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Blue Jackets Pay For Poor Play

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Blue Jackets have made a mess of things early this season. They are 0-4-1, resting on the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and facing a crossroads only five games into the 2011-12 season.

As such, coach Scott Arniel resorted to a tactic that hasn’t been used in Columbus since Gerard Gallant stood behind the bench.

On what was scheduled to be an off day, Arniel gathered his players for a one-hour session in the OhioHealth Ice Haus that was more about punishment than practice.

Arniel alternated from contact to skating drills, with little rest in between. Some of the drills combined skating and battling for the puck one on one. Two players stepped aside momentarily with bloody noses when the contact got high and a little heated. The only voice heard was Arniel, barking orders and blowing his whistle.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

DocF's avatar

When a coach resorts to tactics like this, he has usually lost his team.  The management and coaches are now officially hanging on a very slender thread.  Scott Arniel needs to get his collection of players to understand that hockey is a team sport and requires a team effort.  I know this message can be beat into their thick heads, but the fact that Mike Babcock was able to penetrate the skull of Rick Nash during the Olympics, makes me think there is a better way.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/17/11 at 01:54 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

To me this comes down to the problem the Jackets have always had… no on-ice leadership.  Columbus has been through five head coaches and two interim coaches since their inception, and the result has always been the same.  Rick Nash is entering his ninth season as a Jacket.  How can you point the finger anywhere else?  The team essentially quit on Ken Hitchcock, and now they look like they aren’t even clocking in with Arniel.  Nash has been with the Jackets long enough that he should have developed a sense of pride in the organization by now, but I don’t see it.  The Jackets should start shopping him now while he still has trade value.

The Jackets and the Dispatch have always made excuses for the poor play of the Jackets.  Be it the goaltending excuse, the “We need a puck moving defenseman” excuse, or the more recent “center for Nash” excuse, it is time the organization finally points the finger at RIcky boy.  The free lunches for this guy have to come to an end at some point.

I’d rather have the three average players you could probably get for Nash in a trade on my squad than this false superstar.  The Jackets would be far better served by a couple veterans who could establish a culture of hard work and expectations in the locker room than the black hole of zero accountability that the “long-time” Jackets still on staff have created for themelves.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/17/11 at 03:12 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Hard to shop Nash when he’s got a NMC. He’s got the BJs over the barrel, and while yes, he is very skilled, and always seems to show up against the Wings…at this point Rick Nash brought the BJs into this league, and may be the death of them…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/17/11 at 03:28 PM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

I feel like Columbus finally has the right ingredients except for a goaltender. If they let these ingredients cook for a while and stop taking out elements and putting in fresh ideas they’ll be good in the next 2 years. It’s still way too early to call the season, I’m still feeling like things will turn out for the better if not the best.

It’s hard for anyone in the organization to feel comfortable when so many changes are made every year. Trading Nash is definitely a bad idea. Trading Brassard isn’t even close to a bad idea. If the rumors are true he might be gone soon. They already have stock in Carter, Prospal, Umberger, Vermette, Atkinson, Huselius. They isn’t an urgency to get anyone else, right now it’s all about their system, especially on the defensive end. Last game against Dallas was one of the few games where they were out-shot, I’m hoping tomorrow’s game against Dallas that’ll change. If they don’t win they can always end their losing streak with a win against Detroit wink Truth is they are constantly trying to find chemistry with new players every damn season. see: the last 8 seasons.

I’m personally going to stalk Howson and scream “Turco” his way.

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/17/11 at 04:52 PM ET

Avatar

Nash looked like ass in the Olympics, though. He scored a few goals, I guess, but he must have lead the tourney in turnovers by a guy who wasn’t on Team Russia. It just never clicked for Nash that when you’re on a line with guys like Crosby, Iggy, Getzlaf, Perry or Toews (instead of guys like Gilbert Brule) trying to go one on five is -never- the right play. These guys are open, Rick, and most of them are better than you—how about passing to them every once in a while instead of repeatedly trying to deke 4 Swedes for an unassisted goal that’s never coming.

Nash reminds me a lot of Kovalchuk. Boatload of talent, but never learned the right way to use it and just kept accumulating bad habits that were never corrected. The difference is Kovalchuk seems to be making a few strides toward being smarter since Lemaire and Deboer took over (his scoring is down, but his liabilities are becoming way less noticeable). Nash is just stagnating.

Jagr used to have a lot of the same bad habits that Nash does, but he also put up 40-80 more points per season. You just can’t be a 70 point player (and Captain, to boot) and play as dumb as Rick Nash does.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/17/11 at 04:58 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/17/11 at 01:28 PM ET

Didn’t know about the no move clause.  Over the barrel is an understatement, what a foolish term to agree to.  Nash has always expressed his desire to play in Toronto… maybe Brian Burke could talk Ricky into waiving that clause.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/17/11 at 04:59 PM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

Nash is just stagnating.

