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Old
12-03-2009, 02:57 AM
  #1
EdwardG
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Reaching elite status

It looks like Chicago is going to be the gold standard in the division.

Obviously the Jackets have Nash and Mason, and Vorachek looks great. Hopefully Brassard takes the next step... but... this team still looks like a low playoff seed at best this year... What really concerns me is that I'm just not seeing that two more years of experience in the oven will vault the CBJ into the upper echelon of the NHL. Sure, we're the youngest team in the league, but are our youngsters really that talented compared to the other teams? The team's best d-man is over 30. The younger d-men on the team all have significant shortcomings... I don't see any of them developing into all-stars. There are hopes for AHL guys, but prospects are prospects.

Do you honestly think think this team can contend for the cup in the next few years? If so, who am I undervaluing or what am I missing? I'm a newer hockey fan and don't claim to be an expert, but I just don't see the talent on this team to match that of, say, Chicago in coming years, even with more experience. I hope I'm wrong and I'm certainly clueless enough to be wrong.

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12-03-2009, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by EdwardG View Post
It looks like Chicago is going to be the gold standard in the division.

Obviously the Jackets have Nash and Mason, and Vorachek looks great. Hopefully Brassard takes the next step... but... this team still looks like a low playoff seed at best this year... What really concerns me is that I'm just not seeing that two more years of experience in the oven will vault the CBJ into the upper echelon of the NHL. Sure, we're the youngest team in the league, but are our youngsters really that talented compared to the other teams? The team's best d-man is over 30. The younger d-men on the team all have significant shortcomings... I don't see any of them developing into all-stars. There are hopes for AHL guys, but prospects are prospects.

Do you honestly think think this team can contend for the cup in the next few years? If so, who am I undervaluing or what am I missing? I'm a newer hockey fan and don't claim to be an expert, but I just don't see the talent on this team to match that of, say, Chicago in coming years, even with more experience. I hope I'm wrong and I'm certainly clueless enough to be wrong.
Agreed.

The Blackhawks haven't won anything yet, and wouldn't be the first team that failed to live up to the hype.

The inferior Jackets with their AHL roster played them toe-to-toe on a back-2-back and only lost on the 11teenth shot in a shoot-out.

There's nothing stopping the Jackets from improving their roster through trades and signings. It's just a matter of availability and timing.

The above and other hopes beyond hope.


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12-03-2009, 08:32 AM
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Why so quick to write off our existing talent?? Brassard lost more than half a year to injury. It takes time to get back into game shape and game thinking, and additional time to develop the chemistry with line mates. Voracek is just starting to elevate his game, and he is only 20!

We have as young and solid a top six as you will find anywhere around, and have most of them locked up for a long time. Huselius is infuriating, but brings a lot of talent to the mix. If Howson can get Hitch to give Filatov some real opportunity next year, he will bring some energy and skill to bear, and perhaps make Huselius trade bait. I still like both Mayorov and Picard.

You really need more experience on the blue line -- so while our defensive guys are older than our forwards, they are not "old" by any stretch of the imagination. Commodore just turned 30, Hejda is 31, and the next oldest is Tyutin, who is 26! I think those three are solid for the next few years. I expect a trade for somebody else while Klesla is out, and really do not factor Klesla in to our long term plans. Ditto for Methot. Stralman is only 23, and has tons of potential at both ends. Russell is showing why he needs to be part of the equation, and Mathieu Roy is a solid performer. Add John Moore to the big club roster next year, and you will have a dogfight.

In a salary cap sport, teams are going to have a few superstars, a sizeable core of solid players and some on the margin. Howson has been patient, and is building up to that. We are now at the point where we can play with anyone, and win games when we are not playing our best. That is the sign of a good hockey club. We have had only 1.5 games with Hejda and Commodore back together, but already the difference is noticeable.

Chicago has a lot of talent, but is a salary cap disaster and is under active investigation by the NHL for its contracts. Expect that to heat up more after the Kane/Toews/Keith contracts to be announced today. Particularly the Keith deal -- 13 years @ 5.5 million. Lots of teams -- in all sports -- who have spent a lot of money for lots of talent, but come up empty. Knicks. . . Yankees (most years) . . . Jets . . .

