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Dont look now.......


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  The Columbus Blue Jackets stumbled, fumbled and bumbled out of the gate, losing regularly, Bob looked out of sorts, Horton, the big free agent signing out til the first of the year and the team playing more like the Jackets of old than like the club that scared the hell out of the Wings and Wild until the final day of the season last year.

  They sat at 5-10 on November 7th and all of the excitement of the previous year was gone. By November 30th they were 10-14-3.


Then Bob got healthy and caught fire. And now Horton has rejoined the club and has been as good or even better than advertised.

  Since December 1st the Jackets are now 14-6-1 and have won six in a row.


  The number one player I credit for the jackets turnaround is Ryan Johansson who has developed into the true number one center this team has been desperate for since they joined the league. He takes key faceoffs, leads the team in scoring and has that look on the ice of a veteran leader.

  Brandon Dubinsky has taken a lot of the pressure off Johanson with his mean nasty veteran presence and deserves more than just a passing nod as a key contributor. Kids such as Cam Atkinson (15 goals) and Nick Foligno (26 points and 64 PIMs) also merit mention as players who have helped with the resurgence.

  But it all comes down to Bobrovsky. No player matters more to his team in the game today, save Ovie and perhaps one or two more. When he is off the team is off. When he is hot he picks up the club and carries them on his back for long stretches.

  Right now they are tied with Detroit with 52 points for 8th place. The Wings are an old tired club on the way down, the Jackets are a young hungry club on the way up. If I had to bet the kids college fund on one in and one out this year I would have to take a long hard look at the Jackets. It is crowded in the bottom of the Eastern conference, hell Florida and the Isles seem to think they are still in it. But if Bob continues to carry this club and Horton stays healthy and Johansson continues to show the Jackets faith in him was not misplaced do not be surprised to see them there at the end.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Johanson was THE guy I wanted in the Carter trade.


Amazing they leave him alone and let him play center and he blossomed....go figure.


Flyers need to do the same with Brayden Schenn... so he can progressed like needed.



Here is a good short read about Johansen... :ph34r:


 Johansen followed own path to stardom





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I really think the Bob injury had more to do with their turn around than anything else. He wasn't playing lights or anything, but the team in front of him was playing sloppy with the assumption that Bob would be like last year and just make up for their sloppiness.

But then he went down and the team began to work a little harder on the small stuff in front of an untested unproven backup.

Enough do that it improved them greatly as a group.

When Bob came back, this better team play that had been learned continued. Bob and the goalie had tweaked some things and Bob himself was paying better.

The combination of these things had been rewarded in their record

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  • 9 months later...

Bob got his 100th NHL win last night standing on his head in his return to the lineup. Some outstanding goaltending on display last night versus the Sharks.


Congrats Bob.............................what might have been.

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  There are a lot of medical experts that are claiming that Horton's career may indeed be over due to a crappy back....does not look like he will ever heal properly. At this point, it's about being mobile and pain free just living life with his family. Hockey is secondary now.

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There are a lot of medical experts that are claiming that Horton's career may indeed be over due to a crappy back....does not look like he will ever heal properly. At this point, it's about being mobile and pain free just living life with his family. Hockey is secondary now.

I shook my head when the Jackets signed him, knowing he was going to miss half the year post surgery. Just a wretched decision to sign him for a long term, big money contract. One of the decisions the Jackets have made that has backfired lately. They have gambled, dealing Nash, trading for Gaborik, trading Brassard, trading Gaborik away, trading for Bob and Hartnell. One thing I will say for them they gamble, sometimes it works other times it don't. They are kind of like a fantasy team, they don't let the moss grow on the roster.
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@yave1964   I *really*, *really* like the direction the Blue Jackets are heading. In fact, I'm gonna just go right ahead and predict the Jackets will win the cup in 2017 or 2018....mark it down....jammer2 will be right on this one!!   LOL!


 Just a quick glance let's see the ages of some of the young stars already on the Jackets....



  1)Ryan Johansson.....C....22 years old

  2)Alexander Wenneberg....C....20 years old...

  3)Boone Jenner....LW/C although he's mainly C, taking a lot of faceoffs, and winning the draws to boot!  21 years old.

  4)Cam Atkinson...LW/RW....25 years old.


 The oldest forward is Hartnell at 32 years old....Dubinsky is 28 and Nik Foligno is 27, 2 of the 3 oldest forwards are still in their primes, not declining.


 Great write up on the Blue Jackets to 10 prospects....



  The relative youth of the players above is one thing, but soon the Jackets will be FLOODED with amazing skill and skating from their very, very impressive list of youngsters.....




 1) Wenneberg, by all accounts, this guy is going to be a force to be reckoned with down the middle. He's just getting his feet wet right now, may even be sent down when and if the Jackets ever get healthy.

 2)Oliver Bjorkstrand....impressive Euro winger who is called a can't miss prospect....

 3)Kerby Rychel....most know I'm not high on this kid....but back to back 40 goals in the OHL as a 16 and 17 year old is no fluke. Kid can bury the biscuit. Not sure if he can skate at the NHL level to become a fiesty goal scorere as the projected to be.....we shall see....but still a VERY legit prospect and 1st round pick.

