Tag Archives: Jakub Vorcek

Puttin’ on the hurt!

Voracek Goal #2And I mean that literally, St. Louis.  For you lost a hockey game and TJ Oshie.  Plus some pride.  I have to admit that I did not have a lot of confidence going into Nationwide last night, hoping that the Blue Jackets could score their usual three goals and hold St. Louis to only two.

The Jackets didn’t do much wrong last night and the Blues’ defense didn’t do much right.  They reminded me of the Jacket defense of last season, slow and prone to turnovers.  Yes, I know they were without Barret Jackman, a man who thinks that hitting someone from behind is the way to play.  When he retires, he is going to open up the Checking From Behind Hockey School.  The jerseys for the students won’t have numbers on the back.

The only negative aspect of the game was that Derek Dorsett can’t remember that Ken Hitchock is no longer coaching the team.  When you have a seven goal lead and things have calmed down in the final minutes of the game, Derek, you’re supposed to ease up and plan for the next outing against the Blues.  You’re weren’t playing D League hockey against a co-ed team where the local custom is to celebrate every goal and trash talk.

I don’t want to read too much into the game last night because it’s still early and things happen quickly in hockey, especially bad things, but that was an impressive win and a confidence builder for me.  I can’t make the game Friday, but the Jackets have a good chance against an injured Colorado team.

I’m sure Mason will start the game and I hope he can put together back-to-back wins.  He had some good saves last night, he had some good luck with St. Louis missing the net a lot, and he also had the misfortune of a Fedor Tyutin giveaway for the only St. Louis goal.

After Colorado, it will be three tough games on the U.S. West Coast.  Three points would be nice, four better, and five unbelievable.

Again, last night was something.  A total team effort.  Great job from the old man Clark, from Brassard showing that he is what he is supposed to be, from Voracek getting the monkey off his back, from Filatov showing some toughness, and on and on.  As we used to say in Detroit, Bless you boys!


Rob Oller Speaks! About The Blue Jackets!

I can’t say that we were not warned about this morning’s column from Rob Oller, a sportswriter at The Dispatch who is sometimes forced to cover non-OSU events.  And last night was one of those nights when Ray Stein, Sports Editor of The Dispatch and a man who has to think about many, many sports, some of them also non-OSU things, sent Rob Oller to Nationwide Arena to watch the local hockey team play an exhibition game and then tell us what needs to be done.

Well, Rob Oller did not disappoint those of us who read about hockey.  We are all fortunate to read a bland, meaningless piece about how the youngsters have to deliver now.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Anyway, Rob Oller provides us with his special insights, telling us how Ken Hitchcock used to coach some of these youngsters and he did not like having them on the ice together.  Rob Oller loved Ken Hitchcock because Hitch was the local coach who most closely reminded him of Woody Hayes.

Anyway, as is the case, Rob Oller does not tell us anything we didn’t already know.  He doesn’t expand upon anything that he (and the rest of us) observed last night.  He didn’t say that the youngsters must produce this year because Scott Howson did not attempt to sign anyone else.  He did not say that Jacket fans are waiting to see this year if Nikita Filatov really is a genuine NHL player, or if Derick Brassard is more than a potential journeyman player.

It would have been nice to read something informative for the occasional hockey fan.  Something that says, hey, I know most of my readers couldn’t care less about the Blue Jackets, but really, you should get out and see them this season because they are going to let these kids show their stuff.  And these kids have the credentials to be good NHL players, so they might be entertaining.  So instead of having a 24 hour tailgate party this weekend, maybe you should get down to Nationwide this Friday to see these young guys face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

No, Rob Oller just mailed it in this morning.  He told us that the kids did OK, but the future is not predictable yet.  No need to take your mind off Eastern Michigan University and their impending slaughter.

I can’t wait until next season when Rob Oller is forced to cover the local hockey team again.

Drafting And The Blue Jackets

As I watch the crazy video review going on in Washington at this moment (Boston 0, Washington 1, goal stands), I’m hearing people expressing all kinds of opinions regarding the Blue Jackets end of season and draft options.  I have stated before that I want the Jackets trying to win the rest of the games and to take the best player available for their draft position.  This whole thing is kind of odd because if you thought the Jackets were tanking to get a better draft selection, imagine what the boys in Las Vegas would do.  The Jackets would be money in the bank to lose, no matter the spread, and the house would lose on every bet.  So even Vegas would be crying about a team not giving an honest effort.

But whenever I hear people talk about the draft and who the Blue Jackets could get, and when people bring up Nash, Voracek, and Brassard, I think you need to also consider Picard, Brule, and Zherdev.  Nash is the only pick who you can unequivocally call a success.  The jury is still out on both Voracek and Brassard, with Voracek showing that he may be a solid success while Brassard still looks like he needs more time.  Picard was not a success, no matter how hard he hit the glass while trying to make a check.  Brule is now an Oiler, and Zherdev is gone.  Top draft picks are supposed to be like your kids, with you forever as they get better with each season.  They are the hope and dreams of the future.  They sell season tickets, they get media attention, and they make hearts flutter when they hit the ice.

Columbus has a horrible record of identifying and developing talent.  I simply don’t trust the organization to draft the right guy, to make the right decisions on his development, and to find the right players to compliment the top picks.  The team hasn’t developed a winning plan, according to Ted Leonsis, let alone make the playoffs consistently.  Maybe we need to suck a couple of years in a row like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and yes, Washington.  Consecutive seasons at the bottom of the standings does wonders for a team when you get to pick number ones after each season, like Fluery, Crosby, and Malkin.  But if that ever happened in Columbus, the team would be gone before the fans could see any benefits of consecutive losing seasons.  That almost happened in Pittsburgh, by the way.  The Jackets are losing too much money to write off two or three consecutive seasons.

