Saturday, February 18, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 58: Chicago

Chicago 6 - Columbus 1
17-35-6, 5th in Central Division, 30th in National Hockey League
Ever the gracious hosts, the Columbus Blue Jackets helped the Chicago Blackhawks shake off the lingering effects of a recently-ended nine-game losing streak this afternoon at Nationwide Arena.  The Blackhawks thumped the CBJ, 6-1, in regulation.

1.  THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK TICKS DOWN - Perhaps outweighing any significance of the atrocious on-ice performance of the home team was what was happening over in Philadelphia, where CBJ general manager Scott Howson and senior advisor Craig Patrick apparently spent 45 minutes with Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and vice president Bobby Clark in Holmgren's box.

"We believe that the Blue Jackets ongoing, impressive
futility will lead to Armageddon on Nationwide Boulevard."
The Blue Jackets scouts and management have been tailing the Flyers' team plane for a few games now, so it's safe to say that the CBJ and Flyers are likely up to something trade-wise.  If the Blue Jackets are sending their top two hockey people to a single game to chat up their hosts, you have to assume that there's  a lot of smoke hovering over a pretty significant fire.

Is this the fire from a nuclear explosion that will blow up the Columbus Blue Jackets?  And considering the lack of any consistent competitiveness - forget wins at this point, just show me a team that competes - can anyone justify NOT blowing the team up?

2. AT LEAST IT WAS A PLEASANT WEEK - I really was impressed by my first Todd Richards practice.  Honest to God, I was.  I saw a team that was moving, trying hard, building some rapport on the ice (I know, no time like the present).  And then there are the games...where it all falls apart against teams that are any good.    Even teams constructed in such a lopsided manner as the Blackhawks.  The disconnect between practice and game play is so wide right's staggering.

3. ONE SHINING MOMENT - Gotta hand it to Derek Brassard, who dropped in yet another goal as he continues his post-Arniel resurgence:

I know it was one play, a few seconds out of a 60-minute game, but it was nice to see the kid keep up the pace.  And I'll take any positives I can find right now.

4. RUN, MASE, RUN - After a deliciously defiant Steve Mason spoke out, he went out onto the ice and promptly gave up four goals on 20 Chicago shots.  And was replaced by USHL'er Allen York (who really has to be hating the Blackhawks by now).  I made the mistake of being charitable to Mason at the first intermission (I thought his second goal really was a bad bounce...silly me).  Never again.  

Sorry, Mase, you might be a good NHL goalie somewhere.  I would be floored if it happened in Columbus. You need a fresh start, and so do the Blue Jackets.  

5. LOOK TO THE RIGHT, AND TO THE LEFT - Nationwide Arena was invaded by Chicago Blackhawks fans, perhaps to the tune of one-third of the crowd at today's sellout game.  You have to hand it to them - they're good fans for their team.  They travel really well, and they cheer loud and hard.  

On the CBJ side of things, there was a LOT of red in the seats.  I'm not sure that these snapshots from my phone do it justice, but you'll have to trust me.

Looking right from my seats in section 223

Looking left from my seats

This is not the fault of the people of Central Ohio.  They've been supportive with little reason to be so.  This is the fault of a franchise that can't ice a competitive team that people can cheer.  Professional sport is a form of entertainment, and a team that's ten points out of second-to-last place in the NHL can not be relied upon to provide entertainment for their paying customers.

5a. THINKING FORWARD... - I'm beginning to reconcile myself with the reality of a 2013 NHL All-Star Game that looks more like a summit of Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh fans than a celebration of a really neat hockey culture in Columbus.  And that's sad.

NEXT UP: The Blue Jackets will hop a plane for New York, where they will face another object of Howson's trade deadline affections, the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers, at 8PM tomorrow.


  1. I have heard several comments that a Nash trade will not happen as his list and the available talent for trad do not mix. In other sports there are sometimes 3 team trades, is there a possibility of this happening?

    1. I'm sure that anything's possible, but I can't think of any recent player movement transactions that have involved more than two teams. But the collective bargaining agreement is expiring...perhaps that will force teams to make more interesting changes than they may have otherwise considered.

      Really, though, who knows?

  2. Philly just got Kubina from TB.
    I don't see them putting together a big package for Nash, esp if they want Suter either this year or in the summer.
    That game was worthless. I am glad Mason is pissed. Better than ho-hun,whatever.
    As far as Detroit fans in the building, we will take their money, no problem. I would rather see a full house than what is happening in FLA, Phoenix, or Detroit during the week.


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