Friday, January 29, 2010

Game 56/Los Angeles: My Take

Dear God, the Columbus Blue Jackets are one fragile team.

After blitzing the Los Angeles Kings for the first 10-11 minutes with nearly no time in their own defensive zone and peppering Olympian goalie Jonathan Quick with shots, the CBJ let one shot get past Steve Mason on the Kings' third shot of the game and promptly went into a shell for the rest of the night.

The Jackets lost, 4-1.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a team deflate so completely after one fluky goal like that.  I say it was fluky because, as Jeff Little pointed out and I confirmed via DVR, Mason was screened on the shot by RJ Umberger and Samuel Pahlsson.  Surely RJ and Sami didn't mean to block Mase's view, but, as they say, it is what it is.

That the Jackets couldn't pick themselves up after that first period goal, in my mind, speaks directly to team leadership.  I won't blame the coach(es) on this one - the players were the ones who went flat.  Where's the spark?  Really, where's the sense of pride - or shame?

I suppose it doesn't matter all that much.  The vultures are circling, ready to pick at the Columbus Blue Jackets.  And it appears that something serious is brewing as the Washington Capitals sent 3 scouts (Do you think that Jason Chimera tipped them off to someone else on the roster?) and the Pittsburgh Penguins sent their Assistant GM.  Five teams in total sent scouts.  I just hope that Scott Howson gets some strong compensation for the early dismantling of the 2009-2010 Blue Jackets.  This lousy season needs to count for something other than just "the period through which the team experienced growing pains.

On a side note: Fox Sports Ohio gave us another "all access" night.  I particularly enjoyed John Michael's interview of the team's video coordinator, the trip through the equipment room and the mic'ed up Assistant Coach Gord Murphy.  Wired coaches are much more interesting to listen to than wired players, that's for sure.  Kudos to FSO for trying to keep their broadcasts interesting!

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