Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So. Is Not Getting Booed at Home Progress?

Damn, those Sedins are quick....
Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets got beat by the Sedin twins, 5-3.  Multiple defensive breakdowns on bang-bang plays by the Sedin line pretty much decided the game.  It is important to note that Henrik Sedin could hit the empty net on his back hand from behind the Vancouver Blue Line while Nick Foligno could not hit the empty net on his forehand from the left dot.

Bobrovsky played reasonably well tonight.  The goals they scored were undefended goals from prime scoring positions, or even the crease.  The bitter, vindictive part of me wants to say that this was the Sedin twins trying to prove to Tortorella that they are bigger than he is.  Keeping in mind my nearly 100% incorrect prognostications, I don't think this is a playoff team for Vancouver.  They had a goal tender coming up from the minors on a conditioning assignment (coming back from injury) that played out of his mind in the second period.  Problematically for the Blue Jackets, Vancouver simply pulled away in the second half of the third period.  While the CBJ lead momentarily on a beautiful short handed goal, the ice had already tilted, and Vancouver dominated the play for the rest of the way.

0-6 at home.  Pitiful.  Don't lay this at the crowd's feet.  When the crowd was loudest, the CBJ simply coughed up more goals on blown defensive coverage.  Mind you these are beautiful tape to tape passes, that the Sedins were making; slick, ethereal offensive plays.  But that's not a playoff team we lost to, and even if they do make the playoffs, they will be quickly eliminated because all you have to do is shut down one line.  The Blue Jackets were unequal to that task, and got the fate they deserved.

0-6 at home.  And attendance is already in the tank.  Don't worry about me.  I'm a die hard.  Heck, I renewed my tickets after 2011-12.  This is not a good situation for a cap team.  Not at all.  And I am frankly kind of scared about it.  I think this team is better than what they have showed, but they have burned every scrap of cushion that they ever had this year already.  For any kind of attendance uptick they pretty much have to go undefeated at home the rest of the way, and that's just not the way NHL hockey is.  Games like tonight, first game coming off the road from out west, are notoriously bad for the home team, and not just the CBJ.  It happens to other teams too.  However, other teams have not squandered the cushion that they have for games like this, or won games to counter balance this kind of loss.

Management was deluded by a defense that had 60 games to practice to be what they could be last year.  They haven't had 60 games of practice this year, and they look wholly inadequate to the task assigned to them as a group.  A good defense might be victimized by the Sedins for 1, maybe 2 goals.  They are good players, no doubt.  But that line is not going to go through the NHL scoring 5 goals a night, far from it.  And if they don't, Vancouver is not a playoff team.  Right now they are ahead of Anaheim and LA and San Jose.  It won't be that way at the end of the season.

This is a very troublesome result.  Yes, the CBJ have a long home stand in February and March.  But they may well be beyond redemption when they get there.

The Jackets didn't get booed on home ice today, as they folded in third period in spite of having a lead.  I suppose that's progress.


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