Thursday, March 8, 2012

DBJ's 5 Thoughts on Game 67: Los Angeles

Columbus 3 - Los Angeles 1
22-38-7, 5th in Central Division, 7 pts. out of 29th place in NHL
The Columbus Blue Jackets won their fourth straight game, downing the Los Angeles Kings by the score of 3-1, at Nationwide Arena tonight.  The team hasn't won four straight since November 2010 - the apex of the Scott Arniel honeymoon.

1. NASH WAS ON THE ICE - Defying competitive logic, the CBJ chose to once again put mutinous captain Rick Nash on the active roster for the game.  His presence in the locker room, combined with his 22:15 of ice time, further forestalled the inevitable rebuild that is facing the team as a result of this disastrous season.

1a. NASH DIDN'T GET HURT - As best we know, Nash's trade value to the Blue Jackets was not diminished by his play last night.  So the Blue Jackets once again dodged a bullet.

2. BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES - I know Steve Mason isn't expected to be around next season, but he's never asked to be traded and thus engenders pity/sympathy.  So he takes 17 shots, stopping 16, in just over 30 minutes of game play...and gets his hand sliced up by John Moore in a crease collision.  18-20 stitches in his pinky finger per Fox Sports Ohio's Dave Maetzold.  I tell you, the kid just cannot buy a break.

And here I thought that the worst thing that could happen tonight was going to be Mason getting lit up like a Christmas tree by a motivated Jeff Carter.  Luckily, Curtis Sanford was feeling OK and kept the Kings at bay for the duration, stopping 13 shots and letting none pass.

3. THE MAIN EVENT - Speaking of Carter, you'd have to be living under a rock to be aware of this particular subplot to today's game:

Courtesy of Kings blogger The Royal Half
Johnson had 27:20 time on ice, nabbed a goal and piled up a +2 rating on the evening.

Carter - booed practically every time he touched the puck - logged 18:39 time on ice, didn't get an officially recorded shot off and posted a -1.

Round One: Johnson

3a. MARKETING GIMMICK OF THE DECADE - Fans who brought their "Jeff Carter" number 7 sweaters to tonight's game were the happy recipients of a fresh "J. Johnson" nameplate...on the house.  No better way to make fans feel good about their not-inexpensive investment...and the happiest of all CBJ players.  (Did you know that Johnson is happy to be here?  Really!)

3b. ENOUGH! - Look, I'm not thrilled that things went sour with Jeff Carter.  But I - and I suspect more people than care to admit - have absolutely no idea what went down in the locker room to apparently sour the atmosphere.  Thus, I'm not taking a side.

That being said, I hope that the Columbus fans get over this irrational hatred of Carter sooner than later.  You had your game, now let it die lest you start looking as ridiculous at West Virginia fans having a conversation about Rich Rodriguez.

Is The Johan back on track? (Or is he the lucky
recipient of ice time due to injuries?)
4. THE JOHAN IS BACK - Not only is he back on the ice, but top Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Johansen is playing center...the position he was drafted for...for the first time in what seems like forever.  It was only 8:57 of ice time with the fourth liners, with nothing on the stat sheet, but he's finally playing in his proper position.  Here's hoping that whatever developmental hiccup is behind The Johan, and that his NHL career is finally underway.

5. DR. SEUSS, DR. SEUSS, PLEASE COME TO YOUR WARD.  YOUR PATIENTS ARE TIRED, YOUR PATIENTS ARE BORED.  GOOD LORD! - In the last two games, the Blue Jackets have fallen deeper into injury hell:
  • Steve Mason - sliced finger (as mentioned above)
  • Derek Dorsett - lost for the game, not sure why nor the extent of his injury
  • Fedor Tyutin - broken hand, out for the season
  • Derek Mackenzie - concussion
Did I miss anyone?  The Blue Jackets are already emptying out the bench in Springfield (Maksim Mayorov was called up and played 8+ minutes tonight) the waiver wire next?  Street free agents?  Open tryouts?  Craigslist?

Bonus Number 6. Oh my gosh - Mark Letestu gets two goals and I neglect to mention him in the top 5?  Well, then let's go into bonus time and give the guy his due!

Way to go, Mark!

And while I'm on Letestu, I've been mulling over a theory that the CBJ season started to turn when Letestu came to town in early November?  Sure, the team had to suck for a while longer...but Letestu's trade seemed to mark the point where Scott Howson finally started realizing that his team was going nowhere, and that change had to happen sooner than later.  Whaddya think?

