On Dubi, the punch, and Captaincy

Last night fellow CBJ blogger Lindsay “@zinzwCBJ” Wilson wrote a post raising the idea that the sucker punch Brandon Dubinsky threw on Anton Volchenkov in the game against the Devils was evidence of his being unfit to wear the captain’s C for the Blue Jackets.

From the post:

In my opinion, this was a stupid thing for Dubinsky to do.  He was hit cleanly and should not have retaliated with the intensity that he did.  I can understand a shove or a  punch, but this was uncalled for.  The way that he put Volchenkov in a headlock was very dangerous.  What if he had twisted his neck and severely injured him?  Dubinsky also continued to punch Volchenkov in the head while he was on the ice.  This reminds me of when Phil Kessel tried to chop John Scott down like a tree with his stick.  It could severely injure someone and is very unsportsmanlike.

I actually agreed with a lot of what was said here. The hit was a very clean hit and well timed. Dubinsky probably shouldn’t have punched him while he was laying on the ice and I actually wondered if he might not get a call from Brendan Shanahan in the morning. Initially the optics of it looked bad but the more I thought about it,  it was a gloved punch to a helmeted player that was never going to do much damage. I don’t think that there was an intent to injure like I believe there was with Phil Kessel. Where my biggest disagreement comes from is with the closing lines of her post:

A captain does not do these things.  A captain represents the team and that is not the way the Columbus Blue Jackets should be represented.

The NHL has a very long history of captains, including some of the game’s best, doing stupid things. Here are a few examples of NHL captains making dirty plays or losing their cool in a game:

It’s no secret that the two leading contenders for captain of the Blue Jackets are Dubinsky and Jack Johnson. Even JJ has had his questionable moments:

My point is hockey players do dumb things sometimes. Even some of the best captains in the game have their moments of weakness. Should that preclude a player from becoming a captain? No, I don’t think it should.

In fact I think it may actually point the other direction. Dubinsky clearly over-reacted to that one hit. But what about the others? What about the cross check Dubinsky took scoring his goal or the slew foot Jagr pulled on Jack Johnson? The Devils were playing a very physical game and up to that point the Jackets had mostly let it happen. The kind of hit Volchenkov laid on Dubinsky is the kind that can fire a team up and give them a burst of energy. It can tell the opposing team that “we can do whatever we want to these guys and they’re not going to take it.”

But that’s not what happened. In one action Dubinsky took back all of the momentum the other team might have gained and sent a message to both the Devils, the Jackets and anyone else watching that if you’re going to try to push us around you better be ready for us to push back. Some would call that leading by example. Even if it means having to step over a line to do it.

One punch makes a player unfit to be a captain? Wonder what Dubi might say to that;)

First 10% of the season statstravaganza

Now that we’re 8 games into the 2013-14 NHL season or just about 10%, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the stats we’ve accumulated in that first 10% of the season.

Note: the core numbers from these stats are coming from extraskater.com though I’ve done some additional calculations in some areas. I’ve taken a particular interest in shooting % stats as so many of these will be focused around shot attempts.

Team Stats

Note: most of these stats are based on 5 on 5 close numbers. Why score close? From the Extra Skater glossary:

Score close refers to game situations where the score is either tied, or within one goal in the first or second periods. This does a pretty good job of removing score effects from stats (i.e. the effect of a team going into a defensive shell or going all-out to score a goal) and has proven to be a better predictor of future results than using all game situations.

10PercentStats

Corsi

For those unaware, Corsi is a total of all goals, shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots for a team/player. In a small sample Corsi is considered to be the best indication of puck possession which also has the best correlation to wins. Teams that possess the puck more and fire more shots typically win more games. (Full chart)

CBJ Corsi for: 215
CBJ Corsi against: 231
CBJ Corsi %: 48.2%
CBJ Corsi % rank: 19th

Fenwick

Fenwick is like Corsi but it does not include blocked shots. Over the course of a full season Fenwick is a better meter of puck possession than Corsi. A high number of blocked shots in a game or two can be the result of going against a defensive system that emphasizes shot blocking. In contrast, a large number of blocked shots over a season could be an indication of poor shot selection.