No, you want to tank, go ahead, but that’s a great lesson for all the fans you’re trying to gain, isn’t it?  How could a young Mite ever take a local NHL player seriously?  One final thought to keep in mind is that draft picks do not always work out, and when they do they take about five years to fully develop, and there’s no stopping other teams from out-developing you (Detroit and Nashville) through better scouting and lower picks.

“…Huet pretty much sucks.”

You need to read this.  If you were at Nationwide, then you saw how bad things were.  But if you just watched it on TV, you really missed how bad of a performance Huet gave.  Did he even bother on Voracek’s penalty shot?

You could say the Blue Jackets scored their decisive goal in the first minute of play when goalless Mike Commodore flung a prayer at the net from the right boards. It pinballed off a confused Huet, who was down 1-0 without ever breaking a sweat. It got much worse. Much, much worse, but at least we stopped Commodore from a two-goal night. Thank God for small miracles.

Youth Is Served

Jackets beat San Jose, 3-0!  If not for that last minute goal by Dallas, Steve Mason would have THREE consecutive shutouts.  Tonight’s three stars were Steve Mason, age 21, Jakub Voracek, age 20, and Derick Brassard, age 22.  And doesn’t Brassard look great in the hard hat?

Holy Duvie Westcott!

If the Jackets aren’t hungry enough, a favorite cliche that Ken Hitchcock likes to use when asked why the team can’t f*#cking win a game, last night was not a good game for the team overlord and motivator coach.  It was all you can eat night for us season ticket holders, a special night where I overindulge myself on food that I wouldn’t donate to a food bank.  Arriving at Nationwide for the 5:30 feeding frenzy, I took great delight in all of the culinary delights usual stuff that I could eat for free.  Judging by the play of the Blue Jackets last night, many of the players also ate too much before the game.

To re-quote myself from last week, the usual suspects did all the damage for Nashville.  Steve Sullivan had a superb night with three goals, Jason Arnott had his way with the Jacket defense, and Dan Ellis was solid in goal for Nashville.  Barry Trotz, the man who leaves a coat hanger in his jacket when he wears it, showed that he can beat Columbus with one had tied behind his back.

I won’t go into how bad it was to see in person and who was terrible for the Jackets last night, although you should be able to tell from the title of this post what I feel about a certain defenseman who wears #3.  Jacob Voracek played with a lot of energy and had something to show at the end of the night, but the big guns have been silent lately.  RJ Umberger thinks he gets a free pass because he used to play for OSU, but RJ, the fans who bother to show up are getting wise to you.  You need to score an important goal now and then, not a meaningless third period scoresheet entry.  Leave that to Chimera.  Antoine Vermette, we’re all waiting for you, so anytime you want to show your stuff, go right ahead.  Mike Commodore, we don’t see your name on the reservation list.

Tonight’s game is not on TV in Columbus or Minneapolis.  An early Christmas present.

***This is something I have to post and it has nothing to do with hockey.  Yesterday, Marina Davis passed away suddenly.  Ms. Davis was principal of Dublin Scioto High School.  As far as I know, Ms. Davis was well-liked by all who knew her and was a hard-working and caring person.  I learned of her death last night after I returned from Nationwide and I quickly went to dispatch.com to see if they had any additional information.

I made the mistake of looking at some of the comments on the report of her death and was horrified to see the comments of some people.  But it was in truly bad taste that The Dispatch did not exercise any editorial oversight and allowed them to be printed.  Fresh in my mind was the fiasco of the popular blog Puck-rakers being put behind a subscriber wall.  If The Dispatch can take the time to withhold its content, then it can certainly take the time to keep low-life scum from degrading the memory of Marina Davis.  You want me to take you seriously, Dispatch, then you show some maturity and leadership and keep the riff-raff from hurting those who cared about this woman.  Shame on you.

Ten Seconds

The Blue Jackets played decent hockey for the entire game against Nashville, except for a ten second span near the end of the second period.  During that span, Jakub Voracek skated his butt off to negate an icing call against the Jackets.  But he was the only one hustling on that play, because the defense of the Jackets was not ready to play.  Jason Arnott scored the Preds’ third goal with just twenty-seven seconds left in the period.  Instead of a safe tie at the end of the period and momentum building, the Jackets had to start all over again and work hard just to obtain a tie.

Rick Nash finally cashed in on another scoring chance for the Jackets’ third goal, but that one should have been the winner.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

The game did have a lot of positives and I was content to get the loser point.  The team showed that it may be turning the corner and played strong hockey throughout the contest.  Nothing funny from either team in this game, an unusual observation to make when these two play in Nashville.  Jordan Tootoo was quiet but effective in 10:55 minutes of ice time, with one point and no penalties.  The usual suspects got the goals for Nashville; Erat, Arnott, with Arnott and Sullivan also getting shootout goals.  Some of the usual suspects scored for Columbus, too.  Rick Nash had a nice breakaway, Raffi Torres had another power play goal, and the newly emerging Kris Russell had a goal and assist.  It would be nice to see Umberger and Vermette score some goals, but they seem to have gone cold lately.  Kristian Huselius had two assists and nearly had a goal himself, but Samuel Pahlson had the best opportunity, a short, clear breakaway in OT.

The Jackets need to have more players scoring.  If they are to improve upon last season, Voracek and Derek Brassard should both hit the twenty goal mark.  Umberger should be near thirty and Kris Russell needs to have forty to fifty points.  Same from Tyutin.  And then you have Chimera, Stralman, and Dorsett.  Shouldn’t those three be good for 150 points?  The team has shown that keeping the puck out of their own net is going to be tougher this season.  So how about working on some offense?