Hey cbjgirl, what do you think about Brassard? Is it a case of being not handled well by coaching or is he simply no good? Would he be a nice fit with the Habs?
Thanks for passing by btw
Blue Jackets season in a (really big) nutshell...
Game 1 line-up:
Prospal - Carter - Nash (looked pretty good together, then Carter got sick, then broke his foot and missed many games)
Umberger - Vermette - Atkinson (Umberger and Vermette looked like complete crap for at least a month at the beginning of this season. Vermette's 1st goal of the season on 11/15, Umberger had one on 10/25 then the next on 11/19)
Brassard - Johansen - MacKenzie (trying to have a 3rd scoring line with a rookie in the middle)
Calvert - Pahlsson - Dorsett (the "checking" line)
Tyutin - Martinek
Methot - Clitsome
Russell - Savard
(ideal here would have been Wisniewski with Tyutin, then slide all others on the right down one spot - at least I think that is what the coaches were planning on)
Mason in net
Huselius we knew would be out until December or so, Boll had a broken thumb, Wisniewski was suspended (for 8 games).
So, Umberger, Vermette, Brassard, Calvert, and Johansen were not scoring as much as the coaching staff was depending on. The defense was getting pushed around - A LOT.
The plan was supposed to be "be a high pressure / puck moving offensive team". What they got was a defensive scattered mess with everyone leaving the goalie out to dry (now Mason is not completely blameless here though - but a large portion of the early season problems were in front of him - coupled with the fact that both Dekanich and Sanford (goalies 2 and 3 on the depth-chart) were both injured.)
So, the coaches/management did the following:
1. Trade for Letestu from Pittsburgh - we thought for sure at that point that one of Brassard or Vermette would be out the door very soon after that. It still hasn't happened.
2. Move Johansen to wing to take some pressure off him. He had been playing to be very defensively responsible and therefore had almost no offense to his game. He starting lighting things up very quickly after the switch to wing.
3. Trade Russell for Nikitin - gained size on the back-end, replaced Martinek to some extent (he's out with a concussion and has been since 10/21). This one looks like a win/win for both clubs.
4. After the Philly beat-down, took some time and changed the system to be more defensively responsible. So now the goal is to clog up the middle and forecheck like madmen (except the first line of course - they don't do that, Vinnie is a bit too slow and Carter and Nash don't appear to like to forecheck).
I think Brassard's problems are the following:
1. Johansen is better than he is in almost all facets of the game. (I can't wait to see what this kid does after he gains his "man weight", he could easily carry 15-20 more pounds on his frame)
2. With the acquisition of Carter, and Johansen joining the team, there went a center spot, especially since Brassard does not have the best face-off percentage.
3. Vermette, even when playing crappy offensively, can still perform better than Brassard when it comes to the defensive side of the game as both a center and a winger.
I think Brassard is best suited to be a 2nd line center. There have been rumors on our board about off-ice behavior that could be having negative effects (residual/similar stuff as with the Commodore situation last year).
My guess is that Arniel doesn't like it when players aren't being professional (i.e. if you show up drunk and/or hung-over at practice he's going to get really pissed off - Commodore rumors from last season)
Looking forward to this game. I'm pretty sure that this will be the first time this season that Cole, AK, Patches and Eller are all in the lineup. These are the key "big" forwards that I feel will make or break our season.
Unless its more a duo thing ( DD+Cole), then why not
We have lots (too many) small players on the top two lines. At least the two biggest wingers - Max Pac and Cole are not on the same line. Ideally, Gionta should play on a third line and A.K. on a top-two.
Its nice to have options with your line combos for a change. If things arent going well, you can put DD between Cole and pacioretty. That's worked well. Akost is a guy you can throw with cammy and pleks if they need a boost. That line has had success in the past.
Leblanc seems like the type of guy you can put on a grinding line or an attacking line. Moen has proven that he can move up in the lineup as well.
The options are plentiful... now we just need to make sure the D can get it on their tape more often than not
Unless its more a duo thing ( DD+Cole), then why not
One of the first things I remember martin saying when he got hired was that he was a believer in duos. DD and Cole seems to be a duo that he has in cement. The others are sort of up in the air but I suspect he would like AK/Eller to be another duo. Pleks/Cammy is a duo that we have seen alot of in the past but that one has been shifted around due to injuries.
Columbus beat Detroit and Buffalo, I guess they don't deserve to make the POs either.
Detroit and Buffalo are respectively 7th and 16th in the league. They could afford a lost there. Just like Habs could afford one against the Islanders back then. But now they have no choice to go on a winning streak or it will be too late. We are losing precious points early in this season, I am usually optimist but it's not looking too good right now. We need to get back on track soon. As weird as it sounds it looks like Toronto are for real and we're 30% past the season and they are way ahead of us. With Florida having a surprise season as well, there is not a lot of playoff spots left available for us. Habs will have to fight every points starting now to get the 8th spot because I don't see Washington missing the playoff, nor Buffalo.
So yeah, gotta get those two points against Columbus.