Saturday, November 12, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on Game 16: Winnipeg

Columbus 2 - Winnipeg 1
3-12-1, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed back former interim head coach Claude Noel and Noel's Atlanta Thrashers Winnipeg Jets tonight at Nationwide Arena with a 2-1 win in regulation.

The team decided to show up tonight, so I'll get back to the whole "5 thoughts" thing.

1. Tangentially related to the game was this morning's Season Ticket Holder morning skate and Q&A with Scott Howson and some guy who talked about Winnipeg.  Matt Wagner at The Cannon was there and offers a detailed summary.  It's absolutely, positively must-read material if you're a serious Blue Jackets fan. (UPDATE: Alison at Heart of a Jacket has another great recap as well.  Apologies for missing it the first time around...) I'll offer my quick thoughts and leave the rest to your interpretation:

1a. Head coach Scott Arniel is Scott Howson's lodestone.  Howson apparently said when talking about Arniel, "The way Mr. Mac and J.P. McConnell run their businesses, you hire the best people and you give them a chance."  That, to me, is code for, "I'm not allowed to fire him."  So if I had to guess (and this is a guess, nothing more), the only way Arniel is gone before this season ends is if Howson is gone with him.

1b. Scott Howson appears to have been full of candor and a healthy dose of humility.  The humility was expected considering the team's record going back to the end of last season, the candor was not.  Keeping that money line about the McConnells in mind, I think that Howson knows he's on borrowed time...and that he and his head coach would likely have been fired from just about any other team by this point.

1c. I'm guessing the team guts it out with the Scotts until at least the end of the season.  GULP.

Two goals tonight for The Johan.
Dark Blue Toddler is pleased.
2. Ryan Johansen, fresh off a healthy scratch, drops the only two Columbus goals in.  (Scratch THIS, coach.)  Not to be greedy, but I wish Arniel had kept rolling The Johan out there in the third period with the express purpose of getting a hat trick.  Because few things are better in hockey than a hat trick on free hat night.

3. Jeff Carter, back from a broken foot, has rust.  It'll come off.  His presence did appear to inspire Rick Nash however, as Nash looked more like the offensive player and less like a poor man's Jared Boll (as if it's possible to be such a creature).

3a. I still think preseason predictions that Nash would win the Rocket Richard Trophy are still "just a tad" unlikely.

4. Welcome to Columbus, Nikita Nikitin.  Care to take over some Wiz-sized minutes?  Seriously, he looked not out of place out there and offered a much more consistent, pronounced presence than Kris Russell. Nice to see that he got on the scoresheet as well.

5. Winnipeg is not good.  In fact, I'd say they're pretty crappy.  But they were the Atlanta Thrashers, and the Thrashers were crappy.  Noel's a good coach (his comments in today's Dispatch make me think he's a better coach than I even thought), but you can only do so much with a crappy team.  That Winnipeg is so relatively bad makes it hard to put any significant stock in this win, however...

Bonus number 6.  Regardless of how it came and who it came against, it's a win.  And winning is badly needed around these parts right now.

NEXT UP: The Minnesota Wild roll into town on Tuesday at 7PM.  No word on whether Cal Clutterbuck has stopped laughing over his preseason dive that landed James Wisniewski in "time out" for 8 regular season games.


  1. Johansen and Prospal both showed a lot of profesionalism in not just firing the puck, but waiting for the opening before letting it go. I think the CBJ could use more seeing eyes and less "letting it go" in passing and in shooting

  2. DBJ - really enjoy your reflections and thoughts about the Jackets. I am wondering if you could in future editions you could look into the "late third period debacles" that seem to have become a hallmark of the Jackets. Thanks and keep up the great writing!

    Harry K.

  3. Keep the commentary coming DBJ! I have been a more engaged CBJ fan since I started reading blogs like yours.

  4. Please, God... I mean, please Columbus, beat the Wild...

    Good win! Keep it up. This is (probably) the turn-around moment for the Blue Jackets.


  5. I agree with most of what you say, but you lost me at 5. the Jets are "crappy" ??

    The Jets are beating Tampa Bay 4-1 right now. That's crappy?



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