Savard in Chicago, Bruce Boudreau in Washington, or Craig McTavish in Edmonton? It's going to be an interesting "battle" between Hitch and GMSH this summer. One wants proven veterans now, the other wants to improve the team without trading away the future. So how is that going to be done? A choice has to be made. I don't think Hitch can coach a team without plenty of veterans, he relies heavily on them, and is known to have little patience for young players. Howson came from a team(Edmonton) that mostly had to develop from within and he doesn't have major experience in landing UFA's(he's no Kevin Lowe). GMSH has no easy task to entice proven veteran UFA's to a 25th place team, especially to Columbus. The only way as GM Doug MacLean found out, is to overpay veterans (who otherwise might not come) who get the huge bucks, but have absolutely no loyalty and will likely bug out as soon as the opportunity arises a la Foote. Where did that put us this year? Well we got a first round draft pick from Colorado true, but we were lucky let's not kid ourselves. Are we suddenly going to become the New York Rangers(of old) this summer and buy every available veteran that's worth anything this summer(2 centerman and 3 defensemen according to GMSH). Are we going to end up with more check cashing, disinterested, over the hill veterans, a la Federov, just because we have $20Million of cap space? Did it ever work for the New York Rangers? Yeah, that's it, let's go out and buy a whole lot of vets (for Hitch) without developing our young players at the NHL level and miss the playoffs yet again. Yeah! That should work! Naaaawt! This summer will answer a lot of questions about whether this organization has what it takes to build a winner.
That's not how I took his remarks. My take is that he wants a scenario where...
"Syracuse is for developing. Columbus is for winning."
(quotation is mine)

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04-07-2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
You know what depresses me? Look at the '05-'06 team. Look at that crappy defense. This year's defense was 10 times better and yet we finish with fewer wins?! This year our GAA went down by, what .75/game? And now Howson's solution to our woes is to replace 50% of the defense?

Here's a thought, Howie, think of getting a second line wing who's name ain't Chimera to pair with one of the best young playmakers in the league.

I'm sorry, but I left the house today and we were winning 1-0. I told my wife "let's go now, so I can remember this season on a high note." I come back to see a final score of 4-1. Glad I left when I did. 80 points, another sub .500 season. What an absolute joke.
Bottomline the season was horrible, I tried to find some highlights in a previous post but the real story was the pathetic scoring average of 2.3 goals per game. And for all the fans who think any of our offensive players are god they better wake up, gods in the NHL win games on the ice not on paper-often; Malkin, Ovechkin and Crosby are gods.

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04-07-2008, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
That's not how I took his remarks. My take is that he wants a scenario where...
"Syracuse is for developing. Columbus is for winning."
(quotation is mine)
If that's his sincere belief, then the game has passed him by. The fact of the matter is, the best teams under the cap system are going to be (1) wealthy teams that get the cream of the crop veterans as UFA's and (2) budget teams that are able to mix young, internally developed talent with some key veterans. Our team cannot afford option #1. We are not the Philadelphia Flyers. If Hitch can't figure a way to work with young talent, he's not the right guy for this team.

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04-07-2008, 08:46 AM
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There's a difference between young talent that helps you win and young talent that hinders you from winning.

If they can help us win, they will be here. If they can not, they won't. That's basically exactly what he said yesterday.

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04-07-2008, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
If that's his sincere belief, then the game has passed him by. The fact of the matter is, the best teams under the cap system are going to be (1) wealthy teams that get the cream of the crop veterans as UFA's and (2) budget teams that are able to mix young, internally developed talent with some key veterans. Our team cannot afford option #1. We are not the Philadelphia Flyers. If Hitch can't figure a way to work with young talent, he's not the right guy for this team.
I disagree that they're are only two types of successful teams.
I'm all for young talent - as long as it's NHL talent. Keep the AHL and juniors talents in their respective leagues (outside of the occasional 'cup of coffee'). We've tried this babysitting crap for seven years and look where it's gotten us.

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04-07-2008, 08:50 AM
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There's a difference between young talent that helps you win and young talent that hinders you from winning.
And a lot of the difference has to do with building their confidence. Something this team doesn't have a great track record for.

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04-07-2008, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
And a lot of the difference has to do with building their confidence. Something this team doesn't have a great track record for.
Which builds more confidence - winning a cup in Syracuse or getting your arse beat by Nashville?

That said Cap'n, Hitch is a salesman. His comments yesterday were meant as much for the free agent market as they were for us. He, Howson and Priest were all 'on message' yesterday.

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04-07-2008, 08:54 AM
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Which builds more confidence - winning a cup in Syracuse or getting your arse beat by Nashville?
Neither. Making a legitimate playoff run in the NHL and being trusted enough by your coach to be a significant part of that.

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04-07-2008, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugg View Post
There's a difference between young talent that helps you win and young talent that hinders you from winning.

If they can help us win, they will be here. If they can not, they won't. That's basically exactly what he said yesterday.

You got it, Huggs!

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04-07-2008, 08:58 AM
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Neither. Making a legitimate playoff run in the NHL and being trusted enough by your coach to be a significant part of that.
Trust is earned.

If a player doesn't have the skills, a player will either fail to gain that trust, or eventually be exposed and lose what trust he has gained.

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04-07-2008, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
If that's his sincere belief, then the game has passed him by. The fact of the matter is, the best teams under the cap system are going to be (1) wealthy teams that get the cream of the crop veterans as UFA's and (2) budget teams that are able to mix young, internally developed talent with some key veterans. Our team cannot afford option #1. We are not the Philadelphia Flyers. If Hitch can't figure a way to work with young talent, he's not the right guy for this team.
#2 is going to be true for even the wealthy 1/3 of the league if they want to be the best of the rich. The interesting thing about the new league since the lock-out, even rich teams must maintain stability year to year. The Flyers completely overhauled their roster last summer spending every cent they had and barely made the playoffs.

Regardless of the "win now" slogan there is no guarantee the Jackets will make the playoffs next season. Now that the transition season under Howson is complete his leagacy will be determined next year, he must do as well as the Flyers did last summer to make the playoffs and with less money. Don't start saving for those 2009 playoff tickets yet.

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04-07-2008, 09:03 AM
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Trust is earned.

If a player doesn't have the skills, a player will either fail to gain that trust, or eventually be exposed and lose what trust he has gained.
That's all well and good, but you can only "earn" trust if you are given opportunity. For some reason the only person this coach routinely wants to give an opportunity on the second line is a guy who couldn't hit the broadside of a barn at any level of hockey, but he's confident somewhere inside is a 20 goal scorer.

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