CBJ Fenwick for: 161
CBJ Fenwick against: 176
CBJ Fenwick %: 47.8%
CBJ Fenwick % rank: 19th

Notes on Corsi/Fenwick numbers:

Don’t be too concerned with the CBJ getting out-shot-attempted so far this season. Our 5v5 Close Corsi is only -16 and our Fenwick is -15. Going into the Vancouver those numbers were -1 and -9. Vancouver is a very good puck possession team (5th in Corsi% and 9th in Fenwick%). Despite that we still came out with the win. Of the Jackets recent opponents, Boston (4th), Vancouver (5th) and Montreal (10th) are all in the top 10 in Corsi %.

Shooting %:

CBJ % of shot attempts on goal: 57.21% (9th in NHL)
CBJ % of shot attempts blocked: 25.12% (11th in NHL)
CBJ % of shot attempts missed: 17.67% (4th in NHL)

In stark contract of the numbers I tweeted out after 4 games, the CBJ have greatly upped their % of shots on goal through the first 8 games. After 4 games the Jackets lead the league in % of shots that were blocked with over 30% and ranked in the bottom 3rd of % of shots on goal. Todd Richards’ push to go to the net to generate chances appears to be working.

As far as defensive shot blocking goes, the Jackets rank 17th in blocked shots per game with 6.88/gm and 22nd in % of shots they block at 23.81%.

Individual Stats

Faceoff Leaders:

Player FOW FOL FO%
Derek MacKenzie 32 26 55.20%
Ryan Johansen 76 65 53.90%
Artem Anisimov 44 42 51.20%
Brandon Dubinsky 61 61 50.00%
Mark Letestu 25 29 46.30%

Shooting %

Player Shot
Attempts
Shots on
Goal
Goals Missed Blocked SoG% Sh% ShA% BS% MS% ShDst
Nick Foligno 8 8 2 0 0 100.00% 25.00% 25.00% 0.00% 0.00% 26.4 ft.
RJ Umberger 33 24 1 5 4 72.73% 4.17% 3.03% 12.12% 15.15% 23.4 ft.
Boone Jenner 19 13 2 1 5 68.42% 15.38% 10.53% 26.32% 5.26% 27.4 ft.
Mark Letestu 19 13 1 0 6 68.42% 7.69% 5.26% 31.58% 0.00% 45.2 ft.
Cam Atkinson 44 30 2 7 7 68.18% 6.67% 4.55% 15.91% 15.91% 27.6 ft.
Ryan Johansen 36 23 2 8 5 63.89% 8.70% 5.56% 13.89% 22.22% 35.9 ft.
Marian Gaborik 38 23 3 9 6 60.53% 13.04% 7.89% 15.79% 23.68% 27.5 ft.
Derek MacKenzie 10 6 0 1 3 60.00% 0.00% 0.00% 30.00% 10.00% 28.4 ft.
James Wisniewski 31 18 0 6 7 58.06% 0.00% 0.00% 22.58% 19.35% 52.8 ft.
David Savard 16 9 0 1 6 56.25% 0.00% 0.00% 37.50% 6.25% 47.8 ft.
Brandon Dubinsky 39 21 1 5 13 53.85% 4.76% 2.56% 33.33% 12.82% 25.5 ft.
Artem Anisimov 27 14 2 7 6 51.85% 14.29% 7.41% 22.22% 25.93% 20.2 ft.
Jack Johnson 36 18 2 7 11 50.00% 11.11% 5.56% 30.56% 19.44% 43.0 ft.
Dalton Prout 7 3 0 1 3 42.86% 0.00% 0.00% 42.86% 14.29% 61.3 ft.
Fedor Tyutin 12 5 0 4 3 41.67% 0.00% 0.00% 25.00% 33.33% 44.6 ft.
Blake Comeau 29 12 0 5 12 41.38% 0.00% 0.00% 41.38% 17.24% 36.5 ft.
Jared Boll 5 2 0 2 1 40.00% 0.00% 0.00% 20.00% 40.00% 28.0 ft.
Nikita Nikitin 23 7 0 5 11 30.43% 0.00% 0.00% 47.83% 21.74% 56.1 ft.
Ryan Murray 6 1 0 2 3 16.67% 0.00% 0.00% 50.00% 33.33% 54.7 ft.