NEXT UP: The Blue Jackets open up a home-and-home weekend with former CBJ head coach and his St. Louis Blues on Saturday night (8PM) at Scottrade Center.  


  1. Bullet point 3b. Please revisit the point your trying to make when talking about Nash. We get it. You don't want Nash to have the C on his sweater. You don't want Nash to even be playing. Are you going to beat this point with every summary of the games?

    1. I'm working up a more nuanced discussion of this point, but the short answer is: Yes.

    2. And that just became the short answer to whether or not I should take your blog off my reading list.

  2. "Defying competitive logic, the CBJ chose to once again put mutinous captain Rick Nash on the active roster for the game."

    Are you a complete moron? Sitting out and not playing will not help his trade value, it will hurt it. It will also kill any Blue Jackets trade leverage if they severed ties with him while they couldn't even be in trade talks.

    Him having a strong last few weeks of the season will only help us, and help his value on the trade market.

  3. hey, we stripped Nash of his "C" and banished him from the team, confirming he is done here and will never play for us again! Instead of letting the rest of league see him and improve his season stats, we'll make his season end on a low note, hurting his value further.

    Explain how that helps the Blue Jackets at all.

    Seriously, this blog is an embarrassment to Blue Jackets fans. You know nothing about hockey and therefore make us all look bad by association by posting such inane garbage.

  4. After reading about "mutinous captain Rick Nash" in EVERY recap for the past two weeks, I was really curious what this blog said about Jeff Carter and his return last night. Needless to say, my reaction to bullet point 3b was to laugh hysterically.

    I don't understand DBJ. I can acknowledge the point you make with Nash (I don't even fully disagree with it, though I think Howson's handling of the situation by taking the trade request public was perhaps the single worst move of his glorious tenure) but I cannot reconcile the repeated view of Nash's status (overkill btw) with the reaction in 3B.

    We're going to boo (fmr. assistant captain) Jeff Carter. I don't know if we're always going to boo Jeff Carter as forcefully as last night, but I hope he hears from us in the same manner for at least his next few visits to Nationwide.

    1. It will be hard to continue to boo Carter if he continues to be a non-factor. In fact, I will never boo him, since we netted out JMFJ in the deal. Win for us. 'Nuff said.

      DBJ, I can only conclude that you have inside info into the Nash situation that the rest of us are not privy to. The dude has given his entire career to this team, has not been a problem in the room, no attitude problems, always constructive & supportive, quiet, no drama (unlike some other divas), never complaining, and has always publicly states that he LOVES Columbus, the team and the fans.

      Nine years of positives, until he is finally fed up with management (and mismanagement) & the direction of the team. (Hmmmm. And I disagree with him.... on which point here?)

      So he suggests that it might be best for all concerned if they investigate the possibility of a trade. He didn't publicly pound the podium and DEMAND a trade, he didn't run to the press and air dirty laundry. Seems to me that he took the high road here.

      Your continual reference to him as "mutinous" tells me that you have to have more info that the rest of us. That is the only explanation that I can think of for the venom that you are uncharacteristically spewing on our captain.
      So, I hope that you are able to share it with us at some point. I've admired your demeanor, attitude & style for too long to believe that this bitterness can continue.

  5. DBJ, your starting to act like the CBJ ownership/ reason to listen to the fans. We're tired of the Nash thing on every "5 thoughts". I believe most fans 1st choice has Nash staying AND the team succeeding, 2nd is Nash leaving and the team succeeding. There is no 3rd option!

  6. @Inquiring Minds: As you were kinda enough to use a pseudonym and not toss out a "You're a moron!" behind the veil of total anonymity, I'll do my best to respond. But please understand that, to a degree, what you're discussing is something that I'm hoping to involve in a near-future post. So bear with me as I don't want to write the same stuff twice.

    Do I have "inside information" on Nash? Do I have "inside information," period? In both cases, not really. I am fortunate enough to come across information that might be outside of common discourse, but it's actually less often than readers might think.

    On Nash, I have heard scuttlebutt on how his eventual "I want out" presser came to be. Nothing I have heard, however, came from a direct source that I would feel comfortable putting in print.

    Thus, I fall upon his public utterances on the matter...which sure sound like mutiny to me. And considering the team is facing the very realistic possibility of a far-reaching rebuild, I'm just of a mind that the team should get started with that rebuild sooner than later.

    More on this in a future post. I promise.


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