Monday, January 14, 2013

The 2013 Blue Jackets: We'll Never Be Outworked

I really like this John Davidson.  He brings a voice to the franchise that has never been seen/heard around these parts in its franchise's existence.  There's an expectation in the locker room and this season is going to be a blast to rally around especially with this group.!

With the NHL back in full swing (FINALLY), teams are rummaging around trying to get ready for the season opener this upcoming weekend.  Most camps opened yesterday and invites were few and far between as coaching staffs have only a few days to make final cuts.  No preseason games are being played and a couple scrimmages and drills will determine roster spots.  I would imagine this would benefit players who played elsewhere during the lockout.  However, only time will tell.  Starting Saturday, January 19th, the 30 NHL teams will embark on a quick 48 game journey in 99 days.

The CBJ have 25 players in camp.  23 will make the roster with 20 dressing on game days.  Here they are:


11 Matt Calvert (AHL grinder)
15 Derek Dorsett (the man, the myth, the legend)
71 Nick Foligno (traded straight up from Ottawa for Marc Methot)
22 Vinny Prospal (VINNNNNNNNNNNNY!!!!!!!!!)
18 R.J. Umberger (Mr. Buckeye)


42 Artem Anisimov (solid 2 way forward from Rangers in Nash trade)
16 Derick Brassard (Will he finally blossom without Nash around??)
38 Boone Jenner (very promising Junior league player)
19 Ryan Johansen (the top pick from CBJ a couple years back)
10 Mark Letestu (a serviceable 3rd/4th line player)
24 Derek MacKenzie (Mr. 4th Line)


13 Cam Atkinson (a top 5 scorer in the AHL right meow)
40 Jared Boll (probably will sit many games as the 13th forward)
17 Brandon Dubinsky (another solid 2 way forward from Rangers in Nash trade)
9   Colton Gillies (may or may not be cut/released at some point)


33 Adrian Aucoin (free agent pick up from Phoenix; vet to help the rooks)
20 Tim Erixon (top prospect in Nash trade)
7   Jack Johnson (Midwest guy who may be the future captain)
4   John Moore (looks like solid draft pick he was meant to be)
6   Nikita Nikitin (love this Russian slap shooter!)
58 David Savard (Needs some more refining in Springfield)
51 Fedor Tyutin (Who doesn't love this guy?!)
21 James Wisniewski (Wiznasty is ready to knock down brick walls)


72 Sergei Bobrovsky (The Russian Savior)
1 Steve Mason (Ha...)

There are a total 15 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies.  Here is what the lines looked have looked like at camp.  By the way, over 1200 people showed up as standing room only was at a premium during the first day!  Great to see the city still show the love.  Newcomer Dubinsky showed his love:
"Coming from a place like New York, where the practices are closed ... this was really different," winger Brandon Dubinsky said. "I was walking (from the dressing room to the practice rink) and the crowd kept getting louder. I was like, 'really?' It was pretty cool to hear."

The lines:

R.J. Umberger - Derick Brassard - Cam Atkinson
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Derek Dorsett
Vinny Prospal - Mark Letestu/Ryan Johansen - Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner/Colton Gillies - Derek MacKenzie -  Jared Boll/Matt Calvert

Atkinson was already tearing up the AHL in goals scored so it looks like he's going to get legit top line scoring opportunities.  The way he finished last year with RJ and Brassard, this is shaping up to be a fun first line.  Dubinksy and Anisimov played together in New York (from the Nash trade).  Paired with Dorsett, this line will be our shut down line.  Boone Jenner was the lone junior call up and while there's an outside chance he makes the club, it's good for him to get the experience.  Johansen is going to get his shot on the next scoring line with my main man Vinny and my wild card Foligno.  The fourth line? Just grind baby, grind...

The pairs:

Jack Johnson - James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin
John Moore/Tim Erixon - Adrian Aucoin
David Savard

The defense is obviously the strength of the club.  The first pair is what CBJ land likes to call #ControlledChaos in JMFJ and the Wiz.  Then you got Russia in Tyutin (Tootin!) and Nikky6.  The third pair is where it gets interesting.  Aucoin was brought in as the veteran presence and will likely grab the 5th spot.  With only 1 spot remaining, I see it between Erixon (top prospect in Nash trade) and Moore.  A veteran guy will most likely be called up to serve as the 7th guy to play every few games (probably for Aucoin).

The goalies:

Sergei Bobrovsky
Steve Mason

Ok, so no one is thrilled Steve Mason is still on this team but let's face it, this is the first time he's going into the season as NOT the #1 goalie.  Bob was brought in and was playing excellent in the KHL overseas.  Mase is in the final year of his contract and will likely put up amazing numbers just in time to go somewhere else.  Classic CBJ right??

Obviously we'll find out more come Friday at 3pm when rosters have to be set.

I'll be back to preview the season opener which is Saturday night in Nashville with an updated roster and line projections.  LET'S GO JACKETS!