So far Foligno leads the team in shot attempts on goal at 100% though he’s only fired 8 shots so far.

Murray leads all players and the defense in % of shot attempts blocked at 50% (3 of 6) though Nikitin is right behind him at 47.83% (11/23) with a much larger sample size. Of the forwards, Comeau tops the leaderboard at 41.38% of attempts blocked (12/29).

Only Foligno and Letestu have yet to miss a shot while Murray and Tyutin lead the defense with 33% shot attempts going wide and Anisimov and Gaborik lead the forwards with 25.93% and 23.68% respectively.

Cam Atkinson leads all players with 44 shot attempts though Dubinsky (39), Gaborik (38), Johansen (36) and Johnson (36) are right behind him. Should be noted that Gaborik would probably lead this category if he played all 8 games.

Primary Points

Player GP  G  A  P  A1  A2  P1
Marian Gaborik 7 3 5 8 3 2 6
Ryan Johansen 8 2 3 5 3 0 5
Cam Atkinson 8 2 2 4 2 0 4
RJ Umberger 8 1 3 4 2 1 3
Artem Anisimov 8 2 2 4 1 1 3

Another stat I find interesting is “Primary Points” meaning goals or primary assists. The chart above shows who is leading that race so far.

Wiz currently leads the team in secondary assists with 3 (0-4-4 on the season so far).

Individual Corsi/Fenwick stats:

Minimum of 4 games played, 5v5 close, top 5 CF%:

Player  CF  CA  CF%
Cam Atkinson 70 55 56.00%
Nick Foligno 48 40 54.50%
Ryan Johansen 64 54 54.20%
Marian Gaborik 67 58 53.60%
Nikita Nikitin 62 54 53.40%

Bottom 5:

Player  CF  CA  CF%
Mark Letestu 36 66 35.30%
Boone Jenner 44 63 41.10%
Fedor Tyutin 36 47 43.40%
Blake Comeau 51 62 45.10%
Derek MacKenzie 32 39 45.10%

The biggest shocker to me through looking at all of these statistics is that Mark Letestu is a -30 in 5v5 close Corsi through just 8 games played.

Minimum of 4 games played, 5v5 close, top 5 FF%:

Player  FF  FA  FF%
Ryan Johansen 54 39 58.10%
Cam Atkinson 55 42 56.70%
Nick Foligno 38 30 55.90%
RJ Umberger 49 42 53.80%
Nikita Nikitin 42 38 52.50%

Bottom 5:

Player  FF  FA  FF%
Mark Letestu 26 55 32.10%
Boone Jenner 29 52 35.80%
Fedor Tyutin 28 41 40.60%
Derek MacKenzie 23 33 41.10%
Jared Boll 12 17 41.40%

I was really surprised to see RJ have such a high showing in the CF/FF% categories, especially after the Vancouver game where he was a team worst -10 in 5v5 Close Corsi and tied with Letestu for team worst -5 in Fenwick.

#OffTopic – #CBJ Fan NFL Survival and Pick’Em Leagues

I’m putting this here so I have a place people can go to get all the details in one place.

If you’re interested in joining either the #CBJ Fan Survival (pick one winner each week, can’t pick the same team twice, lose once and you’re done) or Pick’Em (pick the winners of every game every week, person who picks the most correct wins) the details for each is below:

To join click: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/pickem/register/joingroup and put in the following info:
Group ID: 40258
Password: Bobrovsky
For your pick name please include your @ twitter handle somewhere

Actual group URL: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/pickem/40258

To join click: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/survival/register/joingroup and put in the following info:
Group ID: 18361
Password: Bobrovsky
For your pick name please include your @ twitter handle somewhere

Actual group URL: http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/survival/18361

Quick Looks: #CBJ players on entry level contracts and their remaining waiver exemption status

Last week I sent out a few tweets on the remaining waiver exemption status of three of our players on entry level contracts. I wanted to expand on that list a little more and explain how the waiver exemption works.

Through a couple Google searches I was able to find this blog post from “McSorleys Stick” explaining how waiver exemption works for NHL players. Basically the gist of it is all players (regardless of one-way or two-way contract status) have a set number of games they are allowed to play in the NHL while still being allowed to be sent down to the AHL without having to clear waivers. That number of games is determined by the age the player was in the year that he signed the contract.

For example, even if a player signs their ELC at age 18, if they turn 19 that same year it is considered as having been signed at age 19.

From McSorley’s Stick:

In general:

  • The rules are different for goalies and skaters (i.e. goalies compared to skaters) who sign at ages 18-22.
  • Goalies who sign at 18-22 get an extra year of exemption, compared to skaters.
  • Goalies who sign at 18-22 get fewer games played of exemption, compared to skaters.
  • The rules are the same for goalies and skaters who sign at age 23+.

Some definitions:

  • For skaters, “games” means games dressed.
  • For goalies, “games” means games played (i.e. games in which the goalie actually played in the game).
  • “NHL Games” includes regular season and playoff games.
  • A “year” of exemption means a playing season.
  • A player’s age is defined as the age he will be on his birthday in that calendar year. For example, if a player signs his first contract in May, and in June he turns 19, he is considered to be 19 “when he signed.”

Here’s the accompanying chart:

Goalies Skaters
Age Years Games Years Games
18 6 80 5 160
19 5 80 4 160
20 4 80 3 160
21 4 60 3 80
22 4 60 3 70
23 3 60 3 60
24 2 60 2 60
25+ 1 1

So for example if a player signs his ELC in the year that he turns 19 there’s either 4 year or 160 NHL game threshold that he must reach before having to go on waivers to play in the AHL. Goalies get an extra year as they often take longer to develop.

However, because of the lockout some of these numbers were pro-rated in the new CBA (page 349) for players who played in games in the lockout shortened season. The modified chart for those players looks like this:

Goalies Skaters
Age Years Games Years Games
18 6 74 5 147
19 5 73 4 143
20 4 72 3 138
21 4 54 3 69
22 4 54 3 60
23 3 52 3 52
24 2 48 2 48
25+ 1 1

Here’s a look at where some of the players stand with their current waiver exemption status:

Ryan Johansen
2013 age: 21 (July 31)
Contract signed age: 18
Waiver exemption status: Exempt
Games remaining: 40
Seasons remaining: 1

“Joey” only has 1 year left on his waiver exempt status and has played in 107 of his 147 (prorated from 160) allotment. According to the chart(s), he should have an extra year of exemption left but upon looking at the special case rules in the latest CBA there’s the following clause:

For purposes of Regular Waivers, the five (5) year exemption for an 18 year old skater and the four (4) year exemption for a 19 year old skater shall both be reduced to three (3) years commencing the first season that the 18 or 19 year old skater plays in eleven (11) NHL  Games or more. The next two (2) seasons, regardless of whether the skater plays any NHL Games in either season, shall count as the second and third years toward satisfying the exemption.

Translated? Because Joey played 67 games in the 2011-12 season (his ‘age 19′ season) the number of years he can be waiver exempt drops to a maximum of 3 years starting with his first pro year of 2011-12. This means that regardless of how many games are played (even if he played zero NHL games in 2012-13 or 2013-14) the 2013-14 season will be the last in which he can be sent to the AHL without going on waivers. I find it highly unlikely that Joey will be here for less than 40 games this season so I would expect to see him lose his waiver exemption status long before the start of the 2014-15 season.

