by Professor ggrib
Seems eons ago I wrote my last piece. Since then I moved from TX back to FL and am scheduled to see my first Florida Everblades Game Saturday. But to the Blue Jackets.
Once again we are counting the losses, hoping for the draft top pick due to the rotten season we’ve had. And AGAIN, the Oilers are contending for that pick again probably so they can again ruin another top prospect with another mediocre team. To be honest, we’ve played some good hockey and provided great hockey games [at times] And contrary to previous years, we have not gone on the no effect stretch run where winning counts for warm fuzzies and leaves an impression of great things to come. AND this year we are actually taking a look at the youngsters in the pipeline in action against NHL teams. So the Jackets are apparently getting a bit smarter. It appears the LEM will make the playoffs and hopefully the NHL exposure will assist them in going deep into the playoffs and give them some feeling of the intensity it will take to play playoff hockey.
So, with the blockbuster trade of Johanson/Jones sorta upsetting the projected path of forwards and scoring and definitely pointing the way toward building from the back outward, it would seem we have several questions hanging around.
The defensive still remains a question. Is it’s lack of performance the cause of Bob’s lack of success, or do we have a goaltending problem also. Is Dalton Prout’s recent contract indicate some secret skill that is not obvious to us fans, or is it a position for future trades? Is Tyutin on the block for a faster “D” man?
And lastly but perhaps of most importance, the 4th line. Should it be completely wiped out and replaced? My personal thought that’s the best idea. But the 4th line is not necessarily the best place to grow new NHLer players. [Particularly those with some scoring ability] M Chaput has shown he can play this line, but who else? This is a very serious question that definitely affects the expectations for next year.
Giving Coach Torts his due, he and perhaps only he, could make the 4th line work for aspiring young players to start with the hope of working themselves up into the lineup with more ice time and more responsibility.
Yarmo definitely has some work and some teaks to do this summer to give the Jackets the team we have dreamed of.
We want the cup