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Down On The Farm: Springfield Falcons

So far through 7 games, the CBJ haven’t been too impressive.  But at Springfield, the Blue Jackets Top Minor League affiliate, it’s a completely different story.  The Falcons are 5-0 in the first 5 games of the young season, and they are playing really well.  They’re averaging 3.6 goals a game, while giving up only 2.  I know, a HUGE difference between Springfield and the Big club.  The good news is that some of these guys have either played for the CBJ already this year, or will get their shot to play for the Jackets at some point this year.  Everyone always talks about how deep our system is, so lets take a look at the stats:

Goalies:
Through 5 games, 2 different goalies have played, they are of course 5-0.  Mike McKenna and Jeremy Smith have been in net for the Falcons.  Mike McKenna has a bit of NHL experience, mostly with the Lighting.  While Jeremy Smith is still young, and this being his first year with Springfield.  I highly doubt either one of these 2 ever see Columbus, but so far these 2 guys have been stout in net, giving up only 2 goals a game.

Forwards:
Of the forwards on the roster, 5 have NHL experience, 4 of those playing already this season for the CBJ.  The leading goal scorers for the Falcons are Michael Chaput, Daryl Boyce, Jake Hansen and Lukas Sedlak.  All with 2 goals scored.  Chaput, Jonathan Marchessault (JAM), Andrew Joudrey and Dalton Smith are leading the way in assists, again all with 2 helpers a piece.  Michael Chaput is the leading point getter amongst the forwards.  He was traded from Philadelphia in 2011.  Chaput is Big Center who can move the puck, and he should be a little more mature, since he’s 21 years old.  I do see him making the big club this year, especially if the Jackets don’t get moving.  Jarmo may want to give this team a spark.

Defensemen:
On the defense, its a bit different.  The leading goal scorer, assist leader and overall points leader goes to Tim Erixon.  Erixon was sent down to Springfield and immediately made an impact for the Falcons.  Erixon, acquired in the deal with the Rangers that sent Nash to New York, has been up and down a few times from Columbus to Springfield in the last 2 seasons.  So far through 4 games, Erixon has 2 Goals, and 9 total points, and is 3rd in the AHL in points.  He also leads the team with a +5 rating.  No other D-Man seems to be making a difference for the Falcons.  Frederic St Denis and Cody Goloubef have 3 assists each, but other than that, there is nothing going on with the blue liners.  Which is kind of scary, since that seems to be an issue in Columbus right now, Poor Defensive Play!

Everything seems to be going well in Springfield.  GM Chris MacFarland and Company have the Falcons flying high right now.  Lets hope that continues.  The AHL is a very competitive league, and its one of those deals where, you want the team to do well, but you also want the guys to be able to come up to the big club and get some time too.  If anything for Columbus, Springfield needs to be a confidence builder.  There are only a few guys that Jarmo can send down, and even fewer to bring up.  For example Tim Erixon, the CBJ sent him down after just a few games in Columbus.  And what does he do?  He puts up 9 points in 5 games.  Not saying that if they brought him back up, he would contribute like that, but a little bit of confidence goes a long way.  I’ve always liked Minor league sports, it’s very competitive, and the guys are passionate about playing.  They are usually happy to even get the shot, and know that they are oh so close to playing in the NHL.  Usually they take nothing for granted and leave everything on the ice, and THAT is what I love about sports.

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