Tim Erixon
2013 age: 22 (Feb 24)
Contract signed age: 20
Waiver exemption status: Exempt
Games remaining: 89
Seasons remaining: 1

Timmy’s max number of NHL games he can play in is set as 147 (prorated from 160). In the past 2 seasons he’s played in 59 NHL games (18 w/NYR, 31 w/CBJ). This drops his number of remaining games to 89. Regardless of how many NHL games he plays this year this will be the 3rd pro season of his maximum of 3 so following this season he will no longer be exempt.

Dalton Prout
2013 age: 23
Contract signed age: 21
Waiver exemption status: Exempt
Games remaining: 36
Seasons remaining: 1

Because Prout signed his contract the year he turned 21 he has a maximum of 69 (prorated from 80) professional games he can play before he must clear waivers. Prout played 5 games in 2011-12 and 28 in 2012-13 for a total of 33. This is the final year of Prout’s exemption so regardless of number of games played he would no longer be exempt following this coming season.

Ryan Murray
2013 age: 20 (Sept 27)
Contract signed age: 19
Waiver exemption status: Exempt
Games remaining: 160
Seasons remaining: 4

Because Murray didn’t play any games in 2012-13 he is not subject to the prorated maximum number of games and has his full slate of 160 games available to him. Because he signed at age 19 he has 4 years of exemption and cannot fall subject to the rule that reduced Johansen’s years to a maximum of 3.

Ilari Melart
2013 age: 24 (Feb 11)
Contract signed age: 24
Waiver exemption status: Exempt
Games remaining: 60
Seasons remaining: 2

Because Melart did not play any professional games prior to/during the 2012-13 season he does not get prorated maximum number of games. Signing at age 24 gives him 2 year and 60 professional  games limit. Should he play in less than 60 total games this season (AHL/NHL combined) we can sign him to another contract next year at which point he could still be assigned to Springfield without clearing waivers until that 60 game limit is reached. Another interesting tidbit I learned is that the term “one-way” and “two-way” contract has nothing to do with a player’s ability to be sent to the AHL without clearing waivers. It simply refers to if they have one tier of pay or two. Melart could play 40 NHL/AHL games this season, be signed to a one-way contract in the off-season and still be sent down to the AHL without clearing waivers next season (until he hits that 60 games, that is).

2013 NHL Entry Draft – #CBJ first round options

As is tradition here at HashtagCBJ, instead of actually working on my own mock draft I decided to take the work other people did and compile it into one list and call it crowd sourcing! Really, though, I don’t have nearly enough free time to look at all the available prospects and try to decide who we might take so I’ve scoured the web for mock drafts and put together a list of 31 different drafts. I noted who each mock draft had the #CBJ taking at picks 14, 19 and 27 and decided to compile them into a list of the top selections for each pick:

Continue reading ‘2013 NHL Entry Draft – #CBJ first round options’ »

Vezina Winner Comparables – How big of a raise should Sergei Bobrovsky get?

I was listening to the #CBJ Sunday Morning Skate radio show this past weekend with special guest host, John Davidson, when something he said caught my attention. JD was discussing the ongoing contract negotiations with Bobrovsky’s agent and mentioned that his agent would be flying in for face to face meetings this week. JD mentioned that during the meetings they were going to take a look at comparable players to try and come up with a fair number.

Out of curiosity I decided to take a look and see what exactly the effect of winning a Vezina can have on an NHL goaltender’s salary. I only went back as far as the most recent lockout/start of the salary cap era.

Player Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary
Miikka Kiprusoff 2005-06 29 42-20-11 2.07 0.923 $2,900,000
Martin Brodeur 2006-07 35 48-23-7 2.18 0.922 $5,200,000
Martin Brodeur 2007-08 36 44-27-6 2.17 0.920 $5,200,000
Tim Thomas 2008-09 35 36-11-7 2.10 0.933 $1,100,000
Ryan Miller 2009-10 29 41-18-8 2.22 0.929 $6,250,000
Tim Thomas 2010-11 37 35-11-9 2.00 0.938 $6,000,000
Henrik Lundqvist 2011-12 30 39-18-5 1.97 0.930 $6,875,000
Sergei Bobrovsky 2012-13 24 21-11-6 2.00 0.932 $900,000

The first things that jumped out at me at just the winner’s list is:

  • Bob is the lowest paid Vezina winner since the last lockout
  • He’s also the youngest by 5 years
  • Only Henrik Lundqvist in 2011-12 had a lower GAA than Bob’s in 2012-13 (Tim Thomas matched Bob’s number in 2010-11)
  • Only Tim Thomas in 2008-09 and 2010-11 had a better SV% than Bob did in his trophy year.

