By Professor ggrib
Strange lead line I gotta admit. But at this point in the season, it seems appropriate to visit one of our rookie players kinda instituting a year to date summary. Last year at this time Boone was in the midst of his final season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey league. A 4 year starter for the Junior team, Boone’s final year ended with 45 goals and 37 assists for 83 points in 56 games. The Generals lost in the playoffs [in 9 games Boone had 2 goals and 6 assists] and Boone went to Springfield in the AHL and playing 5 regular season games and 8 playoff games, scoring a total of 5 goals and 4 assists.
Now fast forwarding to this year, Jenner unexpectedly made the Blue Jackets with virtually no minor league experience. He made the team by playing fantastic hockey in the Jackets training camp and pre-season games. Playing so well in fact that he was on the Jackets #1 line. But as is not unusual, once the season started, the going got quite a bit tougher, and Boone moved down in the lineup, despite scoring 3 goals.
Then Boone was injured and missed 10 games. Coming back from injury, he found a pretty different Blue Jacket team as many other players were in and out of the lineup due to injury. But in addition, his rookie scoring touch seemed to have deserted him. All this is not unusual for a rookie and many times rookies are sent down to the minor leagues [Springfield] to regain their touch and gain experience.
Again Mr Jenner is not following the script for typical rookies. There is no talk of sending him down to be reoriented. This is probably for 2 reasons. First the Blue Jackets have continually playing short of forwards due to injury, so they need him. But most of all, he is playing very good and important hockey. Playing mostly on the Jackets 3rd line, he is beating the crap out of other teams. At 6’2″ and over 200 lbs, he is big enough to draw attention when he hits someone. [Jenner is 20 1/2 years old, so he has some filling out to do]
A great example was a highlight reel hit against Pittsburg Dec. 29. But he has driven several other teams to exasperation with his powerful skating and hard hitting. Coming right along with his style of play is that he is also drawing penalties. His skating style could be likened to the proverbial “bull in a china shop” and as he bulls his way toward the goal, he draws penalties. True the Blue Jackets are not constantly potent on the power play, but drawing penalties does open the door of goal opportunities.
So why the “waiting in the weeds” opening? It turns out that this idiom mostly comes from poker. One version of explanation puts it this way….”The place where sneaky poker players lie in wait, usually accompanied by powerhouse hands they have sandbagged, to trap unwary aggressive players. Boone will score goals again, and I know he had the game winning goal against Philadelphia Dec. 21, but expect more than the occasional goal for him. He is not sandbagging on purpose, but expect a powerful return to his goal scoring touch and let the unwary team be ware. And yes again, he is a good thing, waiting to happen for a true break out of his skills