Hitchcock and Phil Esposito agreed last night that any team making the playoffs this year, particularly in the West, could win the Cup. The trick assembling the pieces correctly, and keeping them together. The only way to do that is what Howson is doing. Will every gamble pay off?? Not likely. However, he has proven to be an outstanding judge of talent, so will be right far more than he is wrong.

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12-03-2009, 09:59 AM
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It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?

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12-03-2009, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?
Good easy answer. If he can build off of last year's season, then we will be a cup contender. If he plays like he has for most of this season, we won't.

The offensive talent appears to be good enough in the coming years. I agree with EdwardG that the defensive side going forward is going to need some help.

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12-04-2009, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?
Is it the presuure of going to Team Canada's camp, and maybe being the 3rd guy for the olmpics that is getting to him and now it has snowballed into something that is bigger problem now.

I recall he only had 3 games of AHL experiecne before coming to the BJ's. Lack of adversity and now that teams have figured him out have anything to do with it?

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12-04-2009, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?
Not that good right now.... but if one checks the names of goal tenders on the Calder Cup few have ended up being a bust.

And for those who want to blame the players-I say we had a first round playoff winning team on the ice in our first game of the season. What happened to that team is a good question for Hitchcock.

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12-04-2009, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?
This really is what it boils down to, and quite frankly he hasn't been good this year. I know people want to blame it all on the soft D, but you know what? We play other teams, and those other teams don't always have great defensemen, and they turn the puck over too, and you know what? Their goalies make saves. We peppered their guy tonight, a 3rd stringer no less, and he made Mason look like an AHL wannabe. I'm tired of seeing the defense get blamed for everything, goalies must make saves bottom line. Add this to the ridiculous showing Mason had last night busting his stick and yelling at em cause they didn't score and I don't wonder if Hitch has lost this team but if Mason has lost his teammates. He comes across as a cocky sob and publicly blasted his defensemen, maybe they don't like playing for the guy. The bottom line though is that Mason right now is the worst starting goalie in the NHL. His rebound control is awful, his awareness is less than good and if the puck goes below the goal line I figure the other team is going to score. Send the kid to Syracuse, bring up one of the LaLa boys and have them back up Garon.

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12-04-2009, 05:52 AM
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The title to this thread needs to be changed to, "Reaching the middle of the Pack".

And anyone suggesting that this team can build upon Commodore and Tyutin is not watching the game on the ice. Those two in particular have been an absolute disgrace on the ice. Right now Commodore does not even deserve to be playing in the NHL.

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12-04-2009, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Double-Shift Lassť View Post
It's obviously more complicated than this, and I hate to lay it all at the feet of one guy, but this really boils down to "how good is Steve Mason"?
I dunno... many teams have gone quite far with 'good' goaltending, as opposed to 'great.'

Last night's game v Toronoto was a great example of how even a decent backup goalie (MacDonald) can be made to look like a genius by the rest of his hustling team.

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12-04-2009, 06:22 AM
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And anyone suggesting that this team can build upon Commodore and Tyutin is not watching the game on the ice. Those two in particular have been an absolute disgrace on the ice. Right now Commodore does not even deserve to be playing in the NHL.
But the question is, why they are doing so poorly? Confidence is the biggest issue many times when players are playing under their talent level. And if they are in a dead end with their confidence, playing hockey is not fun and they feel that nothing they try is making any difference... Then it's just banging your head into a brick wall and nothing will work.

That is the time when team management needs to start making some changes. We all know that the talent level of these guys is not what you are seeing on the ice right now.

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12-04-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by EDM View Post
The title to this thread needs to be changed to, "Reaching the middle of the Pack".

And anyone suggesting that this team can build upon Commodore and Tyutin is not watching the game on the ice. Those two in particular have been an absolute disgrace on the ice. Right now Commodore does not even deserve to be playing in the NHL.
This team does not have a #1 defenseman. Period.

Listen, Stralman is a nice addition to shore up the power play, but he doesn't totally solve the problem we had. John Moore will be a nice player and may eventually be the guy, but we are years off from that.

