Recently I was perusing around some of the other NHL team sites, reading some of the other great stories that FanSided has to offer. I found myself on Ottawa’s team page, and ran across the start of their team previews, in reverse order from last place to first place. I saw something, I guess all of us Blue Jackets fans have come to expect, the Blue Jackets being picked to finish 7th in the Metropolitan Division. Behind only the lowly, offensively challenged New Jersey Devils.
The story was titled 2013-2014 Season Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets by Jared Crozier, and I think every Blue Jacket fan would like to give it a read. Not only to get your juices flowing a little more at the excitement of the upcoming season(if that’s even possible), but to get a little friendly rivalry going with the Ottawa Senators and their fan base. A team that we have never had anything close to a rivalry with, until now that is.
I had a couple of things that I thought I might be able to help Jared correct with his Blue Jackets preview. The first was his assumption that if BOBROVSKY slips at all the Blue Jackets are back to square one. Sergei Bobrovsky posted a 2.00 GAA and a .932 SV% last year, by comparison Henrik Lundqvist had a .926 SV% and a 2.05 GAA, and Jimmy Howard had a .923 SV% and a 2.13 GAA. The Blue Jackets offense, with the addition of Nathan Horton, a full season of Marian Gaborik, and another year of a young core playing together will be better than it was last year. That will take some heat off of Bob, so even if he slips to say a 2.10 GAA and a .925 SV%, there will be no way the Blue Jackets are back to square one by any means.
I agree that the move East will dramatically help the Blue Jackets, in every way, shape, and form. I do not agree that the Metropolitan Division is the shallower of the two Eastern Divisions however. I would say the divisions are actually pretty evenly matched, the Metro has Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, Washington, New York Islanders, and your Columbus Blue Jackets. The Atlantic has Boston, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Then each division has three teams that most would describe as bottom dwellers, at least for the near future.
The only place the Atlantic Division is stronger is that they have five teams that made the playoffs last year, and the Metro has four. But, considering how the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs last year, on a tie breaker due to regulation wins. They had the same amount of points as the Wild and were playing ten times better, so theoretically they qualified for the playoffs, but were kept out by a technicality.
I do not think by any means that Bob is a 1 year wonder, in 2010-2011 he posted a 28-13-8 record with a 2.59 GAA and a .915 SV%. Not the best GAA and SV%, but for a rookie season they are very respectable. He tanked in year 2, when his job was given to Ilya Bryzgalov, and his confidence was shaken. Plus, he was a goalie on the Flyers…need I say more? He was then given a chance by the Blue Jackets and prospered, his work ethic is undeniable, he is first on the ice and last off. He has a Vezina trophy to help with his confidence, and unless the second coming of Martin Brodeur appears and only wants to play for Columbus, his job is safe here.
Jared forgot one key player ready to make the jump. He may not be ready for the start of the season, but if needed to jump start an offense that isn’t clicking by mid-December, Boone Jenner has enough confidence to step up and show the NHL what he has to offer.
I look forward to seeing where Jared pegs his Ottawa Senators, and what he has to say about the loss of their long time leader Daniel Alfredsson. His views on the great addition of Bobby Ryan, if he will be able help fill the gap, and if he can handle being the go to guy? Or will he shrink under the pressure of Ottawa’s huge fan base?
In all honesty Jared is a great writer, and the stories he puts together are quality work. I just wanted to give him some insight on the Blue Jackets, and how I think he is dead wrong on his prediction for 7th in the Metro Division. He has more previews coming up soon, so be sure to check those out, and follow him on twitter @alfieishuman to keep up with the Ottawa Senators, NHL news, and oh, feel free to tell him your opinion of his Blue Jackets prediction as well!
I have to give it to Jared, his twitter handle used to be @alfieisgod, but changed it to @alfieishuman. I can only imagine he changed it after “Alfie” went all N.W.O, and spray painted a Red Winged Wheel on the back of every Senators fan. If I were him, I think I would of went with @alfieislucifer, so kudos Jared for your ability to forgive/have rational thoughts.