I’ve really seen a change in Nash’s play this season. He’s trying to become the play maker, doing a lot more passing than shoot. The first 5 games last season he shot the puck 20 times and got 3 points. So far this season’s first 5 he’s shot 14 times and notched 5 points so far. He’s had two breakaways but hasn’t capitalized on those yet.

Comparing Nash to Kovalchuk is crazy. I’d take Nash over Ilya anyday. That -26 he had last year is a skidmark on his career. If you had him on your fantasy team last year you’d hate him as much as I do.

You just can’t be a 70 point player (and Captain, to boot)

He never should have been captain, that’s a Hitchcock mistake. I assume in an attempt to boost Nash’s ability. From what we’ve seen it has just put more pressure on Rick which probably piled o0n with every loss. Throw the C to former Buckeye R.J. Umberger and be done with it already.

When a coach resorts to tactics like this, he has usually lost his team.  The management and coaches are now officially hanging on a very slender thread. 

Will we see a new coach? Mayhaps. Knowing the Jackets it will most likely happen again. Maybe they’ll get Lyle Odelein to coach ha!

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/17/11 at 05:50 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/17/11 at 02:52 PM ET

I still think Turco would be a good choice for Columbus.  He couldn’t get them to the playoffs on his own (like Mason was credited with doing), but I think it would be good for the Jackets to have a stable net minder.  That said, nothing will stop the bleeding until the players are accountable to themselves and each other. 

You have to reach a point where it comes down to pride.  Whats always bothered me about the way the Jackets play hard against the Wings is that all their motivation seems to come from external sources.  When does it start coming from within?  Pride starts with the team’s captain, which means at some point it has to come down to Nash.  Its really to bad about the NMC clause he has (my thanks to mrfluffy for the correction), because I don’t how you light a fire under this guy after nine years.

Nash reminds me a lot of Kovalchuk. Boatload of talent, but never learned the right way to use it and just kept accumulating bad habits that were never corrected.

Posted by steviesteve on 10/17/11 at 02:58 PM ET

I’ve always thought that the Nash-Kovie parallel was dead on.  You score all the points you want and have it not amount to a hill of beans if you don’t bring your team with you.

——
Anyway, to my good friend Nick:  I don’t mean to be presiding over a Nash/CBJ hate fest.  I’ve just always felt the way the Jackets go about business is wrong and its frustrating to see a team/organization that won’t get out of its own way.  After seven coaches and two GM’s in ten years, at some point the excuses have to stop being made for the players, namely their captain.  Just to show you I’m a good sport, you can have a free punch to my arm next time you see me in red and white.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/17/11 at 05:51 PM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

I’ve just always felt the way the Jackets go about business is wrong and its frustrating to see a team/organization that won’t get out of its own way.

I agree man, it’s always been dick. Lyle Odelein, Ray Whitney, Luke Richardson, Adam Foote and Rick Nash were all the Jacket’s captains. Only one of those really makes sense and damn do I miss Ray Whitney.

You score all the points you want and have it not amount to a hill of beans if you don’t bring your team with you.

There’s still Umby, Vermetter and Huselius when he’s healthy. We’re talking like this is preseason, I’m just going to write something tonight. Most of it will be blasting Columbus for their recent move…

Just to show you I’m a good sport, you can have a free punch to my arm next time you see me in red and white.

This Friday I will be doing just that. I’ll walk over with a laptop case full of beer again.

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 10/17/11 at 06:06 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I feel like Columbus finally has the right ingredients except for a goaltender.

I don’t know about that; I think Mason has what it takes. I think Columbus doesn’t have the goaltending coach it needs, nor do they blame the right people. Living in Cincinnati the past three years until this spring, the FS-Ohio guys always seemed to say “If Mase can just stop one or two more shots…”

Bollocks.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/17/11 at 08:03 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

To finish the thought about, look at Jimmy Howard. Yes it’s too early to hang all-worldy praise on him, but everytime he came up, he looked…mediocre, and back down to Grand Rapids he went. He paid his dues, worked on his game, and even though his stats seemed to get worse every year…after 2 months on the NHL full-time, he was a legit NHL netminder, able to steal a game or two and keep the Wings in games more times than not. He’s another over-ripened player in the Wings system. If Mason had the same up-bringing, I bet he’d be as good or possibly better then Jimmy, yet he was thrown to the wolves on Day One, survived the first skirmish, then has been suffering since. What a waste…

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/17/11 at 08:06 PM ET

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