More importantly, the CBJ harvested two huge Eastern Conference points on the home ice tonight. From a broader perspective, they won against an 'elite' team, if you want to define an 'elite' team as a recent Stanley Cup winner. That seems like a reasonable measure. That puts the Jackets 3-1-1 against the 'elite' teams, Boston, Chicago, LA, and Pittsburgh this year. The Jackets were swept in the regular season by these teams last year, but still made the playoffs.
This year, against frightful injury odds, that just got worse tonight with the loss of Atkinson and Skille to offset the return of Hartnell, the Jackets have made a step forward against the 'elite' competition. My point is that this is overall progress against the backdrop of the injury chaos inflicted on this year's team. Maybe we will make the playoffs, maybe we won't. But the fans will not be cheated. They WILL see an effort from this team. It makes me proud of them. Very proud. And overall, the team is making progress. The players and the coaches deserve accolades for this. The trust that the organization has shown in these players is not misplaced.
Tonight, Mrs. Gallos and I were treated to having dinner with Ken and Connie, fans who had not been to a game for over 5 years. I understand that. We tried to let them know it's a new day. The team did a much more emphatic job of proving us right. I'm sure they'll be back. That's how you recruit fans.
Note to Detroit Fans. Yes, your organization has won a Cup within the time frames mentioned above. You've also had a Hall of Fame defenseman retire, AND, in spite of the occasional blip, the CBJ have owned you of late. So it is difficult to judge overall progress by our record against you. Personally, I have great admiration for Mike Babcock as a coach. I think he's holding your great players back. You want to let him walk. Trust me! I know these things!
CBJ! CBJ! CBJ!