Archive for columbus blue jackets

Central Division Breakout Candidates

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by davepoleck

Alright, since I’m way behind on all of the predictions I wanted to make, I’m going to get through these last two divisions rather quickly. You just have to trust that three games of the regular season didn’t change my opinion on anything: Continue reading

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Western Conference Predictions

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by davepoleck

This will probably be a lot quicker than the East predictions because there is a lot to get to before the season kicks off Thursday at noon. Still don’t know why there needs to be three full days without hockey before things get underway, but oh well:

Continue reading

Filatov vs Umberger

Posted in Hockey Blogs with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2010 by davepoleck

I think the success of Nikita Filatov this season depends on where RJ Umberger is placed in the lineup. For the past few seasons in Columbus, Umberger has been getting top six minutes alongside Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius. Filatov on the other hand, struggled last season to even crack the lineup most nights, and headed back to mother Russia to play in the KHL.

Umberger recorded a career high of 55 points last season while playing in all situations for the Jackets. The key here is that he can play in all situations; Umberger is just as effective playing on the third line shut down role as he is playing top six minutes. While Filatov has stressed that he has improved his defensive game, he will clearly be most successful playing an offensive role. In their second preseason game, Filatov was on a line with two other first round picks, Derrick Brassard and Jakub Voracek. I expect a huge year from Voracek and if Brassard can even come close to his production from two years ago, then this would be a pretty dynamic second line.

Click ahead to see some of the sick moves that Filatov has: Continue reading

Not Your Typical 0-0

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by davepoleck

At first look, a 0-0 game between a team who can’t make the playoffs, and a team that already has would probably look like a sleeper. That was not the case in the Detroit-Columbus game tonight. Mason had another stellar game with 45 saves, including 23 between the 3rd and OT. The game was really end to end, featuring a total of five posts, with three ringing behind Howard, and also included a penalty shot for the speedy Helm. Things got more exciting when both team’s got powerplays in the extra frame (neither of which were penalties). The game ended in a shootout win for  Detroit and featured two sick goals by Nash, Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi!

A Word of Advice

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 9, 2010 by davepoleck

For some reason, I have spent a lot of time this season calling out the Columbus Blue Jackets. The first was me raving about the chance they weren’t giving Nikita Filatov, the second was calling for the head of Ken Hitchcock after he proved once again he is not a long term coach. I think it might have something to do with me picking them to finish 7th in the West this year (they’re 14th). My personal predictions aside, they have not listened to me either time. This time, they better.

Tonight, they finish their disappointing season against the Detroit Red Wings. Columbus Blue Jackets, you want to lose this game!!

The Jackets are currently 26th in the NHL with 32 wins and 78 points. Being 5th last in the League is very key because it means they can get into the lottery draft and have a slim chance to move up to number 1 overall. The key is  that the two teams behind them, Atlanta and Tampa Bay, both have 32 wins, 76 points and TWO games remaining. If either of those teams win one game, they would pass Columbus. If that happens, Columbus could be as low as 3rd overall in this year’s draft.

I know teams in this situation never want to lose, and would never admit to it if they did. But seriously, Columbus’ team history has been filled with 1st draft picks that are high, but not elite. The one exception to this is Rick Nash. Coincidentally he remains the teams’ only legitimate star player. All of the other guys have come in with a lot of talent, a lot of supposed potential, but have not achieved anything in the NHL

  • 2000: 4th overall, Rostislav Klesla
  • 2001: 8th overall, Pascal Leclaire
  • 2002: 1st overall, Rick Nash
  • 2003: 4th overall, Nikolai Zherdev
  • 2004: 8th overall, Alex Picard
  • 2005: 6th overall, Gilbert Brule
  • 2006: 6th overall, Derick Brassard
  • 2007: 7th overall, Jakub Voracek
  • 2008: 6th overall, Nikita Filatov

Hitchcock Fired; New Coach & GM

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 4, 2010 by davepoleck

Woooooooo! Congrats to all Blue Jacket owners who waited out the horrible run with defensive minded Hitchcock as their coach. Now we can finally see this offense fly the way it should. Ken Hitchcock, while not the official GM of the team, had a gigantic stranglehold over this organization. Scott Howson now has the room to actually become the realy GM of the Jackets. I can’t wait to see what they can do with this roster without Hitch’s grip over it. I look for big seasons from Brassard, Voracek and yes, Nikita Filatov next season.

…on the other hand…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 14, 2010 by davepoleck

After that little rant, and all I have said about the following in recent weeks, kudos to Ken Hitchcock for starting Mathieu Garon for the fifth straight game tonight. A few weeks ago, he implemented the ‘win and you’re’ philosophy for his goalies. Both struggled until the Jackets won three games in a row with Garon. The streak was ended Tuesday by the Blues, but Garon is still in tonight. He used that strategy the way to it is supposed to be used, which is not 100% literally. If your team catches fire under a certain goalie and then comes out with a dud, don’t sit the fucking goalie Montreal. Look at Detroit, 10 consecutive starts for Howard even after getting smoked by the Islanders of all teams. Why….because the team played horribly in front of him, not the other way around.