I'll be honest, I'd give quite a bit to figure out a way to get Dion Phaneuf on this team. Yes, I know the guy isn't having his best year. Part of the reason I think he's not in love with Calgary these days is that Jay Bouwmeester is taking away his spotlight. I also know he's not cheap at $6.5 million. But, to me, Phaneuf reminds me a lot of Chris Pronger. Phaneuf is the type of guy who wants to be THE guy. He plays with an edge which means he sometimes walks the fine line (and maybe even crosses it). But, again, I think that's a great thing to have in a defenseman. Think of guys like Pronger, Stevens, Blake, Chara.

I don't know what it would take to convince Calgary to trade him, but I think Phaneuf is exactly the type of guy we need.

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12-04-2009, 08:29 AM
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I also know he's not cheap at $6.5 million.
But he definitely would be worth every penny. I'd absolutely love get him, but obviously the trade price would be too much for Columbus to handle.

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12-04-2009, 08:31 AM
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But he definitely would be worth every penny. I'd absolutely love get him, but obviously the trade price would be too much for Columbus to handle.
Unless we can con them into taking Juice back as part of the deal.

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12-04-2009, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
I dunno... many teams have gone quite far with 'good' goaltending, as opposed to 'great.'

Last night's game v Toronoto was a great example of how even a decent backup goalie (MacDonald) can be made to look like a genius by the rest of his hustling team.
This slightly misses the point, which I didn't elaborate on in my earlier post in the interest of brevity.

For this team specifically, if it is to be "elite," Mason needs to be a star goalie. When you factor in current talent, talent in the pipeline and how it plays the FA market, that's what it boils down to. You can tinker with the pieces here and there, and the young players are going to get better, but it's not likely the team is going to ice a juggernaut roster any time soon. Leaving goaltending as the way to lift the team to "elite" status.

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12-04-2009, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
This team does not have a #1 defenseman. Period.

Listen, Stralman is a nice addition to shore up the power play, but he doesn't totally solve the problem we had. John Moore will be a nice player and may eventually be the guy, but we are years off from that.

I'll be honest, I'd give quite a bit to figure out a way to get Dion Phaneuf on this team. Yes, I know the guy isn't having his best year. Part of the reason I think he's not in love with Calgary these days is that Jay Bouwmeester is taking away his spotlight. I also know he's not cheap at $6.5 million. But, to me, Phaneuf reminds me a lot of Chris Pronger. Phaneuf is the type of guy who wants to be THE guy. He plays with an edge which means he sometimes walks the fine line (and maybe even crosses it). But, again, I think that's a great thing to have in a defenseman. Think of guys like Pronger, Stevens, Blake, Chara.

I don't know what it would take to convince Calgary to trade him, but I think Phaneuf is exactly the type of guy we need.
I would love to get Phaneuf, I love his game. It would take Filatov, our number 1 this year and another prospect that could fill a hole for them like a Clitsome or LaLande. Even then I'm not sold that they would part with him.

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12-05-2009, 06:42 PM
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I have also wondered if the entire complexion of this team would change if it had a real, legit #1 defenseman. I would feel a lot better about this team's chances 2yrs from now if it had one.

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12-05-2009, 08:45 PM
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Drafting and developing is obviously huge... Anybody can draft Kane and Toews, but players like Dustin Bufgylien, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrooke, Dave Bolland, and to a lesser extend, Kris Versteeg (via trade)

Losing out on your surefire players through the draft (Filatov) because of coaching philosophies and egos doesn't help your situation, thats for sure...

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12-06-2009, 12:31 PM
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Drafting and developing is obviously huge... Anybody can draft Kane and Toews, but players like Dustin Bufgylien, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrooke, Dave Bolland, and to a lesser extend, Kris Versteeg (via trade)

Losing out on your surefire players through the draft (Filatov) because of coaching philosophies and egos doesn't help your situation, thats for sure...


Beautiful short answer. I think you hit both points directly on the head. The problem with the Jackets has always been drafting from rounds 2 and higher. Sure, we've had moderate success from players like Fritsche, Russell, etc - but it seems like we never get that high end player after round 1.

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