Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 36: Calgary

Calgary 2 - Columbus 1 (shootout)
9-22-5, 5th in Central Division, 15th in Western Conference
The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Calgary Flames tonight at Nationwide Arena and now have two more shots to get 10 victories before the end of the calendar year after losing to Calgary, 2-1, in the shootout.

1. THE ARENA DISTRICT IS AWESOME - Thanks to an unexpected free ticket windfall from Mrs. DBJ's employer, the Dark Blue Jacket family took in an enjoyable evening in the Arena District.  A pregame bowl of spaghetti (Dark Blue Toddler's favorite restaurant food) at Buca Di Beppo, then off to Nationwide Arena for the game.  Mrs. DBJ walked over from work to meet us at the restaurant, we had a great family dinner, walked maybe 40 yards across the plaza and then took in an NHL hockey game.  On a Tuesday night.  In Columbus, Ohio.  How cool is that?

2. MOLD THAT YOUNG MIND - With the Dark Blue Toddler only two and a half years old, we got him started early with his NHL debut.  And while he only lasted one period, he sure took in a lot.  Things he remarked upon over the car ride home:
  • The lights
  • The IGS (pronounced "iggs") blimp.  He liked the blimp.
  • The hockey guys.  The good guys were in blue.  But they went in Time Out a lot.
  • The flags and the singing, as well as putting his hand on his heart.
  • Clapping with everyone else.
  • Looking for Ryan Johansen
  • Looking even harder for Stinger
  • Seeing the cannon
  • HEARING the cannon
Fun stuff, indeed.  

3. HOW MANY PEOPLE AGAIN? - The announced attendance was 16,985.  In an 18,500-seat arena.  Sitting in section 215 and surveying the arena, I cannot believe that there were only 1,500 empty seats.  In fact, I'd be surprised if there were 14,000 people in seats.  Beyond that, I got in for free with my family.  So did every other interested employee of my wife's company (one of Columbus' major employers).  Surely there was a cap of available free tickets, but literally everyone around us got in with a free ticket.  And then there were a handful of Tweets talking about free tickets - and not related to Mrs. DBJ's employer. Thus, I'd be floored if the CBJ had 10,000 paid attendance tonight.  Which more resembles the audience for the worst team in the NHL playing on a weeknight against another crappy team.

3. CALGARY'S TIED FOR 8th?  REALLY? - I was stunned to learn this when doing a little post-game research for these 5 thoughts.  This is surprising because, in my opinion, the game showcased two rather disjointed teams trying to get their acts together.  Both teams had their moments (the CBJ had one incredible shift in the 1st, for example, where they may as well have been on the power play but weren't...just teeing up shots all over the place), but the 1-1 score at the end of regulation tells the real story.  They swapped goals in regulation, stymied each other in overtime and had to get to the shootout to decide a winner. Very little discernible difference on the ice between the two teams.

4. THE GOALIES KEPT IT INTERESTING - Steve Mason had a .962 save percentage with the 26 shots that he faced on the night, and the Flames Miika Kiprusoff had a .964 on two more saves than Mase. Those are NHL-quality numbers.  Let's give both goalies a salute that only could come from YouTube:


 


4a. THE CBJ SHOOTOUT NAMES SOUND BETTER - Why stop at the goalies?  Enjoy another chuckle.




5. WHO WILL STAY? WHO WILL GO? - The NHL's Christmas trade freeze lifts at midnight.  One would think that the Blue Jackets, apparently resigned to their fate this season through their inaction thus far on nearly every front, would start making personnel shifts to

  1. Jettison salaries in light of a season where ownership went "all in" and pushed the team to the salary cap limit - only to see the team stumble out of the gate and never get the ticket sale traction they so desperately needed to justify the risk, and/or 
  2. Begin building a foundation for a viable playoff team in 2012-13.  

The only way I can rationalize not making any deals is in thinking that ownership might handcuff Scott Howson pending a larger shift in team leadership.  Otherwise, dumping under-performing, overpaid players (of which the CBJ have a few) for draft picks and/or prospects sounds reasonable.

NEXT UP: Thursday night at 8:30 in Dallas.  Remember, the CBJ have two more shots to get to 10 wins in 2011.  Gotta shoot for something.

3 comments:

  1. Have to disagree with you on the attendance. You might have been distracted or not seen late arrivals, but it certainly appeared that every one of those 16,985 was occupied at some time last night.

    Otherwise nice breakdown as usual. I am wondering how much Craig Patrick will influence any upcoming moves or the timing thereof.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Howye - We'll just have to agree to disagree. I doubt the CBJ would admit to padding the numbers, but I just cannot for the life of me agree with a 16,985 attendance figure.

    Anon - Yes? To what?

    ReplyDelete