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Mac and Slash 1st Quarter Grades

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Macster and Slash have collaborated for a 1st quarter grade card. Hit the comments for any comments or criticisms.


Brassard:
Macâ•˙s Take: A
Brass is not only leading all NHL rookies in scoring, but he is also tops in Jacket scoring. He is not looking out of place on the top line. His move to the top line and Nash's goal-less streak getting snapped is no coincidence.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
This is the only no brainer. The guy has simply delivered. Heâ•˙s the best rookie weâ•˙ve ever had. He is as advertised and looks like the most skilled player on the ice most shifts. This kid will be a star.


Nash:
Macâ•˙s Take: B+

Nasher's grade would be higher if not for the 9 game goal-less streak he suffered through earlier in the season. He's doing everything else right though, winning battles, setting up teammates for goals, and most importantly getting comfortable with the C on his chest.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
Nash has been too inconsistent for me this year to give him an A. He continues to score, but has been snake bitten on breakaways and has looked disoriented at times. Overall you canâ•˙t worry about him because he always seems to even things out.


Huselius:
Macâ•˙s Take: B

Juice came as advertised, an extremely skilled winger who is a great playmaker. He has also showcased an excellent wrist shot.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
Iâ•˙ve been very happy with Juice. He adequately replaces Zherdev, and his wrister has been the reason for most of our PP goals this year.


Chimera:
Macâ•˙s Take: A-

Chimmer is finally coming into his own. He is racking up the points, regardless of linemates. Along with the scoring touch, he's been supplying his trademark energy to the lineup.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
This has been the best start to Chimmerâ•˙s career. Iâ•˙ve felt he could be a 30 goal scorer if he could put it altogether. He may never reach that high, but his consistency has improved. Iâ•˙d like to see more from him on the forecheck.


Umberger:
Macâ•˙s Take: B

RJ got off to a slow start, but has been one of the most consistent scorers for the Jackets of late. His grade would be higher if he would be able to nail down a spot up the middle, the role envisioned for him when the team acquired him at the draft. He is bounced between wing and centre, but is now back at pivot on the second line, hopefully for good.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
I think RJ tried to fit himself into the top line and it hurt his early play. When he got back to his game, he has been much better. Hopefully he learns to play his game and let Hitch fit them in the best spot. I think he and Hitch willed him to the top line, but it was just too much too soon. Iâ•˙d like to see him consistently center the second line.

Modin:
Macâ•˙s Take: B-

Freddy's season started off like it finished last year-with an injury. Since returning to the lineup however, he has been a beast along the boards. His improved play has earned him a promotion to the second line. More goals would be nice.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
I expect a lot more from Freddy. Iâ•˙d love to see him lay a body check, just one. He is effective on the boards, but without a Richards type setup man hasnâ•˙t reach the goal totals from years prior. His veteran experience is valuable, but I want more for my money.


Torres:
Macâ•˙s Take: C+

Raffi was another player who started the season on the injury list. Since returning to the lineup, he has providing energy and physical play, with some memorable bodychecks. He has yet to score a goal as a Jacket however.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
He could easily be lower, but Iâ•˙m giving him the benefit of the doubt on injuries. Some games he has looked really good, others invisible. He needs a goal in the worst way.


Peca:
Macâ•˙s Take: B-

Peca is being his usual self, holding down a checking line centre spot, and adding great defensive play. He has also scored a handful of points.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
Pecs has easily been our best PKer this year. He is reliable for a reasonable price.


Voracek:
Macâ•˙s Take: B

Jake started the season on fire, but his play has tailed off as of late. He was moved down as far as the fourth line, but he will return to the second line in time for the next game. Regardless, for a rookie he has been very impressive.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
If I looked at his numbers right now, he would have met or surpassed my preseason expectations. Now that Iâ•˙ve seen his game, I expect a lot more. His play has been uneven and he is still trying to make some junior passes, they wonâ•˙t work anymore.


Dorsett:
Macâ•˙s Take: B+

Dorsett started the season with the Jackets, nailing down a spot on the fourth line as an energy winger would agitate and drop the mitts. He was briefly sent to Syracuse, not because of his play but simply because he has a non-waiver-eligible contract.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
I really like Dorsett, heâ•˙ll be a fourth line fixture for us for a long time. He actually has some hockey and puck protection skills.


Malhotra:
Macâ•˙s Take: C+

Manny has always been good for around 30 points, but this season his totals are below that pace. He has spent time on both scoring lines, but didn't make much noise. He is back on the fourth line, with faceoffs being his best asset.
Slashâ•˙s Take: D
I really like Manny, I do. I want more. From an energy line player I need more physical play. He is clutch on faceoffs, but if I practiced long enough, I could get clutch of faceoffs too. With Pecs and Brassardâ•˙s skills emerging his importance is diminishing.


Boll:
Macâ•˙s Take: C

Something's not right with Boller. Perhaps it's linguring effects of an early-season injury, maybe the sophomore slump, but Boll doesn't seem to be playing with the edge he had last season as a rookie. I'm hopeful he'll come around. If Dorsett remains on his line, the duo can wreak some havoc. Dorsett agitating and pissing off the other team, and Boller taking care of business with the fists.
Slashâ•˙s Take: D
I found my Jared Boll in the Atlanta game, before then he was MIA. He is usually invisible, and if he is invisible then there is no point to him being in the NHL.

