Oh, wait. I'm stifling the rant. Sorry. <cough>
It's early in the year. Lot's of games to played yet. Sure we're squandering a home stand, and the team we face next, the Rangers, had a horrific start on a 9 game road trip, but has more points than we do. No big deal. Not time to hit the panic button yet. He said through gritted teeth.
And another thing! Whoever said RJ was any good at right wing?! Theoretically, he can play center and right wing, if you are willing to tolerate abysmal, sub standard play. If you want any production out of Umberger, you better play him at left wing. So can we flip RJ and Cam, like, now?!
A couple of things I see that I really like. While all of a sudden this year is threatening to head right into the tank, inch by inch, step by step, Ryan Johansen is turning into a dominant player. The dude is just plain hard to stop right now. A couple of times tonight I saw guys try to move him, and just get stuffed. And one puck he just made a power move to the net, got a shot and a couple of whacks at the rebound. He was a force tonight in a losing effort. If he didn't have Roberto Duran Umberger (hands of stone) on his line, something might have happened.
The other is Ryan Murray. The kid keeps getting better every game, and he is starting to shoot the puck with authority. This is gonna come together for him. Barring injury, he has a real good chance of being an excellent defenseman. Yeah, Karlsson went wide on him, and put a laser in on McElhinney, top shelf corner. Some might call that a soft goal, I call it a heck of a shot that put Ottawa on the board. And there was another goal on a broken play, then a man all alone in the slot that McElhinney had no chance on. But he gets better every game.
I don't mind them getting zipped by the Pens so much. That's a pretty good team. Ottawa has a pretty good team too. But it ain't getting any easier, and this is getting ready to spiral out of control, with a west coast road trip looming. If they don't make hay while the sun shines in Nationwide over the next few games, it might get pretty gloomy on the 2013-14 season before Horton has a chance to affect it.
I'm not saying the season is over, but we are teetering on firming up a 'bad start', which must be recovered from. It can happen. But I wonder if it will.
Ottawa snipes goals
Jackets snipe defensive shins
Time to panic yet?
Ahhh, I'm just too frustrated after this game to think straight. After 6 periods of scoreless hockey, and the one goal being scored on an off speed shot from his knees by RJ, I'm not seeing the firepower necessary to succeed in this league, much less the Eastern Conference. Could be dark days ahead if they don't start scoring.