Every now and then, Pro Hockey Talk will ask for insight from some of the best team bloggers out there. For this feature, we asked a simple question: “Who is your team’s most frustrating player?” Just for fun, I decided to throw my guess in the hat, too.
First, here is my guess for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Steve Mason – After winning the Calder Trophy and even threatening for the Vezina last season, Mason was absolutely rancid this season. Since I can’t say Nikolai Zherdev or Nikita Filatov, Mason it is.
For the Columbus perspective, I asked the guys at SBN blog The Cannon. Make sure to give them a look as the team tries to find its identity.
Frustration-a feeling that all fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets are familiar with. Since the team’s inaugural season in 2000/2001, there have been a handful of Jacket players who have absolutely drove the fans (not to mention the coaches and management) nuts. We’re talking about current players here, so we’ll forget about the maddening couple of seasons watching Nikolai Zherdev tantalize us with his skill, only to do one-too-many moves and turn the puck over, or show a complete lack of interest on the ice.
At this point we’ll look at another Russian as the biggest source of frustration. Fedor Tyutin is the Jackets’ most complete blueliner; he has offensive talent and can dish out the occasional big hit. He is currently second in points by a defenseman behind power play quarterback Anton Stralman. He was an Olympian this past February as well.
The issue however, arises when Tyutin is in possession of the puck. His passes are not always crisp, and he is guilty of turning the puck over precisely when he shouldn’t. He doesn’t give the puck away as often as some of his teammates; in fact he’s seventh in that respect, and third among defensemen. The issue with Tyutin’s turnovers isn’t the quantity however, it’s the quality. He’s the guy making cross-crease passes in the defensive zone. His breakout passes on the power play have sometimes been five or more feet behind the intended recipient, which of course leads to partial or full breakaways against.
The timing of Tyutin’s turnovers is what leads to the high level of frustration; I have to admit though the frustration pales in comparison to previous headaches like the aforementioned Nik Zherdev. I’ll take the occasional Tyutin brain fart over the Princess from Kiev any day.