We do have the stats on that.

As it does usually, curiosity gets the better of me when it comes to hockey statistics. Now that the Columbus Blue Jackets are more than halfway through their season, I wanted to take a look at what the top producers’ numbers might look like on April 13, when all is said and done, and how that compares to past production. To do so, I took each player’s numbers, divided them by his number of games played (stat/gm pace), then multiplied it by 34 – the number of games remaining before tonight’s match-up against Los Angeles. This is obviously a huge plate of assumptions – assuming nobody who is cold gets hot, nobody who is hot struggles, and that [knock on wood] nobody takes a hit from the injury bug. I’ll undoubtedly be wrong, but it’ll be fun to see how they finish the year versus mid-season form. If you would like to look at the whole team, check out my spreadsheet on Google Docs.

Ryan Johansen

Player GP G A P PP SH S
Ryan Johansen 48 18 18 36 4 0 131
Projected 82 31 31 62 7 0 224

Nobody has to tell you this guy is way off his prior pace, but he’s 21 and he’s going in the right direction, so we’re obviously down with this. I’ve already talked about that. If Johansen does indeed finish with 31 goals or better, he will be only the third player in franchise history to do so. Geoff Sanderson and Rick Nash are the others. (But you already knew that.) 62 points would also be the most by one player since 2011.

Brandon Dubinsky

Player GP G A P PP SH S
Brandon Dubinsky 42 10 22 32 3 2 108
 Projected 76 18 40 58 5 4 195

When Dubinsky, Anisimov, et al came over from New York, I had said that if we got two twenty-goal scorers in exchange for one streaky 30-40 goal scorer, I would take it. Let’s pretend last year never happened. Dubinsky is on pace for eighteen goals. His career high is 24, but let’s look at the point total – his career high is 54, but averaged in the forties. He’s having a career year, and I’d guarantee much of that has to do with the electrifying chemistry he creates with Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert. We’ll take it.

James Wisniewski

Player GP G A P PP SH S
James Wisniewski 41 4 24 28 1 0 90
 Projected 75 7 44 51 2 0 165

When Wisniewski came over to the Blue Jackets in the summer of 2011, I wasn’t sure what to think at first. They paid him an extraordinary amount of money, but the kind you need to bring in talent when you’ve got little by way of bragging rights. I did some nerdy stat breakdowns at the time and declared it a deal. He hasn’t come anywhere close to his career high of 51 points in 2011 that earned him the deal, but — oh, look at that — he’s on pace for exactly that amount. He’s topped his first full-season point total with Columbus, and appears to be continuing upward. We can only hope for good health. Right now, he’s figuring fifteenth among defensemen in points. Good news for #21.

Cam Atkinson

Player GP G A P PP SH S
Cam Atkinson 48 15 12 27 2 1 135
Projected 82 26 21 46 3 2 231

Cam Atkinson has yet to play a full season in the NHL – this will be his first – so its hard to compare his numbers versus the past. However, in both of his first two (partial) seasons, he averaged around 0.51 PPG. This season he’s upped that to 0.56 PPG. That isn’t a huge difference, but it shows Atkinson can be counted on to be consistent. Likely, these numbers are helped by a pretty hot last five games, but even streaky players even out over time.

Nick Foligno

Player GP G A P PP SH S
Nick Foligno 42 12 14 26 2 0 70
 Projected 76 22 25 47 4 0 127

Foligno has played 438 NHL games, but has never surpassed twenty goals in a season, despite also putting up 47 points in 2011-12, just before moving over to Columbus. Steady, Foligno has been, in his parts of seven seasons, and he’s every bit on pace to continue that.

RJ Umberger

Player GP G A P PP SH S
RJ Umberger 48 11 13 24 5 0 84
Projected 82 19 22 41 9 0 144

Before I say anything, let me remind you that Umberger is third on the Columbus Blue Jackets in cap hit, behind Marian Gaborik and Nathan Horton. He makes more than every single player ahead of him on this list. Up until 2011, Umberger was putting upwards of 50 ponts on the board every year, with one year just below that. Since then, Umberger has been on a steady decline: 40 in 77 games in 2011-12 (0.52), 18 in 48 games in 2012-13 (0.375). This year he’s returned to 0.50, but he’s still well below the 0.67 clip that earned him his deal. Prognosis: not good enough. (Side Note: five minutes after I wrote this, he scored a goal.)

Artem Anisimov

Player GP G A P PP SH S
Artem Anisimov 48 12 10 22 1 1 88
Projected 82 21 17 38 2 2 150

For most of the beginning of this season, it felt a bit like Anisimov was skating lost and accomplishing nothing. Anisimov plays a two-way game, counted on for his defensive game, but he’s got hands like buttah and we know know he can snipe when he wants to. Even in his best year with the Rangers, Anisimov only put up 18 goals. He’s on pace for just over twenty, and his second-highest point total. It’s believable that Anisimov is hiding more in his arsenal, but the positive takeaway is that he’s not actually getting worse.

