The Lorenzi Line
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 11/07/11 at 10:20 PM ET
I try to make sense of it but still can’t figure out what in tarnation is wrong with this team. The Columbus Blue Jackets are 2-11-1 with five points in 14 games and don’t look to be speeding up. They are putting up the numbers on the ice but not on the scoreboard. The Blue Jacket’s weekly reports:
Columbus leads the NHL in hits with 381 (27.2 per game)… The Blue Jackets have killed off 18-of-21 opponent power plays (85.7 pct.) over the past six games compared to 18-of-28 (64.3 pct.) in its first eight games… The Blue Jackets rank fourth in the NHL in shots-against per game (27.9) but stand 30th in goals-against (3.71)… The club ranks 13th-tied in shots per game (30.0 pct.) but is 26th in scoring (2.21).
What this is telling me is that they’ve become the old school hockey club who murders against the boards, picks fights it ought to not start and takes multiple shots worth dick. It’s nice to know that the penalty kill has gotten better but what’s with the fallout when at even strength? Where’s the team that we once knew to find the man on the blue line during a penalty kill and place it top blocker side? It is difficult to dig up the “team we once knew” line since they’ve only had one decent season.
Am I the only person getting sick of Rick Nash’s failed attempts to deke through the defense? They’re relying on two things so since Carter has been side-lined: Rick Nash and play along the boards after the dump and chase. These are professionals, well most, what’s stopping them from pulling the trunk of their strategy out of the ground and starting over? It really can’t be that hard to emulate a team’s entrance strategy. For Pete’s sake don’t try to run plays out of Arniel’s handbook anymore, it’s not that you’ve been figure out it’s that they are NOT WORKING!!!
It may be a question of confidence or desperation, regardless I remain patient. Columbus, could we start to move the puck into positions where it actually makes sense? Most of your initial shots are coming from 45 feet out and aren’t creating rebounds you so dream of so can we please make an actual play? Mason is counting on you to score and not give up you position. Steve really can’t carry this festering pile of losses on his shoulders alone. When you’re in front of the crease and you see a pass go behind the net please try to get your man on the boards to hound that man down to ensure no Sega Genesis wrap around bullshit goals. Just don’t give up your position! When you chase you’re leaving the crease open enough for a man to skate in there for a one timer and a goal. It has happened an awful amount of times in the past few games. That’s just one scenario but in any scenario you will see Columbus opening up the crease for damn near impossible saves to be made by Mason.
The Flyer’s victory can’t be on your goaltending. When you see Bass in fisticuffs then returning to the bench yelling he’s not yelling at the player or the goaltending, he’s yelling at you and shoving you. The frustration in his face that first period explained full well what the Jacket’s were feeling after being down four in nearly 15 minutes.
This game was a catastrophe and gave the Flyers their first 9 goal game since Feb 6th, 1997. Bryzgalov wasn’t even being tested; he faced 14 shots in 40 minutes. There was seriously nothing productive coming from the Jackets, just a weak pulse. Mason faced 27 shots in 40 minutes…
It wasn’t until the last period that Columbus was skating like they knew how to play the game hockey again. Attempts at something that looked like a forecheck was being made but nothing was happening until an odd man rush created the first Columbus goal but was a little too late. With seven minutes left Columbus was going at it with Bryzgalov as best they could.
8-1 and a puck was traveling along the boards behind Mason’s net, Wiz attempted to stop the puck but awkwardly missed it then bingo-bango the Flyer scored their 9th. With 2:30 left in regulation Grant Clitsome shot one from up high and it was deflected in. Watch Bryz as he throws a fit that he’s been scored on; that is about the only good part of the game besides the three fights, which are not worth mentioning other than that Derek Dorsett got a busted lip.
There were rumors that Columbus would be looking into Hitchcock to take over again after seeing him in the stands. This was the most outrageous thing to hear after seeing him coach this team into the ground. The only reason he had a 92 point season with Columbus was because of Steve Mason’s rookie season. This was the only time Columbus truly had a goaltender. Afterwards he was fired for the third time in his career and was hated in Columbus. His return would have probably killed the spirits of the players and any chance to see the playoffs in the next couple seasons. I stand by that. Luckily the Blues “took Hitchcock out from under the Blue Jackets” when he signed with the Blues recently.
Whatever, we don’t need a new coach. I really don’t see the same players playing any better without their actual roster and a new goaltender. We still haven’t seen the assigned backup, Mark Dekanich, take the crease but I’m still sticking to Turco. Marty Turco is one answer of many that hasn’t been taken advantage of yet. It baffles me that Scott Howson can see his team competing for the playoffs at this point. After a 9-2 loss Steve Mason needs a break and you know that if you put goaltender York back in net against Chicago AGAIN that it will just result in the 12th loss of the season and another embarrassment. Scotty I’m glad to hear from you and your players that you’ll be starting over but damn it’s getting close to the end of the first quarter in this season, shuck and jive baby!
I’ll end with something I’ve been telling myself for the last couple days. The bright side to all of this is that the Blue Jackets are still on their way to breaking on record. In the 1974-1975 season the Washington Capitals set a record by ending their season with 8-67-5. Just like Washington the Blue Jackets defeated the Red Wings once and their records look similar after 14 games; Washington was 1-12-1. Their problem boiled down to goaltending and defense. Hell, are some Columbus skaters bound to go into the -30’s like the former Caps? Only time will tell. Put a band-aid on it Jackets, fix this now or Columbus will regret purchasing the Arena for you.
A thing to note from this game: Jackub Voracek who was dealt to Philly in a trade to acquire the still injured Jeff Carter netted a goal and two assists in the only game he’ll see Columbus this season.
We still miss you Jakub. Thanks for calling that guy out for looking like a miniature Raffi Torres one more time.
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