Archive for the ‘Steve Mason’ Category

Hockey Orphan: Bethany of Bethany’s Hockey Rants on the Columbus Blue Jackets

April 5, 2009
Click on the logo for all the Hockey Orphan entries.

(Big thanks to Bethany from Bethany’s Hockey Rants at Kuklas Korner. Her blog is easily one of the go-to sources for Blue Jackets news and rumors, while KK is one of the best blog networks in all of the hockey blogosphere. Thanks, Beth!)

So you need a team eh? Well, there really is only one choice for you, but you have to jump on the wagon fast.

Reasons to love the CBJ.

Ken Hitchcock. The man is one of the best coaches in the league. He has given the Columbus Blue Jackets an identity along with the help of Scott Howson. They are picking up the pieces that Doug MacLean ruined, and building a winner.

Rick Nash. He’s one of the best players in the National Hockey League. After former captain Adam Foote forced his way out of Columbus, Nash took over and has grown into his role as Captain. He’s still young and growing with the team.

Steve Mason. One of very few things that Doug MacLean did right. He’s carried this team on his back most of the season, and the best news is, he’s only 20.

The youth. This team is packed with young talent. Derick Brassard, Jake Voracek, Nikita Filatov, and Steve Mason. The future is bright in Columbus, and it can only get better.

Ryan Salmons. The Blue Jackets signed a terminally ill cancer patient to a contract, it’s stories like this that make the world go around.

Tickets aren’t that much! One of the best things about the CBJ is they have a cheap tickets available. I am a big fan of their student tickets.

Mike Commodore, after seeing him in his skivvies, how could you not love the CBJ? The guy has a personality, and he lets it show.

They’re making history, cheering a team that hasn’t been around for a long time means you get to watch them make history. It’s amazing to watch.

Reasons that being a fan may be the death of you.

The goalie-go-round. The Jackets never seem to have that number one guy, you think you have him in and then he turns out to be a bit of a band-aid and you have to trade him off. (I’m not bitter about Pascal Leclaire at all) Hopefully Steve Mason has stopped that.

You really never know what you’re going to get. This team can play amazing hockey, but then, they let you down, and forget to show up to a game or two.

Our power play sucks. The Jackets have players who can score, but it seems like when they have the man advantage it’s a no win situation.

We’ve never made the playoffs. Doug MacLean ruined this organization and it’s going to take a while for Scott Howson to fix what he broke. Although the Jackets have made significant strides this season, they still have a lot of room to grow, and tons of steps to get to where the organization wants to be … seeing Rick Nash raise the Stanley Cup. 🙂

Off the top of my head: some players who aren’t getting enough buzz

March 10, 2009

There are a few players who are putting together seasons that deserve more attention. Are they really “underrated”? That’s not really the issue at hand. Let’s take a look at some of the players we should be hearing more about. Players who get very little breathless praise outside of their markets.

Zach Parise
Why he deserves more attention: tied for fourth in the NHL with 78 points; second behind Alex Ovechkin with 38 goals; +25 with 6 GWG; His contract is a steal with only a $3.125 cap hit through the 2010-11 season.

A couple of months ago, I discussed the best contracts in the Pacific division for Battle of California. There were some pretty big names with some cap-friendly contracts: Marc Edouard Vlasic, Dustin Brown, Ryan Getzlaf and others garnered a lot of votes. But Parise might give the Devils the best deal in the league.

Pekka Rinne
Why he deserves more attention: His numbers are really impressive: a 22-11-1 record; 2.27 GAA, 92.1 save percentage and 6 shutouts. He’s also 6 foot 5.

While Steve Mason gets most of the Calder trophy attention, Pekka Rinne is putting up similar numbers with very little fanfare. Sure, he dipped his foot in the NHL pool before (2 games in 2005-06 and 1 game in 2007-08) but he’s not exactly Chris Weinke out there.

Loui Eriksson

Why he deserves more attention:He’s not quite “near-elite” but he’s developing into an elite goal scorer with a shot at a 40 goal season (currently at 32 goals cored). He’s also only 23 years old.

Eriksson quietly hit the 30-goal mark this season. He’s just a natural goal scorer and should hover around 30 as long as he has centers like Brad Richards playing with him. Another Dallas Stars unsung hero is James Neal, who is having a splendid rookie season with 21 goals already.


Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list. Just a few guys who are better than their lack of publicity would suggest. What are some of your “unsung heroes” in the NHL?