Consistency and a BOB update
Consistency. It is the mark of great teams. Those that struggle with it, or better stated are inconsistent or consistently bad, find themselves at the bottom of the standings.
Outcomes. Unless your view is that their consistency is in losing. Of their 6 wins, only 3 were in regulation. All wins were by a single goal. When they lose, the inconsistency come out spectacularly. Eight losses are in regulation while they have managed a loser point in three games. Six of their eight regulation losses have been by multiple goals. Only 2 were one goal games. In two of the three OT losses they had a lead, including a 2-goal lead over STL and a third period lead over CHI.
Effort. Night-in-night-out the effort or compete level is erratic. They did have a 6-game-stretch where they played one-goal games and secured at least a point (October 12 - October 24). Sometimes Bjork is all over the ice some times I wonder if he was even in the line up. Milano provides a jolt of energy, then he spends an entire period on the bench or steps on a puck. Korpi goes from swallowing everything to having pucks dance off his pads and wildly swinging his stick. The team takes too-many-men penalties too often.
Korpi. While I don't believe he is the problem and will be good in net this season he is getting frustrated. I'm not sure if it is with his play or with the play of the team in front of him. He has been good enough for Columbus to win. However, if you look at just Sv% on a game-by-game basis he is very streaky. The first two games he was way under .900 then had 5 games where he was over .900. The next three dipped below that .900 mark with one of them as low as .667. Then back over .920 and most recently .889 at COL. Doesn't give the team a lot of confidence if their backstop has wild swings in Sv%
Scoring. I'm going to beat this drum until they get over the hump and score more than 4 goals in a game. After this weekend the CBJ now have a league-worst 40 goals for. They are 28th in the NHL with a -18 goal differential.
Finishing Games. When the CBJ have a lead (not all that often this season) they tend to find themselves tied or behind at some point in every game. Usually late. When the other team makes a push the Blue Jackets have been consistently bad at holding leads.
Catching Passes Cleanly. I have wanted to make a point about this all season, but have abstained. It has become quite clear that some of the scoring woes may be a direct result of not handling the puck cleanly. This is not the most obvious thing to a casual hockey fan. But watch for it in the next game. Count the number of times a pass is off the mark and causes a player to break their forward motion wither by circling back or having to stop. Also, watch when the CBJ forwards catch (or attempt to) catch a pass. Do they do it clean or does it hop or jump off their stick. These things happen consistently to the Blue Jackets and rarely to their opponents. Not sure what the problem is but the bobbles allow the defenders to recover and goalie to square up the shots.
I did this earlier in the season when Bob's numbers were not great and FLA was struggling a bit. Now that the Panthers have found their groove a little I will delve into Bob's stats once again.
Games: 14 (13 starts)
Goals against and save percentage numbers don't look great. Those numbers are the worst of his career but, only 17 games in he has time to turn that around. In 13 starts he has produced 16 points. The name of the game is winning, and as CBJ fans we understand that struggle.
Is he worth the $10M? As the Panthers climb the standings that answer becomes closer to 'Yes'. Currently FLA is in playoff position with 21 points and only 4 points behind division-leading BOS.
Tomorrow the Union Blue face off against MTL on the road. This will be no easy task, however a W would end the road trip successfully with 4 of 6 points. The Jackets next skate in front of the home crowd on Friday when the Stanley Cup Champs come to town.
Good Luck and Go Jackets.