Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm not saying...I'm just saying

I caught this gem from the CBC's Elliotte Friedman, who offers "30 thoughts" every week:
12. Had a really interesting conversation with a player last week. He was saying his (struggling) team needed an identity. Then, he went on to list some teams that did have one. "You know that Boston is going to pound you and make you pay physically. You know that Chicago is going to dare you to try and skate with them. You know that Vancouver is going to try to get you to take penalties and make you pay on the penalty kill. And you know that Detroit is going to turn the other cheek while winning all of the one-on-one battles." Then, he added, "We need to be more like the Red Wings."
Does that conversation sound familiar? (And my link doesn't account for the consistent rumble on the topic coming out of the Dispatch or, to a lesser degree, some of the other Blue Jackets fan blogs.)

My money says that conversation was with a Columbus Blue Jacket player.

I mean, consider the list of teams mentioned: Boston, Chicago, Vancouver and Detroit.  Three teams (VAN, BOS, CHI) that the Blue Jackets have played in the last month.  Three teams in the conference (CHI, DET, VAN).  Two teams (CHI, DET) in the division.  And an aspiration to be like the perennial division powerhouse (DET), with whom the Blue Jackets are intimately familiar.

Oh yeah, and one team in such turmoil (Friedman uses the term "struggling") that a player would have this type of conversation with a reporter.

So as general manager Scott Howson puts his trading pants on in suggesting, "We’re way less than the sum of our parts right now," it looks to me like the players are starting to push back.

The next six months or so are going to be very interesting.


  1. And here's a side thought that didn't entirely fit into the blog post, hence its addition as a comment...

    I find it ironic that while the Blue Jackets have boosted their hitting/fighting aggression level over the course of the season, the player suggests that their team needs to model themselves along the lines of a team that rarely fights by comparison and wins through skill. I suppose the visceral thrill of winning a fight or delivering a crushing hit doesn't overcome the fact that the team isn't scoring enough goals and isn't stopping enough goals by the other side.

  2. Who is most responsible for creating that identity? And then where is it failing for the CBJ? I would bet whoever can answer and then fix that second question is the one can pull the hockey stick from the stone and lead the CBJ to the promised land.


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