|Columbus 2 - Winnipeg 1|
3-12-1, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
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.
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.