|Chicago 5 - Columbus 1|
23-43-7, 5th in Central Division, 13 pts. out of 29th in NHL
Nine games left.
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 15:15 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.
It's worth noting that Nash left the ice with about two minutes left in the 1st period and went back to the locker room after a rough collision. It ended up only being a broken skate, but this particular Columbus Blue Jackets fan almost saw his biggest fear realized. And it would totally be Blue Jackets karma - the only value that Nash has to the team at this point is his trade value, and an injury would leave the team with few options...even fewer of them being good ones.
Please, CBJ, don't hurt him.
1b. HOWSON IS STILL EMPLOYED - For that matter, general manager Scott Howson continues to be employed by the Blue Jackets. Not sure why, but he is.
2. THE GAME WAS OVER IN UNDER EIGHT AND A HALF MINUTES - When Brent Seabrook scored Chicago's third goal of the first period, the fat lady belted out a beautiful hymn. And Chicago largely locked the game down. That's right, a team played prevent defense for almost 52 minutes of game time and, in the process, scored more goals (2) than the supposedly desperate Blue Jackets (1).
Nothing to me is more infuriating than seeing another team lock down and get away with it. I suppose it's good sportsmanship on Chicago's part - why run up the score if you don't need to - but, for my team, it's an indictment of the CBJ's beyond-anemic offense.
3. THE SHUTOUT WAS AVOIDED - Rick Nash redirected a Jack Johnson shot from the point to get the Blue Jackets on the board in the 3rd period, turning a potentially humiliating loss into something that's only deeply, deeply embarrassing: