BOF Report: The Weekend Circus (W,OTL)

Basically:

Friday night against Montreal, I game that I was in attendance for, 10-0 Jackets. Saturday an overtime loss to St Louis. In both cases, most coverage outside of Columbus was more along the lines of how the other team played so poorly, rather than the Jackets playing well. Montreal was perfection. Everything went our way, Anderson’s backhanded flip into the goal was far and away my favorite moment, and Carey Price was on the sidelines. St. Louis was a little bit of back and forth (with plenty of sloppy play) but felt like it could fall to the Jackets in overtime after we possessed the puck to start OT for a looooong time. When Tarasenko made the move around Saad, it was over before he ever took the shot. McIllhinney was fantastic, Dubinsky continued to be MIA, and Jones (now out for three weeks with a fracture) continues to show just how high his ceiling might be.

The Overreaction:

5-3-2! 5-3-2! We are making the playoffs. Go ahead and have the shirts made. I don’t care if the Rangers, Capitals, and Penguins are the best three teams in the entire league right now (and all in the Metro) we are making the damn playoffs! Look at this start!

Final Thought:

Wennberg is looking like the player everyone thought he could be. Werenski is going to be an absolute stud. Jones gets better every week. The beginning of this season finally gives me hope that our young talent will pan out. It helps that Bob (and Mac against St Louis) are playing exceptionally well, but we have a strength in special teams to build off of and our 5 v 5 seems to be improving with each game. If our typically dependable players (looking at you Dubi and Boone) get going, it is going to be a really fun season.

Point Scorers for CBJ (St. Louis game only):

Goals: Anderson

Assists: n/a

BOF Report: 10/25 Kings (OTL 3-2)

Basically:

The story of the season thus far is how the Jackets special teams are playing so dominantly. Saad gets on the board for the first time this season and Gagner creates a goal for Atkinson (a beauty). Bobrovsky continues to look tough and was tested with some looks that easily could have been goals, especially in the first period. Transition back in overtime ended up costing us the second point, but Jones has played well thus far so we cannot hold this turnover against him too much. We take the point and move on to back to backs with San Jose and Anaheim.

The Overreaction:

I understand that Murray is hurt, I get it, and to a certain point I am used to it. But why in the holy hell do we keep putting Nutivaara and Prout on the same pairing?!? We might as well hang on sign around Bob’s neck saying “here’s your chance”.  These two haven’t been able to get the puck cleanly out of our own end yet. Is Harrington worse than this? WTF?

Final Thought:

Werenski finally had a game where he didn’t make it onto the score sheet. Even without notching a point, it is impossible not to notice him in every game. We constantly hear about developing talent, but this kid has “it” and he showed up in Columbus possessing it before we made any adjustments.

Point Scorers for CBJ:

Goals: Atkinson, Saad

Assists: Foligno, Gagner, Savard, Wennberg

 

BOF report: 10/22 @Stars (W 3-0)

Basically:

I am not going to lie. Starting with two losses and about to face two of the better teams in the western conference did not give me a lot to be excited about. Then we took back to back W’s against Chicago and Dallas. There is work to be done for sure, each game has seen long stretches in our own zone whereby you get the feeling that we are living on borrowed time, but a shutout win in Dallas was a great feeling. Also have to feel good about the production of both Anderson and Werenski who have 7 points between them in four games (Anderson 2, Werenski 5). The Captain Nick Foligno has four points equaling 10.8% of his point total for the SEASON in 15-16.

The Overreaction:

We beat two playoff teams, lost to a Stanley Cup finalist and to a Boston team that is surging out of the gate. Werenski is on pace for 102 points! Just starting engraving his name on the Calder Trophy now.

Final Thought:

Sergei Bobrovsky has looked great in the first four games. In the losses he didn’t get any favors from the guys in front of him and even with the Boston scoring fest he is boasting a .935 save average through four games while taking an average of 32.5 shots per game. I know that we are only four games into the season, but with a least a game in hand on every other team in the metro division that Jackets have stayed in the mix early. Typically that wouldn’t be worth noting, but after last year’s start I like the idea that we can still aspire for the playoffs after the third week of the season. We have to get better in the faceoff circle.

