R.J. Umberger, the 31 year old veteran winger, scored his first goal of the season Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks. Umberger also added an assist, making last night’s game his first multiple point game of the young season.
So after eight games, he has a total of four points, 1 goal and 3 assists – one assist against the Islanders, and one assist against the Sabres. In the grand scheme of the season, as long as he stays healthy (knock on wood), he is setting a pace for 41 points.
In my opinion, if Umberger can produce 41 points this season, I would say that is a good year for him. So far this season he has played hard, not always particularly well, but I think he is skating great, and is often making strong plays towards the net. He has taken the puck hard to the net himself several times this season so far, last night though, he was the recipient of a great pass right in front of the crease and was able to finally net his first goal of the season. If he continues to make strong plays towards the net, more goals and assists will start to pile up.
Umberger scored 20+ goals and 20+ assists in each season from 2008-2012 for the Blue Jackets- four seasons in a row. Last year during the shortened season though, he failed to produce 1/2 point per game or more type numbers. He only scored 8 goals and had 10 assists on the season, for a total of 18 points, which is 6 points shy of a 1/2 point per game average.
As mentioned though, this season he is on track to average 1/2 point per game. Which should put him back around that 20+ goals and 20+ assists mark. The questions now is, can he keep producing those numbers and have a good season? And, is 41 points enough to deem it a good year for Umberger?