Thursday, November 18, 2010

Game 16/Los Angeles: My Take (The 'Columbus Sucks' edition)

The Columbus Blue Jackets opened their West Coast "murderer's row" road trip with a little bloodletting of their own to dish out, defeating the (until last night) NHL Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Kings, 5-3, at Staples Center.  The loss was notable in that it was LA's first loss on home ice this season, and Columbus raised their road record to a gaudy 5-1.

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....]



Thanks, Skraut, for the find!




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?

5 comments:

  1. Nice post DBJ. It'll come. All the pundits got burned last year picking the CBJ to make the playoffs, and we tanked it. Still somewhat fearful of tankage, but I kind of get the impression that Arniel won't stand for it. Good work on the breakdowns of where we need to be. Keep up the good work.
    gallos

    ReplyDelete
  2. Unfortunately, the CBJ "suck" because as soon as the media starts paying attention to us, we blow it and lose big. I'm not saying it's fair, but that's the way it is.
    I did some quick research and we are currently on exact pace of last year's Phoenix Coyotes, the 4 seed in the Western Conference. I don't mean to suggest that it will be the same number of points for the 4 seed, or that we'll be able to match the amazing run in March the 'Yotes had last year. But I do think it's a fair estimate of our playoff chances if we can keep relative pace with last year's 4 seed (and third best record) in the west.
    The road success gives a lot of hope though considering we have 5 road trips of three games or more (and only 2 home stands of three or more, c'mon scheduling gods!) and ultimately, being able to win on the road is a stronger trait of a successful hockey team. As long as he finds a cure for the power play, I have all the faith in the world in Arniel right now and can't wait until I have the time and money to get to a game this season.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a REAL B*TCH to suck this bad. I hope the rest of the league continues to feel that way, all the way to the post-season. As far as the power-play, remember, Moreau is due back soon. THEN we'll see how bad the man-advantage REALLY is. It's going to be a Roller-coaster until Everybody starts to give everything every night, but the result last night was a PLEASANT surprise. Still not sold that Mase is back, just hoping the "softies" don't come at the wrong time. And, the more I see and hear of S.Arniel, the better I like him as the leader of this team. He may not have all the answers, but he seems to know where to look or who to ask when he doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Jackets are never featured on NHL.com and ESPN because they're not "flashy" enough, and hence, they're not profitable. For example, NHL.com has had the Sidney Crosby Reebok videos in its headlines for days... Crosby playing around with a new stick got more attention than the Jackets' wins over St. Louis and L.A. combined. It's stupid. It's frustrating. But that's the way it is.

    Aside from Nash, we don't have the highlight reel superstars the media obsesses over. We have the heart-and-soul, grind-it-out, 110% guys like Umberger and Vermette. But you know what? That's totally fine with me.

    I swear... if I ever see a Jackets player come close to an embarrassing Ovechkin-style goal celebration, I'm never watching another game. Screw that crap -- give me 60 minutes of hard-played, fundamentally-sound hockey. If I wanted to watch some prima donna celebrate a score, I'd watch the NFL.

    Media-rants aside, go Jackets! It's been very nice to see them play hard and win some games. Keep it up, boys!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, the lack of attention is very odd. I mean, we haven't lost 2 straight yet; and we're 6-1 on the road! What do we have to do, win the Stanley Cup?
    ...
    Sounds like a godd**n plan!

    ReplyDelete