Merry Christmas Blue Jacket Fans!
Everyone has a list of things they want for Christmas. It may be on paper, in a word document, in your mind, or online, but everyone has one and the Blue Jackets are no different. Christmas could not have come at a more perfect time for the Blue Jackets as they are coming off their worst game of the season and possibly the worst loss in franchise history. Well lets hope Santa is good to the Blue Jackets and gives them everything they want for 2011.
Here are the top ten things that should have been on the Blue Jackets Christmas list:
10) Be moved to the Eastern Conference – It is no secret that the Western Conference is a tougher conference. The Blue Jackets are only 500 against the Western Conference teams and are 5-2 against the East. Not to mention that they are in the most competitive division in the West. Imagine how things might be different if they were in the East.
9) Increase in attendance – Is it too much to ask for more people to attend the games? The price is right and the quality of play on most nights is pretty good. Cheap Entertainment…what more do you want? Players notice the empty seats and the noise level even if they won’t admit to it. Show your Blue Jacket Spirit!
Score the first goal in every game - The Blue Jackets are ranked 3rd in the league when scoring the first goal with a 13-2 record. They are also 11-1 when they go into the first intermission with the lead.
7) Just One goal from Nikita Filatov before the season ends - Is he the real deal? The Jackest can’t afford to have their first round pick (6th overall) in 2008 be a bust. I know that he is still young at 20 years of age but he needs to start showing some positive signs that he is going to be a great player for this organization. Is just one goal too much to ask?
6) Consistent play from their youthful players - Kris Russell, Anton Stralman, and Derick Brassard are three of the top young stars on the team. They all show glimpses of incredible skill and then return to average or sometimes below average performances. The Blue Jackets need them to start contributing on a regular basis.
5) More Scoring- Rick Nash and RJ Umberger are the only two Blue Jackets with 10 or more goals. Even the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs have four players with more than 10 goals. They need more players to contribute on the scoresheet on a nightly basis. The Blue Jackets are ranked 22nd in scoring and that isn’t good enough to make the playoffs.
4) Rick Nash to play like a top 15 player in the league – Nash is considered one of the elite players in the NHL but sits at 55th in the league in points. He has only scored in 12 of the 33 games he has played in this season. The good news is that the team is 10-1-1 when Nash does score a goal and the bad news is that he is not scoring consistently enough.
3) More veteran leadership - The Blue Jackets could use a player like Mark Reechi. The man has 19 points and demonstrates excellent leadership. He goes about his business every night, playing hard and setting a positive example. He will drop the gloves or trash talk his opponents if he sees that his team needs a lift. The Jackets could use a veteran who knows what it takes to win.
2) An improved powerplay- Everybody knows that games are won and lost on the powerplay. At the end of the season if the Jackets are sitting on the outside looking in on the playoffs, it may be the missed opportunities on the powerplay that cost them. They are 29th in the league on the powerplay with a horrible 11.8% success rate.
1) Consistent goaltending- Neither Steve Mason or Mathieu Garon have been able to play well on a consistent basis. Mason hasn’t been able to string more than 2-3 games together where he has played above average. Garon has played out of his league on some nights and then is quickly brought back down to reality when we realize that he is just a solid NHL backup goalie. They have to have better goaltending from Steve Mason if they are going to make a run at the playoffs.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year. Cheers to the Blue Jackets and lets hope that they get everything they want for 2011.
Go Blue Jackets Go!
About the Author
Written by Jason Wagensveld