After looking at the winners list I wanted to take a look at the actual stats of each goaltender for a few years before and after they won. Bold = the year they won the Vezina. “New Contract” means that they started a new contract this year.

Miikka Kiprusoff – Calgary Flames

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2003-04 27 24-10-4 1.69 0.933 $880,000
2004-05 28 –Lockout–
2005-06 29 42-20-11 2.07 0.923 $2,900,000 New Contract
2006-07 30 40-24-9 2.46 0.917 $3,500,000
2007-08 31 39-26-10 2.69 0.906 $3,600,000
2008-09 32 45-24-5 2.84 0.903 $8,500,000 New Contract

Martin Brodeur – New Jersey Devils

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2004-05 33 –Lockout–
2005-06 34 43-23-7 2.57 0.911 $5,237,238
2006-07 35 48-23-7 2.18 0.922 $5,200,000 New Contract
2007-08 36 44-27-6 2.17 0.920 $5,200,000  
2008-09 37 31-19-9 2.41 0.916 $5,200,000
2009-10 38 45-25-6 2.24 0.916 $5,200,000

Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2005-06 32 12-13-10 2.77 0.917 $450,000
2006-07 33 30-29-4 3.13 0.905 $1,200,000 New Contract
2007-08 34 28-19-6 2.44 0.921 $1,000,000
2008-09 35 36-11-7 2.10 0.933 $1,100,000  
2009-10 36 17-18-8 2.56 0.915 $6,000,000 New Contract
2010-11 37 35-11-9 2.00 0.938 $6,000,000  
2011-12 38 35-19-1 2.36 0.920 $5,000,000

Ryan Miller – Buffalo Sabres

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2006-07 26 40-16-6 2.73 0.911 $2,000,000
2007-08 27 36-27-10 2.64 0.906 $2,500,000
2008-09 28 34-18-6 2.53 0.918 $3,500,000
2009-10 29 41-18-8 2.22 0.929 $6,250,000 New Contract
2010-11 30 34-22-8 2.59 0.916 $6,250,000
2011-12 31 31-21-7 2.54 0.916 $6,250,000
2012-13 32 17-17-5 2.81 0.915 $6,250,000

Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2007-08 26 37-24-10 2.23 0.912 $4,250,000
2008-09 27 38-25-7 2.43 0.916 $7,750,000 New Contract
2009-10 28 35-27-10 2.38 0.921 $6,875,000
2010-11 29 36-27-5 2.28 0.923 $7,750,000
2011-12 30 39-18-5 1.97 0.930 $6,875,000  
2012-13 31 24-16-3 2.05 0.926 $6,875,000

Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets

Year Age Record GAA SV% Salary Contract
2010-11 22 28-13-8 2.59 0.915 $900,000 New Contract
2011-12 23 14-10-2 3.02 0.899 $900,000
2012-13 24 21-11-6 2.00 0.932 $900,000  

 

More interesting things I found while looking at these numbers:

  • Only Tim Thomas won the Vezina in the last year of a contract. And when he did his pay went up by nearly 500% ($1.1M to #6M)
  • Miikka Kiprusoff, Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller all won the Vezina in their first year after getting a new contract… talk about justifying the cost…
  • Only Kiprusoff and Thomas have gotten new contracts after winning a Vezina, Kiprusoff’s wasn’t until 3 years later but his actual salary went from $3.6M to $8.5M.

