Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stranger in a strange land

(a.k.a. "What in the world have you done with my crappy hockey team?")

I'm back in Ohio, fresh off a week of near-debilitating sinus pain quality time with family in the desert Southwest.  The turkey was good, the little cousins got to play and the Dark Blue Mom is healthy after all.  (Don't ask.)  So let's try to quickly catch up...

First and foremost, thank you to the ever-growing Dark Blue Jacket blog team for covering in my absence.  Gallos offered the post-game "5 Thoughts" and did it better than I have done, I might say. His "Regarding Brassard" appears to have been timely, seeing as Brass still hasn't found his way into a meaningful place on the roster.

And then, permit a long-overdue welcome to our DBJ newcomers.  No better way to welcome your friends to the board than by saying, "I'm outta here for a week!  Have fun!"  Somewhat akin to tossing your loved ones to the wolves.  But of course, Greg and Alison showed exactly why I was giddy to have them join our merry band.  I mean, come on.  "The Power of 2"? "The Dark Side"?  This is great stuff.

But now, let's get to the subject of this blog - the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the four games since I went AWOL on November 19, the CBJ accumulated seven out of a possible eight standings points.  By comparison, they had eight standings points for the entire season prior to November 19.

Let's try that again.

Seven points in four games.  After eight points in 18 games.  

I'm not sure what to make of this.  I mean, I've read the recaps and analysis on the DBJ blog just like all of you, but I've watched precious little of these games.  Just too much to do over Thanksgiving week.  (Thank God for GameCenter Live, though.  With their condensed game viewing option, I might actually be able to watch some of this goodness!)

So until that point, I'm left to wonder: What happened?  Was it team chemistry finally happening after the many injuries and suspensions?  Was it getting Mason out of net? (Surely it can't be the miraculous ascendance of AHLer Curtis Sanford...maybe for a game or two, but not for this long.)  Was it some tweaking of Scott Arniel's scheme that kept running a blue liner up as a fourth forward and left the CBJ perpetually exposed to breakaway after breakaway?  Did captain Rick Nash finally crack some skulls in the locker room?  Are the Blue Jackets playing defense?

Whatever.  I'm just happy that my decision to pick up a quarter-season ticket package might now be justified.

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