 

 

Johansenblog

Please raise your hand if, in June 2010 you were fully prepared to hear Scott Howson say the name Ryan Johansen when he rose to the podium to call the Columbus Blue Jackets’ fourth-overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. Now put your hands down, you liars. At the time, Johansen was rising among the ranks of North American skaters, but was still relatively unknown at 6’2” and 190-ish pounds and coming out of Portland in the Western Hockey League. He was projected somewhere in the top twenty, but Scott Howson took a chance on a kid he believed in.

Let’s face it; Howson and MacLean’s track records with first round draft picks had been infamously bad. When Jarmo Kekalainen took over for Howson last season, one of his first moves was to trade two other former first-rounders (Derick Brassard, John Moore) to New York in the Marian Gaborik move, which left Johansen as the oldest Columbus-drafted first rounder in the organization.

Nobody honestly knew what to expect from the surprise pick. The fanbase collectively got its first authentic taste of Johansen’s capabilities at the 2011 World Junior tournament in Buffalo where he represented Canada on what might be Canada’s largest stage for their up-and-comers. Johansen produced nine points in seven games in what turned out to be a heartbreaker for Team Canada after giving up five unanswered goals to Russia in the third frame to take home the silver medal. Still, we all had seen Ryan Johansen on the amateur big stage and we liked what we saw: he had a big body and he had relentless effort.

But it didn’t transfer to Columbus right away. After a second year with Portland (and 92 points in 63 games, and another 28 in 21 playoff games), Johansen became a full-time NHL player and produced 21 points in 67 games (0.31 PPG). However, after a hot first six weeks, Johansen struggled to produce consistently. Nevertheless, he represented Columbus as a rookie at the All-Star Weekend in Ottawa.

After spending the lockout with Springfield of the AHL (33 points in 40 games), Johansen returned to Columbus to play another forty games and was only able to produce another twelve points (0.3 PPG). Johansen had yet to reach that higher gear that he had shown he was capable of playing in. At the end of the shortened 2013 season, he returned to Springfield for their postseason run. It was then that the red flags began to rise. Falcons head coach Brad Larsen told the Columbus Dispatch that Johansen wasn’t fully invested and was holding him accountable for such by scratching him from the AHL lineup.

Trouble in paradise? Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: a Columbus draft pick who expects a cakewalk, refuses to hustle, ultimately dissolves off the radar completely. This couldn’t be happening again, could it?

When he showed up to camp in September 2013, Johansen was standing an inch taller and an astounding 222 pounds, much bigger and stronger than when he very first arrived in Columbus in 2010. The signs of promise were there – unbelievable bouts of explosive offensive pressure and complete use of his gift of size – but would it be sustained?

One third of the way into this 2013-14 season, Ryan Johansen has taken over as the club’s point- and goal-leader (10-10-20 – a 0.71 PPG pace). He also throws more shots toward the net (77) than most of his teammates. He stands fourth on the team in power play average time on ice (2:37) and is even averaging a minute per game on the penalty kill. His 53.0% faceoff win percentage is not quite the club’s best, but he has taken 464 of them this season – around 25% more than Artem Anisimov. He’s learned to do the little things and with that, the offense has come.

The Blue Jackets are depending on Ryan Johansen more often and in more situations than ever before. And so far, he has responded astoundingly well. Johansen is showing more frequent flashes of being the player the club anticipated when they passed on a handful of players to take a chance on him. He has shown that he is willing and that he is capable of reaching that highest gear, and this season could be the turning point in the budding career of the young forward. And he’s only 21.

It’s that time again, my friends, when I make my pick for who gets the honor of wining and dining me (hypothetically, anyway) for the next week. Boyfriends Prospal & Russell are still very much enjoying decent seasons so far (forget about Ottawa), but we must move on. Life is short!

With a less than great but hardly horrible week staring me in the face, but a surprising amount of goals and individual performances, picking this week was actually a little more fun and less of a process of elimination. With his first professional goal (a game-winner, to boot) and a couple of assists in the last three games, and despite Scott Arniel hot-gluing (hot glue works best for heavy things) him to the bench against Buffalo, I’m going to give this week’s honors to…

Awwwww.

RYAN JOHANSEN!

In just the last week alone, Ryan has stepped up his game ten fold. Against Detroit, in the team’s big win, Ryan was flying and looked much more composed than most of his  more experienced teammates. Who knows how long RyJo will stick around Columbus from here on out as he’s up to seven games, but mad props to the rook for taking a huge step in his progress over the last handful of games. Please, Mr. Howson, don’t take my boyfriend away!