Some Non-Vezina Winner Comparables

Player Age 2012-13 Record GAA SV% 2012-13 Salary Contract Status
Tuukka Rask 25 19-10-5 2.20 0.929 $3,500,000 RFA (1 year deal)
Cory Schneider 26 17-9-4 2.11 0.927 $3,500,000 2 yrs remaining (UFA)
James Reimer 24 19-8-5 2.46 0.924 $1,600,000 1 yr remaining (RFA)
Jonathan Bernier 24 9-3-1 1.88 0.922 $1,525,000 RFA
Devan Dubnyk 26 14-16-6 2.57 0.921 $3,250,000 1 yr remaining (UFA)
Ben Bishop 26 11-9-1 2.67 0.920 $650,000 Just signed 2yr deal, $2.3M AAV
Braden Holtby 23 23-12-1 2.58 0.920 $1,700,000 Just signed 2yr deal, $1.85M AAV

I pulled up a list of the top performing goaltenders of 2012-13 and picked out the ones that were the closest to Bobrovsky in age.

  • Stats-wise he’s most comparable to Cory Schneider who is only 2 years older but earned $3.5M in salary in 2012-13.
  • From this list, only Ben Bishop made less than Bobrovsky in 2012-13.
  • One of the more interesting cases is Tuukka Rask who is only 1 year older than Bobrovsky and is due for a contract extension this season while currently up 2 games to 1 in the Stanley Cup Final. I would expect to see Rask walk away with at least a $6M/yr deal after the playoffs are over.
  • Every goaltender on this list either had their contract expire, has 1-2 years left, or just signed a 2 year deal. No one is signed to a long term deal.

Some conclusions/predictions

Based on all of the factors laid out above it’s clear that there is definitely a “Vezina bump” when it comes to signing a new contract. Additionally, young goaltenders that haven’t proven themselves to be able to perform consistently year to year don’t seem get long-term deals. Because Bobrovsky has 3 more years of restricted free agency left, I would expect to see the #CBJ push to sign him to a 2 year deal. I think earning comparable money to Rask & Schneider is certainly fair and when you factor in the “Vezina bump” I would expect to see the contract to be somewhere in the range of $4.25-5M/yr. Tim Thomas went from $1.1M to $6M, but he was a UFA at the time and it was his second straight season of putting up good numbers. I don’t think Bob will get quite so large of a bump. By signing him to a 2 year deal it will allow the Blue Jackets to hold onto his rights as he will still be an RFA at the end of his new contract.

Prediction: 2 year deal, $4.25M year 1, $4.75M year 2.

Did Henrik Sedin intentionally spear Sergei Bobrovsky in the eye?

With less than a minute remaining in the game against the Canucks on Tuesday, Henrik Sedin was camped out in front of Sergei Bobrovsky waiting for a pass/rebound. As the Jackets gained possession of the puck and looked to move it out of the zone, Sedin managed to get his stick up and into/through the mask of Sergei Bobrovsky, hitting him directly in the right eye. After viewing the play on several replays it began to look like, and speculation started to spread, that Henrik might have done it intentionally/maliciously.

I was surprised to see there was almost no fuss about the play today and no videos of the incident on YouTube so I decided to put one together. The full video of the incident is below:

The question is… did he do it on purpose? At the time I was fairly confident a player of his skill level couldn’t have done that accidentally if he tried.

But one of the replays may have changed my mind.

Here are several GIFs of the incident: Continue reading ‘Did Henrik Sedin intentionally spear Sergei Bobrovsky in the eye?’ »

#CBJ Fan Survey – Mid-season edition – The Results!

I finally closed the latest #CBJ Fan Survey survey today and found the results to be very interesting. This was the first survey I’ve done that took place during the season and while games were ongoing. It was pretty neat to see how the results changed as the Jackets won back to back games versus Detroit. Because of the way the on-ice results were skewing the results I’ve decided that on the questions that saw a significant day to day change in opinion I would show you the total results and the results by day. The questions that have results broke up by day are the results for just that day, not cumulative. The combined totals are in the first pie chart under each question.

The results!

