A Milli Vanilli song is oddly appropriate for the Jackets showing as masquerading as an NHL team against the Flyers on Saturday. Since there is a bit of frustration from the Blue Jackets fans via social networking sites during this horrible start to the season, I have noticed that everyone has their own person to blame. Mason, Aaron Johnson, Nash, and of course Scott Arniel are among the more mentioned names. So I decided earlier today to review the NHL’s highlights of each goal the Blue Jackets have surrendered so far this season and attempting to find a direct reason for these goals.
There are several things worth noting in advance, call it a disclaimer if you will: Many of these file under the ‘Eye of the Beer Holder’ category. What I discern from watching the clips will not take into effect the nuances of Arniel’s system (which I do not know in any detail whatsoever) and the lack of playing any organized ice hockey in my life may cause my pinpointing of fault or blame to be inadvertently incorrect. Anytime I shared blame with more than one player half points where given. I am nothing more than a lifelong hockey fan who continues to learn on a daily basis.
Some of the results and trends of this late afternoon/early evening research showed several things. One, in regards to Steve Mason, I found him to be at fault for a total of 8 of the 44 goals (EN goals and SO arent counted) he given up. The most intriguing aspect is early on in the first 5 or 6 games of the season Mason was very much a victim or poor play in front of him. In recent games his percentage of goals he was at least partially responsible for began to increase which feels like a total level of team confidence issues as the losses began to pile up. The only game I feel Mason had a large responsibility in the team’s loss was the 4-1 loss to the Leafs where two goals were directly on Mason. Many point to Mason’s glove as his primary weakness. I think that I would work on his side to side on cross slot passes and trying to do his part in the cross crease passes as well, they get thru too easily and I feel he can help interrupt more of these.
Oddly I have York only at fault for one of his 6 goals against. The 5-2 loss to the Black Hawks were by far the worst performance from the men in front of the goalie…outside of the Flyers game. Oddly enough out of 9 goals the Flyers scored on Saturday, only 1 I could fault on any goalie in any shape or form, that one being Voracek’s goal at the end of the first period.
The PK needs a massive overhaul in my opinion. It is so passive and flat footed it is of no surprise how easily it can be broken. Also I cant count the times I got frustrated watching a defenseman leave the front of the net all alone leaving goal scorers all alone while they chase someone in the corner.
So here is what I came up with statistically. A reminder that split blame gave each offending player .5 blame and that there are a total 50 regulation goals with empty net goals excluded. Some goals were assigned no blame due to lucky bounces or whatnot. The goalies are out of their goals with a percentage of fault as well.
Mason – 8/44 – 18.1%
York – 1/6 – 16.6%
.5 Goals of Fault – Methot, Moore, Bass
1.0 Goals of Fault – Johansen, Atkinson, Calvert, Dorsett, Savard, Carter, Pahlsson
1.5 Goals of Fault – Umberger
2.0 Goals of Fault – Vermette, Martinek, Nash, Johnson, Prospal
3.5 Goals of Fault – Tyutin, Clitsome, Russell
I dont have any of the notes I made during the research as it would have made a very long post. But if you want to inquire about any specific games or goals for my rationale please feel free to ask in the comments section and I will be more than glad to share. Also if you wish to view these goals against and come up with your own conclusions to compare to these results as well. I look forward to the various opinions.