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The Road Trip - Make It or Break Time?

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Old
02-13-2013, 04:45 PM
  #1
EspenK
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The Road Trip - Make It or Break Time?

We interrupt our euphoria to deal with a more mundane topic- the upcoming 6 games. How critical do you think it is?

Right now we are only 4 points out of a playoff spot-hard to believe but them's the facts.

I think 4-2 would go a long way to help turn the season around. Almost halfway through and we'd still be in contention.

2-4 and we're at the point total of the last playoff spot right now.

Anything less and I see it as a big burden to overcome. Including the damage to the team psyche.

If we do go 2-4 hope like heck that one of the 2 is against LA.

The Jackets have been really good-SJ game and really not so good-Phoenix & Colorado last trip. A few games where we played ok but couldn't score.

Thoughts?

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02-13-2013, 04:58 PM
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Consistency was always going to be a question for this team given it's age.

I boldly predict they will have some good games and some bad games.

5,6, or seven points on the trip would be good. One thing we should find out, as a team, are they closer to the Shark beaters or the Avalanche stones?

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02-13-2013, 05:12 PM
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I said earlier I'd be comfortable gauging what this team is after the long (now past) homestand. I'm nt sure there is a "make it" option at this point) dependant, of course, on what is meant by the term).

Every game is critical.

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02-13-2013, 05:13 PM
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CapnCornelius
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I'm not holding out a great deal of hope. We managed just 2 wins in a 6 game homestand. .500 would be a moral victory, but probably would not help our draft position, so I have mixed emotions, overall.

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02-13-2013, 05:28 PM
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Timeless Winter
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Make or break what exactly?? The difference between 5th worst and dead last?

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02-13-2013, 05:52 PM
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MattTheMask
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Given that we are already in a hole, just went 2-4 on a homestand, and the majority of the rest of our games are on the road I am not too hopeful.

According to SportsClubStats we only have a 5% chance of making the playoffs http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/W.../Columbus.html

It is important to note 2 key aspects of the standings, or they can be very misleading.

1) Yes we are just 4 points out of 8th, but we are also 13th out of 15 teams in the West. That's a ton of teams to leapfrog over. So its not as simple as just being 4 points out and beating out that 8th place team. The amount of 3 point games in the league makes this very difficult to overcome

2) Games in hand. The team ahead of us, 12th place LA has played 2 less games! The team behind us, 14th place Calgary has played a significant 3 less games!! And they have 3 games to make up just 1 point on us. That's a lot of points on the line.

In fact, when looking at teams 9-15 (those in direct competition with us) only 2 other teams have also played 13 games.

So I would say its already been broke. But I will still cheer on the team, support them and root for victory.

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02-13-2013, 06:08 PM
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Matthew
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The chances for playoffs have already been pretty much statistically broken.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/W.../Columbus.html

I am hopeful that I will be entertained based in the final two games of the homestand.

I missed that MattTheMask posted the link. whoops.

My other favorite stat is goal differential to judge how bad the CBJ are. They are -11. Only one team is worse at -16. That's the Florida Panthers who are tied with the CBJ at 10 points. The Capitals who are dead least in the league with 9 points are -10. Nashville is the only current playoff team with a minus in that dept. with a minus 1. They are the 5th seed in the West currently. Marvel at how good Pekka Rinne is.

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02-13-2013, 06:10 PM
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We're 4 points out of 8th spot, the boss just got canned and theyre now auditioning. If the team that showed up the other night against the Sharks continues to show up, they can make some good moves. Im completely re energized, but worried that my excitement will get smacked by reality, but hopefully the new regime will get these guys going

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02-13-2013, 06:50 PM
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The next critical thing for this franchise is trade deadline. And then draft. I won't exchange a chance to get franchise player for meaningless playoffs appearance.
As far as they play hard and build new culture for upcoming kids I will be satisfied. We have only around 50% of the talent on the roster and another 50% on IR, in the CHL, AHL, NCAA. That's not a loser's mentality, that's about getting ready for a long successful ride. At the beginning you better hold your horses back, so later you can make it further.

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02-13-2013, 06:56 PM
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Ceff Jarter
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If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"

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02-13-2013, 06:56 PM
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It's critical because we need to continue the momentum AWAY from our past.

The guys need to start believing this team could actually get in the playoffs NEXT year.

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02-13-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by beached whaler View Post
If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"
pens, hawks, kings, tampa, carolina, la. they all have done it. every recent cup winner sucked for a while prior to the win.

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02-13-2013, 07:13 PM
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Ceff Jarter
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Originally Posted by bizzz View Post
pens, hawks, kings, tampa, carolina, la. they all have done it. every recent cup winner sucked for a while prior to the win.
I never said it's not possible. I just want to know the details.

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02-13-2013, 09:26 PM
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EspenK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beached whaler View Post
If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"
Excellent question and one I ask myself every game. I want them to do well but I want one of the top 2 picks. Its a dilemna (traditional spelling) I tell you.

Most of the teams that have used the draft to dramatically improve didn't start winning till after they got their Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews, etc combos.

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02-13-2013, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by EspenK View Post
Excellent question and one I ask myself every game. I want them to do well but I want one of the top 2 picks. Its a dilemna (traditional spelling) I tell you.

Most of the teams that have used the draft to dramatically improve didn't start winning till after they got their Crosby/Malkin, Kane/Toews, etc combos.
It's all about those combos, and we have a chance to land an entire line if he picks fall into place and certain players rise up.

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02-13-2013, 10:52 PM
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I really do not think there is a "make it or break it" this year. I assumed going in that it was a "break it" year from the get go.

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02-13-2013, 11:14 PM
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If making the playoffs is the break issue a sustained winning streak is needed and needed soon.....

That said, winning 4 or 5 out of next six will take a team with some scoring and defensive skill... if one thinks the CBJ have that then yeah, they could turn the season on this road trip...

As for me, with the current roster, I doubt it but anything is possible.

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02-13-2013, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
The chances for playoffs have already been pretty much statistically broken.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/W.../Columbus.html

I am hopeful that I will be entertained based in the final two games of the homestand.

I missed that MattTheMask posted the link. whoops.

My other favorite stat is goal differential to judge how bad the CBJ are. They are -11. Only one team is worse at -16. That's the Florida Panthers who are tied with the CBJ at 10 points. The Capitals who are dead least in the league with 9 points are -10. Nashville is the only current playoff team with a minus in that dept. with a minus 1. They are the 5th seed in the West currently. Marvel at how good Pekka Rinne is.
I go by games played and points.... for example, the Jackets are currently 13 games played with 10 points... net -3...

Yet they are seeded 13th with two teams behind them that are actually better at -1..

The CBJ are really 15th in the conference not 13th... The Blues are +2 in the 8th seed, the Jackets are a long way from a playoff seed.

The Jackets are five points out if every one else loses...

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02-14-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by beached whaler View Post
If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"
Obvious answer is obvious.

You don't.

You either win or you lose, there is no winning culture in finishing at the bottom.

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02-14-2013, 07:44 AM
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I'll ask the same question as others - make or break what?

The only two important things left for this season is deciding if Richards is the right coach (and my answer is no) and evaluating what we have on the roster (JD, GMfin) especially at the deadline.

There is no calvary coming. Despite the report that we are searching for a top 6 forward I think no way, unless it's a Ray Whitney type of deal where a team is giving away talent.

Sure we want the team to play hard, but the playoffs won't happen. Now it's about evaluation and hoping the Kings and Rangers suck as well.

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02-14-2013, 08:14 AM
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In the technical sense, you are correct. A poor road trip and we are done. Even if we get half the points, we are still in trouble. We would probably be more than 5 points out with only around half the season to go.

Since there isn't much in the way of expectations for the playoffs this year, I'm not sure there was ever really a sense we were "going to make it".

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02-14-2013, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by beached whaler View Post
If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"
I'm obv not a NHL GM but it's about developing winning habits. You want guys that practice and play the right way. We've seen numerous guys over the years that give up at some point - I can't think of many/any guys that give up that suddenly start playing again, unless it's for money (next contract).

Stress the fundamwentals on what you expect from the players - we practice at this pace, we play hard, etc. Some of these guys may be key parts to a winning team in a few years, but let's be honest in 2 seasons I bet 50-75% of the current roster is gone. You want to see who fits and who buys in.

This year is not about winning, it's about evaluating. Next year (with a full offseason and trade deadline to move some parts, add others, plus those picks) will be a year to focus more on scoreboard results, but right now you're just seeing who fits.

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02-14-2013, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by beached whaler View Post
If I could ask an NHL GM one question it would "be how do you instill a winning culture while keeping in mind the importance of a good draft position?"
I just noticed this question. This is what I would do and, based on what I've seen, this might be similar to what the Jackets are going to do.

1. Analyze the players. Identify those that you want to keep and those that you want to move.
2. Do not add to the team if you aren't close to being a Cup contender. Giving up REAL assets (NHL level prospects and valuable picks) for a team that will get beat in the first round is a waste.
3. Move what you can at the trade deadline. When this occurs you will usually end up performing poorly down the stretch as a result, thus strengthening your draft position.

Having said this you can only do this in your honeymoon period. If you are dumping players you brought in you are probably going to lose credibility with the players you keep. If you sign a player (UFA or RFA, your own or another teams) to a 5 year deal and end up dumping him two years in because he's a problem in the locker room or doesn't fit into your play, you've got problems. Once the players lose confidence in what you are doing, you are done.

Cleaning out the trash isn't the hard part. It is what you replace the trash with.

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02-14-2013, 09:13 AM
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My previous comment was directed more to the second half of the original question. I agree with the above on how to build the winning environment. My problem is with, and always has been, the notion that you need to look at your prospective draft position.

To me they are separate and diametrically opposed positions. You cannot build a winning culture/attitude if your aim and purpose is to claim a high draft pick. Play the game, grow the attitude, and land where you land in the draft and make the best of the pick as it falls to you.

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02-14-2013, 10:02 AM
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We interrupt our euphoria to deal with a more mundane topic- the upcoming 6 games. How critical do you think it is?

Right now we are only 4 points out of a playoff spot-hard to believe but them's the facts.

I think 4-2 would go a long way to help turn the season around. Almost halfway through and we'd still be in contention.

2-4 and we're at the point total of the last playoff spot right now.

Anything less and I see it as a big burden to overcome. Including the damage to the team psyche.

If we do go 2-4 hope like heck that one of the 2 is against LA.

The Jackets have been really good-SJ game and really not so good-Phoenix & Colorado last trip. A few games where we played ok but couldn't score.

Thoughts?
They need to grab 6 points to remain in range of that 8th spot. I don't expect this team to make the cut, but I also don't doubt that they have the potential to be a top 8 team in the West.

My gut feeling is that they go 4-2. I say that because of the way they played the last 2 games, the fact that defense is back and healthy, and some key offensive contributors are finally scoring goals. If we actually get a goalie on a hot streak, we could make some noise.

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