Training camp has opened. Press meeting, Physicals…..and now——on to the ice. But, in a way, we are hoping that the Blue Jackets don’t go far, we are hoping they stay right in the groove they had at the end of last season and keep on a rolling. The resulting quotations out of media day brought a coupla thoughts to mind.
#1- The Jackets may have no new players from signings and trades to start the season. It appears there may be new players from within the system sticking and later Nathan Horton will join the battle, but no real new blood from the outside. There is a possibility that Jack Skillie, 26 a Rt Winger who signed a 2 way contract 7/7/13 could stay.
Thinking about this, it seems that at this point, the painful housecleaning of the “rottenish core” of the Blue Jackets was completed with the trade of Brassard and Dorsett. Now, it has been made very clear that players who were not brought in the the present management can be considered on short leashes. So it’s produce or else!!! Todd Richards was quoted as saying, no job is secure, all positions need to be earned.
#2- And speaking of Todd Richards, brings me to the second thought. Again, going back to quotations from media day, there were several references to the Blue Jackets “system”. Briefly described, the system’s key thought is a strong forechecking style that reduces penetration into your own zone and produces turnovers giving increased scoring opportunities. Obviously John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen agree with this system or Todd Richards would not still be the coach. It seems this is the same system being used at Springfield [who was successful last year] as players from Springfield fit immediately into the Blue Jackets. And the Falcons coach Brad Larson was also retained.
But in truth, the Jackets did not capitalize on the system and it’s rewards as much as the should have. Too many breakaways and turnovers were not put into the opponents net. With a training camp to work on this, hopefully this will improve. The other negative leftover from last year is a power play that “sucks”. This should be another key issue in a full training camp.
Saying all this, the Blue Jackets of the 2013-2014 season will start pretty much exactly as the Blue jackets of 2013. Much has been written on how much the “youngsters” learned at the end of the year, feeling the synergy and the excitement of the critical games. These are the bricks that John is building with. Hopefully they will fit into together just like last year.