Murray:
Macâ•˙s Take: C+

Murray doesn't do anything particularly well, but he is strong along the boards and is fast for a big man. His play has been inconsistent so far, leading to him being a healthy scratch of late.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
Murray has met my expectations. There was a few stretch of games where I thought he was one of our most effective players, now he is in a numbers game against players with more offensive talent.


Novotny:
Macâ•˙s Take: C

Jiri is Jiri. He doesn't wow you with his play, but he works hard. Like Murray, he has bounced in and out of the lineup.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
I havenâ•˙t seen enough of him this year, so Iâ•˙ll give him a C.

Tyutin:
Macâ•˙s Take: B

Tyuts has been solid, but I was expecting more from him on the PP. I thought he would be the number one PPQB. That hasn't happened so far, but his five-on-five play has been good.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
Iâ•˙ll erase his first 4 games from my memory. Since then I have loved his play. He moves the puck up ice effectively and makes good decisions with the puck.


Klesla:
Macâ•˙s Take: B-

I thought this would be a breakout season for Rusty, but he hasn't performed as expected. I thought playing with Tyutin would boost his offensive production, but that hasn't happened. Now Rusty is on the injured reserve, hopefully when he returns he can start putting up some points. He has been dependable in his own zone when healthy.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
Rusty is a perfect picture of the CBJ franchise to this point. Uneven, untapped potential, that gets a little shaky in crunch time. When Rusty is playing well, he is really really good. The problem is there are too many games he is just okay or injured. He rarely wins or loses games.

Commodore:
Macâ•˙s Take: B

I've seen Commy take some bad penalties, and sometimes his decisions with the puck make me scratch my head, but otherwise he has been a good addition. Nine assists are a nice surprise for the defense-first Commodore.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
I havenâ•˙t been wowed. Iâ•˙m considering the dollars in this grade also. I have been surprised by his offensive numbers. He has settled in recently, but he certainly isnâ•˙t an automatic penalty killer and Iâ•˙ll duck on this, but (in terms of defense he is nowhere near the caliber of Foote; for a similar price).


Hejda:
Macâ•˙s Take: B+

Hejda continued right where he left off last season, being a rock-solid dependable blueliner. He again has the highest +/- of any CBJ defender, and he has even scored his first goal as a Jacket already this season.
Slashâ•˙s Take: B
Be the first person to get a Jan Hejda jersey. Heâ•˙s just a solid reliable player. In my opinion in the new NHL you need more out of a blueliner than just being a defensive beast. I think he has some offensive skill that we just havenâ•˙t seen yet. Iâ•˙d like to see some more.


Methot:
Macâ•˙s Take: A-

Methot has been the biggest surprise on D. In training camp he was battling for one of the 8 available D spots, beating Aaron Rome for the 8th spot. Since then he has skyrocketed to the top pairing with Fedor Tyutin. (The injury to Klesla has helped his ascent). He already has three goals, tops amongst CBJ blueliners.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
He has far surpassed expectations. He is a totally different player from the end of last year. The only problem is we have a ton of guys who either ARE or project to be 4-6 defenders and Iâ•˙m not sure Methot projects higher than that.

Backman:
Macâ•˙s Take: C+

Backman has disappointed me in the sense that I thought he would be putting up points from the back end. I thought he and Tyutin would man the points on the PP, blasting shots through. His play in the defensive zone has been questionable as well. He's a good passer though.
Slashâ•˙s Take: D
Terribly disappointing for me. His role is to get shots through on the PP and do some QBing. I canâ•˙t hate on him any more than I can hate on Sarah Palin for being VP candidate. She didnâ•˙t pick herself. This is probably more of a grade of our crappy PP and heâ•˙s my whipping boy for that.


Tollefsen:
Macâ•˙s Take: B-

Ole has not seen consistent time so far, playing on the bottom pairing while Klesla is out. He has been his usual physical, positionally sound self when in the lineup however.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
Nothing super, nothing outrageously bad. Quality bottom pair minutes.


Leclaire:
Macâ•˙s Take: B-

It's not fair to Pazzy to compare his start from last year to this year, but he hasn't been as sharp thus far. He has been out with injury, but when healthy he hasn't been consistent. He put up a stinker against Edmonton the other day, letting in 7.
Slashâ•˙s Take: C
The Edmonton game lowered this a whole mark for me. I was there and it was the worst Iâ•˙ve ever seen him play. Unless he wants the splinters, heâ•˙ll have to step it up and I know he can.


Norrena:
Macâ•˙s Take: C-

What's happened with Freddy? He was so good for the Jackets two seasons ago, and now he is struggling mightily. He isn't even dressing for games lately, with Mason with the squad. I expect a move in the near future, whether it's a demotion to the minors, or a loan to a Euro team.
Slashâ•˙s Take: F
My only F. Iâ•˙ll never forgive him for the Bill Guerin goal. My god. Heâ•˙s seemed to be an okay teammate during this ordealâ•œ I hope.


Mason:
Macâ•˙s Take: A+

Fellow goalie Norrena gets my lowest ranking, and Mason gets my highest. Nothing was expected of Mase at the NHL level this season, but with Norrena struggling so badly and Pascal suffering an injury, Mase was called up. He has put up a 4-1-1 record, and he looked great in every start. Even when Leclaire got healthy, Mase remained with the team.
Slashâ•˙s Take: A
I have a Mancrush on Steve Mason. Heâ•˙s been very comforting to my goaltending worries. He will push Pazzy.