First of all, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to DBJ for inviting me to join the writing staff. I'm thrilled, honored and excited. This is the first of what is intended to be a weekly stew of ramblings, musings, insights and outsights, with a pinch of genaeral nonsense. It more or less named itself when DBJ asked me if I wanted to come over to "The Dark Side". Here I be.
Most everyone knows by now that the Blue Jackets were finally able to get off the schneid with the overtime win against the Predators, more specifically a seventeen game schneid of winlessness in Music City dating back to 2006. But buried in the joy and elation were a couple of mini-schneids from which we were able to be ejected. Umby broke a nine game goal scoring schneid, not to mention a streak of six games without a point. Jeff Carter registered his first goal as a Blue Jacket, a schneid that lasted 8 games, and he too ended a six game point scoring drought. And last but not least, The Wiz scored his first goal of the year ending a schneid of 10 games. And what a goal it was.
Anyone who has been down near the ice at Nationwide when the Wiz has teed one up from out by the blueline says essentially the same thing: his shot is as heavy as a flatbed of lead rails. When it misses the net and hits the end board, the only thing louder at Nationwide is the cannon. As far as Blue Jackets fans are concerned, the shot that went Wizzling past Pekka Rinne's left ear on Saturday night to win the game might as well have blown through the back of the net, through the end boards, out of the building and landed in Lot A outside of Nationwide. It killed The Streak, and it is safe to say it would have killed anything else that got in its way.
The Wiz now has 7 points in 11 games, which would put him on pace for a 52 point season. He's getting paid because last year he put up 51 points, which was tied for fifth among NHL blueliners. So, after 11 games the Wiz appears to be settling in with his new team quite nicely. If you are buying somebody a Blue Jackets jersey for Christmas, it appears safe to buy him or her a Wiz jersey.
No discussion of the win against Nashville would be complete without some mention of Curtis Sanford and his inspirational play in net. The Blue Jackets essentially took a one year, $600,000 flyer on Sanford prior to the season, a move that is looking like another very schrewd notch in the belt of the Roster Ninja. Interestingly, Sanford made his NHL debut back on October 17, 2002 in a game against Columbus, entering in relief of fellow rookie call-up Reinhard Divis who was injured in the first period. Since then, Sanford has had much more than a cup of coffee in the NHL, with stops in St. Louis and Vancouver. And he posted some decent numbers along the way.
Now 32 years old, Sanford finds himself coming from the scrap heap of the AHL to the junkyard that has been the ice at Nationwide. Maybe that's why he seems so comfortable. Like Wiz, he has etched his name in Blue Jackets lore for a long, long time by helping us end The Streak. And if that doesn't deserve a gratuitous Youtube link, I don't know what does. Let's dance.