Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sixteen Straight. History!

Jackets Make History
We've always tried to take a bit of a historical perspective on this blog, as part of our effort to understand what is going on around us related to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  I've got to tell you that writing the 'Definitive History' of the 2015-16 season was not a lot of fun.  The task of that summertime perspective post is going to be a lot different this year, I can assure you.

Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets staked their own place in the history of the NHL by winning their 16th consecutive game by prevailing against the Edmonton Oilers 3-1.  In this they pass the Crosby-Malkin Penguins and the Mike Bossy Islanders, in their glory years, to seize the second longest winning streak of all time for their own.  My attempt to put this into perspective is to say that this is a victory for team play.  This team lacks the stars that define the competition in the winning streak game, but they definitely have a very strong team structure.  This is the most beautiful thing in hockey.  This is what attracted me to the game in the first place.  Those lovable losers of the inaugural season knew they were going to be outmatched every night.  They turned to effort and teamwork in an NHL season with the deck stacked against them, and accomplished some very good things.

John Tortorella and the players have forged a remarkably strong team structure over the last two years, heated to incandescent heat in the crucible of another NHL record, an 8 game losing streak.  I keep waiting for this team to struggle with adversity, but I also keep waiting to see the type of adversity they experienced last year.  The core of this team knows adversity like no one else.  Another team scoring a goal on them late in a period does not constitute adversity for this group.  The end result of that resilience was on full display in Nationwide Arena this evening.

Tonight was an incredibly awesome night for a season ticket holder.  Incredibly fun, really good hockey, a raucous good time.  Something that I am reveling in, it just feels so sweet.  I am truly happy for the players, for they have earned these distinctions.  And yet, they have it right, they haven't done anything yet.

The Jackets own the second longest winning streak in NHL history, in this year of 2017 where we celebrate 100 years of NHL hockey.  They continue to chase the Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux Penguins for that overall title.  It should be interesting to see how this turns out.  A team chasing two of the biggest stars the game has known.  The hockey gods might like this.

Tonight, as always, I am proud to be a Blue Jackets fan.  But tonight is somewhat different in that our team has set a bar that only one other team has achieved.  My recommendation for those who choose to pursue this goal in the future is to bring a solid team structure.  You are going to need it.


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