Continue reading ‘#CBJ Fan Survey – Mid-season edition – The Results!’ »

“Tempered” excitement… have we seen this before?

The Blue Jackets are 5-0-2 in their last 7 games and have as many points (12) as they did in the previous 19 games combined…

Remember when Jackets, teetering on the brink of playoff contention elimination, rode on the backs of strong goaltending and opportunistic play by guys like Matt Calvert? When they increased their odds of making the playoffs by an order of magnitude in the double digits? When they went on a tear through the NHL that included a 3-0 shutout win over the Detroit Red Wings?

I of course speak of January & February of the 2010-11 season. Following a loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Jackets were looking at a pretty bleak 2.52% chance of making the playoffs. Steve Mason began playing out of his mind in net, posting two shutouts and 7 games of .925+ save %. By the time their run would end, the Jackets playoff chances had climbed all the way up to 29.24%. A win the next day against the Nashville Predators would have improved their chances of making the playoffs to over 40%.

Instead this happened:

Up 2-1 in the 3rd period against Nashville, a goal that was clearly fished “out” of the net could not be determined to have gone “in” the net (yay logic!). What would have put the Jackets up 3-1 instead left the game 2-1 and the Predators would end up scoring twice in the 3rd period to win the game (including a goal in the last 2 minutes, yay Scott Arniel prevent defense hockey!). The playoff chance would drop 10 points down to 19% and never recover. The Jackets went on to lose 7 straight after posting a 11-3-3 record during their run. In all they would only win 3 more games the rest of the season, closing out with a 3-12-7 record including the loss to Nashville. Calvert’s offense dried up and Mason’s save % seemed to go along with it.

As we stand now, the Jackets are on a 5-0-2 run. Bobrovsky is the netminder that’s putting this team on his back with 0.95, 1.00, 0.97 and 1.00 sv% games in 4 of his last 5 outings. Matt Calvert is back in the NHL and is setting the pace for the rest of the team. 13 days ago the #CBJ % chance to make the playoffs stood at a league low 0.39%. Yes, that’s right, less than half a percent. It now stands at 5.5%. While 5.5% is still low, that’s an improvement of over 14x. The road ahead is dark and full of dangers. To have just a 58.3% chance of getting the 8th seed in the playoffs the Jackets will have to finish the season with a 13-6-3 record. To improve that to 95% they have to go 14-6-2. 6 regulation losses in the next 22 games. That’s quite a tall task.

The one thing I think we have going for us that we lacked in 2010-11 is the guy behind the bench. Todd Richards has yet to lose a game when leading after two periods behind the #CBJ bench. The 2010-11 team seemed to lose all of their momentum after losing that game to Nashville. I think this team is learning how to win, but more importantly they are learning how to respond in the face of adversity. We’ve seen it all season long, games that the Scott Arniel coached teams would have given up, this team is fighting back. The Dallas game was a great example, and in my opinion a real turning point for this team. The Jackets fought back from 4 different 1 goal deficits to tie the game every time. They’d ultimately go on to lose in overtime but the heart they showed in fighting back has set the tone for the current streak they are on.

When I looked ahead at the schedule this past Wednesday and saw our next 5 opponents were: Vancouver -> Detroit -> Detroit -> Vancouver -> Chicago, I said to myself “well, guess we don’t have to worry about losing that lottery pick!”. But in the back of my mind I thought, and even mentioned to a co-worker “… if we can win just 3 of those 5 games … we’re going to open a LOT of eyes” Little did I know we would win the first 3 of those 5.

Is this sustainable? I honestly don’t know. The advanced stats guys keep telling me no. But the LA Kings couldn’t score a goal to save their lives in the regular season last year but somehow managed.

To me the two most important factors that will determine how this team finishes the season are: trades made on or before April 3rd and the fact that 12 of the next 22 games are on the road including a dreaded 6 game road trip to California in the final 7 games of the season. After this upcoming 5 game home-stand, we’re only back in Nationwide Arena for 5 of the final 17 games. Going to be very hard to only lose 6 games.