Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 35: Chicago

Chicago 4 - Columbus 1
9-22-4, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The National Hockey League returned from Christmas break on Monday night, and the Columbus Blue Jackets picked up right where they left off.  The CBJ lost, 4-1 in regulation to Chicago at the United Center.

1. With 22 points in 35 games, the Blue Jackets are trending toward 52 points over 82 games.  That will be the lowest in the NHL since the 2000-2001 season, when the New York Islanders posted a 52-point season.  That's right, the worst team in 11 years.  By comparison, the Blackhawks have 50 points already this season.

2. The first period looked like two teams coming back from Christmas break.  The second period looked like Chicago found their legs.  The Jackets, however, didn't find theirs until the third.  Chicago capitalized on Columbus' struggles with three goals in the second.  Game, set, match.

3. Steve Mason's play wasn't terrible, but his compatriots allowed too many second- and third-chance shots in my estimation.  The second goal was a great example.  Nash and Tyutin were square to the shooter on the first shot, but they both turned their backs for the second (scoring) shot:

4. In the same vein, good for James Wisniewski for grabbing a rebound and dropping it past Corey Crawford for the only CBJ goal of the game.  Gotta get those greasy goals... (And Wiz's shot wasn't all that greasy, if you want to be honest about it.)

5. As a book-end to thought number one, I'm getting back-chatter from those in the know that the fanbase tonight was (somewhat surprisingly) less agitated by tonight's two-period lay-down to the Western Conference leaders.  Almost a sense of resignation that the loss was coming.  It starts getting scary for a franchise when the fans lose the anger and get apathetic.  

If I can take a swing at answering the concern, give this a shot: While the intelligentsia is suggesting that the CBJ season was lost by perhaps Thanksgiving...Christmas at the latest.  I'd suggest it was earlier - in fact, I offered a post that suggested it was time to fish or cut bait on this season back on November 6 (It was that clear barely one month into the season!).  Greg May suggested on November 16 that it was time to get Mad As Hell.  So how long after these types of conclusion can one remain angry in the face of inaction at the leadership level of this club?  This isn't a Fox News-type environment where someone plays with the terror alert color yo-yo to keep angst at a fever pitch; no, this is a near-permanent state of ineptness with no end in sight.  You just can't stay angry forever.  Eventually, you stop being angry and...eventually...stop caring that much, if only as a defense mechanism.  

Perhaps that's what the players in the locker room have done as well.

NEXT UP: Tuesday night, 7PM, against the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena.  It will be notable on this end due to the presence of the Dark Blue Toddler in the arena for his first regular season game.  The Dark Blue Jacket family hopes to last an entire period.

1 comment:

  1. IMPORTANT: Is DBT coming to the cannon at 1st intermission? The answer may dictate whether or not we attend tonight's game.


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