Saturday, November 1, 2014

Still the Youngest Team in the League

On a Halloween night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat an AHL + team of Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1.  Leafs fans, this is not the foundation of a run to the Cup.  It's a good road win against a depleted squad.  You'll get a chance to play NHL players later in the season.  That will be a better benchmark against how to judge your team.

For the CBJ, the incredible cohesiveness in the preseason that made one think of Red Wings teams of yore has disappeared, and rightfully so.  This is not the same group of players upon which that foundation was built.

I really don't want to go down the negativity rabbit hole.  There is so much available.  Rather I would like to focus on performances that I think set the stage for a late season run.  First is Ryan Johansen.  If ever anyone was earning every dime of their contract, than it is Joey.  I really think he has moved his game to another level faced with relentless one on three play.  When this team gets healthy and there are other threats, look out.  In spite of that he has points in 10 straight games.  Way to go Joey.  Outstanding work against incredible odds.  The only thing I can say to you is that other teams will not be able to afford to throw that kind of coverage at you later in the season when your team mates are healthy.  Bwah hah hah hah hah!  <evil laughter>  You have grown my friend, and I look forward to when you have some help.  So keep the legs churning, and your head down, because the worm will turn, and then we'll see.

The other guy I really want to call out in this post is Scott Hartnall.  We would be screwed without his combative attitude, leadership, and hard work.  When things are grim, you look for that guy that will stand in the breach, and Hartnall has done that in a big way.  A little heart to Hart here, from a season ticket holder, we are going to have a lot of fun yet this year Scott.  Thanks for your effort in this down time, but the season is long, and being down early is just an obstacle that can be overcome.  Thanks for your help in keeping the ship of state above water.

Tomorrow we play the devil wrenches.  Whoever gets the goal wins these games, right?  So let's go out and get the goal.

Tonight we were slaking the lime, and laying the bricks for the future.  I have thought that Dano and Wennberg were a little overwhelmed, which is totally natural.  Tonight I thought I saw them get a little pissed off by how things were going late in the game.  The game got out of hand towards the end, but I saw some spirit, and some fight in them before it was over.  At least they are playing big minutes, and we sacrifice this time for future good.  It is intriguing to watch their story play out.  Dano and Wennberg may yet rise up this year and make people take notice.

Tough times in CBJ land.  Stiffen your lip, bend your knees, chop your feet, and carry on CBJ fans.  We are building for the future.  It is worth every cheer.


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