Every Tuesday, WFNY’s The 5-Hole brings you up to date with the goings-on of the CBJ…
The Week That Was
The Jackets’ prospects opened the prospects’ tournament in Traverse City, Michigan with a shoot-out win over Minnesota on Saturday, but dropped a 5-4 heart-breaker to the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Columbus allowed all five Dallas goals on power-plays—a dismal figure—including the game-winner with 1:10 to go in regulation. Of note were Jakub Voracek and Maxim Mayorov, who combined for three assists on Columbus’s four goals against Dallas. Voracek and Derick Brassard are two rookies being counted on rather heartily to help the team make a run at the playoffs.
As discussed here a few weeks ago, the Stefan Legein Saga was slightly revived this weekend, though at the end of the day nothing really “new” has come to light. The Dispatch reported that his agent (Doug Woods) was at the prospects’ tournament this past weekend, and “has been speaking recently to a member of the Jackets’ organization”. Woods said on Monday morning that he might have an update on Legein that afternoon, but as of this writing nothing new has materialized (Dispatch reporters claimed he had not returned any calls on Monday night). Tom Reed hears that: “Legein, the Jackets’ second-round pick of 2007, is believed to be working in a pizza parlor in the St. Catharines, Ontario area.” Whatever works for ya, pal.
With regard to players who did decide to report to camp this year, Scott Howson has noted that every veteran player is in Columbus, with the exception of center Jiri Novotny. Tom Reed “[finds] it curious a fourth-line center, who’s played only one full NHL season, would be the last to arrive. Especially after the team signed Mike York to a two-way contract.” The 5-Hole whole-heartedly agrees.
Ugh. Not more than four days after arriving in Columbus, it is being reported that #1 pick Nikita Filatov has a hairline fracture in his leg. The team will not confirm the report:
“We’re not commenting, even to say yes or no,” assistant general manager Chris MacFarland said. “We’ll stick with what we said on Friday, that it’s a 10- to 14-day injury, and then he should be ready to go.”
The report is that he was injured last month playing in an exhibition game with his former club in Russia. This would have been before the Blue Jackets found out he was playing and asked him to stop. The injury was discovered during his physical last week upon arrival in Columbus.
Filatov experienced mild pain after skating Wednesday, a day after he arrived in the United States. He is not with the rest of the Blue Jackets prospects for a tournament in Traverse City, Mich., and he could miss the first week of training camp. “He was pretty frustrated when he found out he couldn’t go,” Filatov’s agent, Don Meehan, said. “It sounds like it’s a fairly minor injury. It’s going to be a tough week for him, but he will be ready to go soon enough.”
On a more positive note, winger Raffi Torres took part in a scrimmage on Monday in Columbus. Torres said his surgically-repaired knee was a little sore after the 60-minute non-contact action, but it is still an encouraging sign for him to be out skating with other players.
Some other small injury updates, courtesy of Tom Reed in the Dispatch:
Super-Long Quotes of the Week
“For players stepping into the NHL the first time, it’s an eye-opening experience. Like, they can’t believe it’s this difficult. You’d be a fool to expect them to step right in against the best players in this league and have success. It’s not going to happen. … To me, [Brassard’s] the most changed player in our organization. He’s a guy who now looks like an NHL player, not an American (Hockey) League player trying to make the team. Everything he does, the way he handles himself on the ice, in the weight room, around the veterans, he looks like he belongs here.”
“The worst thing you can do is have a young player fail, because then you’re back on the treadmill of trying to build up their confidence, and that gets tricky. We have to realize, as an organization, that any young player is going to have times when they struggle. And we have to have the right approach with them, whether that be patience or prodding. … The (veterans) have to help them. They have to talk to them — a lot — about what they’re going through and what to expect. And the young players have to be willing to listen. If they don’t listen, they’ll be pushing a boulder up the hill. … If the players are ready, it can work. And we believe [Brassard and Voracek] are ready. They haven’t been rushed, that’s for sure. They’ve been brought along properly, and now the NHL is the next step for them.”
–GM Scott Howson
Both were reflecting on the process of infusing rookies Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek into the every-day lineup this season.
Blue Jackets Calendar: