Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Student Versus the Teacher; Seth versus Shea

Seth Jones, circa 2016
As the 208-19 NHL season winds down, the Columbus Blue Jackets are on the bubble to make the playoff, after sitting comfortably in the mix for most of the year.  The team has been inconsistent since the trade deadline, and since consistency is one of the hall marks of a contender, they are dropping out of contention. 

After being healthy all year, they now have the injury bug.  As a season ticket holder, I am gnashing my teeth and directing a lot of my anger at Panarin, who appears to be playing to not get hurt.  A guy who was formerly very hard on the puck, is the easiest giveaway in the league now, and absolutely 'not competitive'.  But no, while I feel a lot of anger there, I'm not gonna go there.  Perhaps my interpretation of the situation is wrong (never!).   Perhaps he is injured, and we'll find out later.  Perhaps he is confused by the sudden leadership void.

Nick Foligno is doing what he needs to do, and is not available.  No criticism from this viewpoint, but it does create a leadership void, and a question.  Is Seth Jones ready to make this his team?  If so, he can't tolerate performances like Panarin's?  I saw an interview with him the other day where multiple reporters were asking him about getting in someone's face, or putting your arm around their shoulder.  It does take different things for different people.

These last 8 games are about us and the Montreal Canadians fighting for the 8th playoff spot, and the right to be eviscerated by Tampa.  Any other ship has sailed as of this posting.  Which is intriguing in that it is an 8 game contest of leadership between Seth Jones and Shea Weber.  Jones spent his formative years under Weber's tutelage, and now needs to draw on that experience to lead this Blue Jackets squad forward.  One would think in a short 8 game playoff that the teacher has the advantage there, but the pupil has some tools to work with. 

Make this your team Seth.  And then let's see what happens.


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