 4)Mike Riley....He just might be the best prospect EVER to come out of Minnesota. A wickedly talented offensive D-man from the Big 10 of the NCAA, he is directly compared to Duncan Kieth. High praise indeed!!

 5)"Bjorkstrand has 81 goals, 172 points and a plus-82 rating in 134 WHL regular-season games, and 24 goals, 52 points and a plus-28 rating in 42 WHL playoff games."   That just about tells you all you need to know about this stud!!  WICKEDLY talented forward!!

 6)Sonny Milano....had a nice world jrs last year and should be playing in this years tourny as well. Great skater, nice shot...ANOTHER center!!   It is becoming very apparent that the glut of centers, in the NHL and on the prospect list will dictate some trades, they simply have WAY to many quality centers....a great problem to have of course.

 7)Marko Dano....yet another top rated center who can skate and score. WHL rights held by Prince George.

 8)Oscar Dansk....this is obviously Bob's team in the nets, but Oscar (if you are to believe the scouts) may just eventually push Bob and squeeze some playing time out of the situation.




 They can literally trade any of these center prospects to fill a need anywhere on the current roster. They are in an EXTREME position of strength moving forward.



 The defense is filled with nice prospects as well.....Ryan Murray is 21 and ready to contribute full time after his unfortunate season ending injury this past year. Tyler Collins is a 19 year old, hulking d-man at 6'5 and 208....when he puts the meat on...watch out. Very physical.

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I LOVE the drafts that the Jackets have had, Rychel, Wennberg and Bjorkstrand are all future studs and not far from being regulars. And fantasy wise, i made a huge mistake taking Staal (two picks in front of you) instead of Johansson. The man is fiery and intense and can flat out play. I don't know about a cup, I think the Jackets would settle for being considered relevant, but hey, it doesn't hurt to dream big.....

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  If anyone is interested, here is the Jacket's top 10 list from 2013. Interesting to see how got forced out due to the numbers games, see who graduated and is performing at the NHL level.....or sometimes traded. I've always liked to go back and cross compare the years....gives you a better historical perspective on the thing as a whole.




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And fantasy wise, i made a huge mistake taking Staal (two picks in front of you) instead of Johansson.


  Bro, I was literally holding my breath when you made that pick!!   My calculations had you being the only one who would consider Johansson at that point in the draft. Once he made it by you, I was confident he would become a Windsor Warrior. My guess was right. I was literally jumping around like a kid at Christmas!!   It's not every day a 100 point center is being handed to you in a keeper setting.....and I believe that is exactly what Ryan is.....a 100 point center!!  The only player with more pure skill and skating in the entire league is Pavel Datsuyk.  He has elite hands, footwork, thought process, this kid literally has it all. On top of all that, terriffic work ethic. As the offensive stars pour into Columbus via the draft, Ryan will get more and more dominant.


  Just like Johnathan Towes, Tavares, Bob and Hall before him....no team will EVER get their mitts on Ryan Johansson again.


  2 years ago, I made a pretty crucial decision, I cut Patrick Kane to keep Taylor Hall. Thing is, I think we have seen the best Kane we will see at this point, but Hall still has tons of untapped potential. Problem is, as the injuries keep mounting, the closer he is going to get to the dreaded "injury prone" label. I'd say if he gets hurt again after this latest trip to the IR....he can safely be labelled "injury prone".


 I envision Hall ending up being a 40 goal and 50 assist type, averaging about 90 pts from 2015 to 2020. At least that's the way I'm seeing it. The fact that Kane has basically had a crappy start to 2014 leads me to believe that I made the right call....at least this far.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Giving this thread a **Bump**


Jackets won again in impressive fashion last night vs. the Washington Capitals.

That marks their 5th win in a row and they are steadily moving up the Metro standings.

During this current run, they have beaten the Panthers (twice), the Lightning, the Flyers, and of course, the Caps last night.

And say what you want about some of those victories, fact remains, they are still wins, and the Jackets PP is a big reason why they got those wins.


Once languishing in last (or near last) in their division, they now sit just 1 point behind Philadelphia and just 3 and 4 points behind the Devils and Rangers respectively.


What does this mean? Means the Jackets are getting healthy (they still have some guys out though...Anisimov and Horton come to mind right away), just got Dubinsky back, and well, frankly, they are starting to resemble the team most thought they would be when the season started.


Other areas of their team game that statistically are awful (goals for, goals against, and the PK), SHOULD see some improvements if Columbus continues their current trends.


They will be tested some more in upcoming games.

Their schedule to round out December and 2014?


VS Pittsburgh

@ Detroit

VS Washington

VS Chicago

VS Nashville

VS Boston

VS Minnesota


Some tough teams in that stretch to finish out the year, but outside of the game in Detroit, they get home cookin all the way.

Teams better look out for these Columbus Blue Jackets....they indeed are firing the cannons and coming for some divisional rivals spots in the standings.

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