Point Scorers for CBJ:

Goals: Anderson, Calvert (EN), Hartnell

Assists: Dubinsky, Jenner, Jones, Karlsson, Werenski

 

BOF Report: 10/21 Blackhawks (W 3-2)

Basically: We looked like a new team last night. Played the first two periods fast and the penalty kill definitely punched above its weight against a dangerous offensive team. Sedlak finished with a -1 in his debut but won 75% of his face-offs. That is a category in which we will take all of the help that we can get. Bobrovsky continues to look strong and is the biggest factor in us getting our first “W” stopping 32 shots.

The Overreaction: We got two points! We got two points! Washington Capitals , Washington Schmapitals – we are winning the metro. If we can beat the Blackhawks we can beat anybody. With Bobrovsky playing this way, bring on the all-star team. This is the first of many, get those playoff banners ready.

Final Thought: Werenski has had a point in each of the first four games. This kid is special. Murray is hurt again and not making the trip on the four game road trip (ugh). Says a lot about how Nick Foligno has settled into the captain’s role given his four points in four games. Boone Jenner has to get going for us to have longterm success. He was limited in ice time last night, and was subpar in the small amount of time he had. Tonight brings on the offensive Stars (2-1-1), another tough matchup for the CBJ.

LET’s GO JACKETS!!!!!!

Point Scorers for CBJ:

Goals: Foligno, Karlsson, Werenski

Assists: Atkinson, Foligno, Hartnell, Savard, Wennberg, Werenski

BOF Report: 10/15 Sharks (L 3-2)

Basically:

We looked frantic in the first, and for about half of the second, period(s) on the puck. Not only in our own zone, but also on offense. I like the idea of the Jackets playing fast, but being fast without control has never worked for anyone in any professional sport. We settled in towards the end of the game and had some chances that should have been converted (so did they) that could have made for different ending. Bobrovsky has looked good two games in and the great line shuffle to find cohesiveness in-game began. I don’t like that we are 0-2, but am not going all Michael Arace yet in exploring next year’s draft options.

The Overreaction:

Here we go again. Pack it in kids, eliminated from the playoffs before the end of freaking October. Our top line might not make have enough to play third line on some other clubs right now. We have to finish the easy looks. Anderson had one in the first period, Karlsson in the second. Stop thinking and put the puck in the net. Another thing. Don’t talk to me about conditioning ever again, conditioning has nothing to do with the ability to pass the puck from one Blue Jacket to another successfully. Can we also please never put Prout and Nutivaara on the same defensive pairing. That was hard to watch. Get it together!!!

Final Thought:

Bobrovsky had 35 saves for a .946 save percentage. He is doing his part, now we just need to get the offense rolling and that cannot be done if we cannot keep possession of the puck coming out of our own zone. Luckily, other than the Penguins, all other metro division teams have at least one loss or overtime loss so the hole is not as deep as it could be. Chicago comes to town on Friday, have to find a way into the win column.

Point Scorers for CBJ:

Goals: Anderson, Werenski

Assists: Atkinson, Hartnell, Wennberg

BOF Report: 10/13 Bruins (L 6-3)

Basically:

I said it in my game primer for opening night. The Boston Bruins have a top line that you must survive to win. Marchand had a career-high five points. Their top line scored ALL of their goals.

The first two periods were fun for the Blue Jackets, but they weren’t pretty. Sloppy play and carelessness with the puck was the CBJ theme of the night. There isn’t one place to put the blame, but our top line got demolished by the Bruins first line. It is only the first game, but you couldn’t help but make a deep sigh when leaving the arena last night.

The Overreaction:

Second verse, same as the first. Are you kidding me?!? Boston was down one of their best players and outside of their first line are garbage. Season’s over. Another 12 months of talking about development and keeping the long view. I have had the longview since 2003. Stop telling me to be patient and win some damn hockey games. Middle fingers to everyone, back to Buckeyes football.

Final Thought:

No amount of skating hard, running laps, or workouts fixes our inability to competently transition from defense to offense out of our own zone. Was our biggest issue last year. Apparently

CBJ Point scorers against Boston:

Wennberg – 1G 1A

Jones – 1G 1A

Atkinson – 1G

Werenski – 1A

Saad – 1A

Foligno- 2A