The excitement/emotion of the visceral experience of watching the game in person probably makes last night's Toronto loss hurt even worse. I was so excited to FINALLY get to see the boys live! And while I've always "liked" (in a casual, positive-neutral kind of way) the Leafs, I was satisfied that they hadn't improved that much since adding Phil Kessel, that the Jackets were going to have too much trouble with them. Especially considering that the Jackets really did look pretty good in Chicago only two nights earlier. The adrenalin was pumping.
And then the morning newspaper. Look, I'm not hating the Dispatch for reporting what they saw. I saw it, too. It still doesn't hurt any less, though, when you see the following teaser above the front-page masthead:
"Now in goal for the Jackets..." Mathieu Garon, left, replaces Steve Mason in 6-3 loss, [page] C1
(It's arguable that pulling the goalie AGAIN was the main thrust of the game, however. I'd suggest that Light The Lamp's Twitter post reference to the keystone cops was.)
Tom Reed reminds us that after demolishing the Eastern Conference with a 13-3-2 record last year, the Jackets are currently 3-4-1 against what was the weaker brethren. Damn, this hurts. If we can't beat up on the run 'n' gun patsies of the East, where are the Jackets' treasure trove of playoff-qualifying points going to come from?
Fedor Tyutin said it best last night: "We have to get this fixed before it's too late." Fine, we're all agreed that it needs to get fixed. I think everyone in the locker room has been quoted in saying the same thing to some extent. But over a quarter of the season is gone. The clock is ticking.
When are you guys going to start fixing it?
The Avalanche, led by disgraced former CBJ captain Adam Foote, are coming to town tomorrow night. I only shudder at what the Jackets will look like then. It should be a monumental beat-down against the franchise's Judas, their Benedict Arnold. But do the Jackets have it in them when they can't put away the worst team in the Northeast Division?
[Photos from Yahoo NHL - and that wasn't stock footage, all shots were taken last night.]