Despite that, the Columbus Blue Jackets kind of suck.
They suck because the go into other teams' arenas and defeat them. Often. Sometimes soundly, sometimes not. But the win is two points either way.
They suck because their talented young goaltender stopped 33 of 36 shots, some of the saves coming in the most incredible fashion:
They suck because they hung around the high-flying Kings all night long, never getting too far behind or too far ahead...until the end of the game, when the Rick Nash empty netter sealed the deal. This strategy is fully acceptable for most teams in the league, but it doesn't fly in Columbus because Columbus sucks.
They suck because their defense essentially bottled up superstars Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty. Brown and Doughty's nights were notable because they had an even plus/minus. Kopitar was a -3 on the evening.
They suck because their marquee player, after being bottled up for much of the game himself, took matters into his own hands (albeit with a brilliant pass from Derick Brassard) and won the game with the last two goals. That's what $7.8 million cap hit players are expected to do, you know...take games into their own hands and win them. But don't let that distract you from the brilliance of his first goal, though:
The L.A. announcer incorrectly said, "You gotta respect the Blue Jackets." He is patently wrong because Columbus sucks, remember?
Columbus sucks so bad that NHL.com didn't bother to put anything regarding the game on the front page. Never mind that the last team to be undefeated at home is now defeated.
They can't even figure out a way to lose two games in a row. They're trying, really, but they suck at that, too.
Gosh, they suck. With 20 points over 16 games played, they're 5 points out of first place in the division and conference with between one and five (five!!) games in hand.
Yeah, NHL. Columbus sucks. You just keep thinking that they suck.
Because the best thing you can do is think that you can take a night off because you're playing the Columbus Blue Jackets. All the CBJ will do is come into your house, track mud onto the carpet, empty your fridge, eat your chips, turn on all the lights...and send your fans home unhappy.
That's what the Columbus Blue Jackets do this year. Because they suck.
[UPDATE: The Kings themselves pick up on this theme in their postgame interviews...especially at 1:10 of this clip..oh wait, errr...ummm....]
Also, we've completed the second eight-game stretch of games...so let's review the numbers and see how the CBJ are looking.
- Edmonton: Win
- at Colorado: Loss
- Montreal: Win
- at Atlanta: Win
- Minnesota: Loss
- St. Louis: Win
- Colorado: Loss
- at Los Angeles: Win
The funny thing is, it doesn't matter HOW you win or HOW you lose when you're looking only at the standings (When looking at the home attendance figures, however, it's a different story...). Blowout wins are the same as shootout wins. Blowout losses are the same as last-second heartbreakers.
The fact remains: The Columbus Blue Jackets accumulated five wins and three losses over the past eight games. That makes for 10 points, which is more than acceptable to keep the CBJ on a playoff pace for the season.
Remember, they need to hit 9 points in 4 of the 8-game stretches and 10 in the other 6 to hit my projected playoff qualifying level of 96 points. They've managed to knock down 2 of the 6 required 10-point swings and have yet to put up a 9-point number.
This is shaping up to be a really interesting season, don't you think?