Saturday, January 2, 2010

10 Thoughts about Game 43: Colorado

1. The Columbus Blue Jackets 'welcomed' the Colorado Avalanche to Nationwide Arena tonight, played hard and lost on a Colorado goal with less than a minute left.  Final score was 3-2.

1a. The loss (with no "loser point") puts the Jackets at 15-19-9 (39 points).  They've lost 20 of their last 23, if my review of the schedule is correct.  Without tonight's games having ended, the CBJ are 12 points out of the final playoff spot.

1b.  Here are the highlights:

2. Permit the non-CBJ rant for a little while.  Fox Sports Ohio and DirecTV have this coming.  I'm mighty ticked at both of them right now.

2a. My DirecTV menu suggests that I was going to be able to watch the game in high-definition tonight.

2b. When I went to that channel, all I got was the DirecTV logo and tinny music.

2c. I checked around, and I found that viewers on WOW and AT&T couldn't watch the game in HD either.

2d. It wasn't unanimous, though...a viewer in Boston was watching the Fox Sports Ohio HD feed on Center Ice on Comcast.  UGH.

2e. This is not the only time this season that it's happened.  Why can't Fox Sports Ohio and DirecTV get their respective acts together?

3. My interaction with DirecTV deserves its own Thought.

3a. First, I Tweeted @DirecTV and let them know that they might want to turn the HD feed on.  Of course, no response.

3b.  Then, I called DirecTV technical support and suggested the same.

3c. The tech then proceeded to conduct a full diagnostic of my satellite dish and box.  DURING THE GAME.

3d. I think I saw more setup menus than actual hockey game during the 1st period.

3e. I also was made to reboot my satellite box.  This is a 7-10 minute procedure.  During which I CAN'T WATCH THE GAME.

3f. The tech gives up and suggests that they will escalate the matter to a senior tech.  I am told not to expect anything tonight.

3g. I ask if I might receive a phone call from this mysterious senior tech.  I was told not to expect anything, but to check back in on the HD channel to see if anything happens.

3h. The tech then has the gall to ask me if I need anything else.  I suggest that my howling seven-month-old is bawling because he doesn't like watching hockey through wax paper when it should be in HD.

4. Oh, yeah, they played a game.  Goals by Huselius and Brassard.  I presume that Huselius has been trying (if only to get Hitch off his back), but I gather that Brassard has been sweating his personal slump.  Regardless, kudos to both for getting off the schneid.

5. Steve Mason really played a pretty good game.  If memory serves correct, it seems like he was only out of position wrong on one goal.  And he turned aside 34 shots, some of them in outstanding fashion.

5a. I am a firm believer in "Win and You're In," but I won't blame Mason for the loss.  In fact, Mason kept the team in the game.  Still, he should sit.  While he was good, he wasn't good enough.  If he was, we would win.

6. The Russell and Jurcina pairing is awesome.  The stay-at-home goliath and the fast-skating waterbug.  Please, Hitch, don't mess with this pairing.

7. Chris Clark is slowly coming on, both on the ice and off.  On the ice, he seems to be holding his own with the Pahlsson-Modin line.  Off the ice, I hear (I think somewhere on Twitter) that Nash noted that Clark's starting to pipe up in the locker room.  Then, after the game, he apparently said that the CBJ need to stick with the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  Good on him.

7a.  I would so hate to be in his situation.  He's brought in essentially to be a vocal "playing coach" in the locker room.  So everyone's probably got half an eye on him, wondering when he's gonna start lecturing.  And he's still thinking, "A week ago, I was captain of the best team in the Eastern Conference."

8. Jared Boll had a sweet fight tonight, one that deserves two bloody fists up:

8a. Shame that the fight resulted in an injury to Boll.  That was compounded by an (unrelated) injury to Picard.

9. The Dispatch's Aaron Portzline made mention of the "CBJ Boom Jackets" in a Tweet tonight.  I like the term, but I want to see the team win a few before tossing the flashy labels around.  The "Boom Jackets" identity is a worthy aspiration, though, and it fits with the Hitch system - even making Hitch hockey sound "cool" or "fun".

10. At least there's an honorable way to deal with this historically large slump.  Try at your own risk.

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