Saturday, March 7, 2015

I'm Not Sure What That Was

Neither fish nor fowl.  The Blue Jackets were shut out tonight in a game where the CBJ put 44 shots on goal, but that wasn't enough to even scratch the board.  I've seen games where they had lot's of outside, crappy, shots, where the shot total did not come close to representing the level of effort.  The CBJ had multiple wicked scrums in front of the net, but could not get one past Varlamov.  A frustrating state of affairs for our team, but definitely the right medicine for our draft position.  Right now we are drafting sixth, but a slide into the top four would be ideal.  Toronto is a steaming hot mess, one point below us, and Carolina doggedly refuses to win.  These issues have huge long term ramifications for the organization (for instance, Colorado selected Landeskog before we picked), so we want to sink as low as we can while maintaining entertaining hockey this year, and our team's spirit.  I continue to maintain that this is a good team in a bad situation.  Which is not to say that I agree with the Wisniewski trade, but we'll address that when the Ducks come to town.

Several things were definitively established tonight.  By game time, there wasn't really a cook in town that was left standing, due to the demand from the Arnold.  We salute those stalwarts, who made our town look so good.  If you want to try something interesting, go out tomorrow and try to order a boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Good luck with that.  Tonight, it didn't mean you couldn't get good food, it just meant you couldn't get it fast.  As a consequence, we arrived at the game about 10 minutes late.  That was sufficient for the CBJ to be behind 3-0, and the Avalanche never looked back.

I didn't feel bad about our effort, but my understanding of the 5 on 3 early was that we let the game get away at that point.  So I have some strange observations about the game.  My first observation was that Cody Bass' game had really gone to heck. Then I was informed that number 32 was Renee Borque, newly acquired in the Wisniewski trade.  Dear Mr. Borque.  That play does not meet standard.  Please bring something else next year. Your friend, DBJ.

This year has been a disturbing reminder of how pedestrian our team is when they suffer some injuries.  If we want to make noise in the playoffs, as stated by Jarmo ( and secretly lusted after by yours truly), we need to be able to play our brand of hockey no matter the injuries.  We have not done that this year.  And that starts firmly and squarely with our number 4 line.  It is an adventure to have them on the ice, and the only thing you have is hope.  If we want to have success next year, we need to surround Mark Letestu with speedy, heavy effective forwards.  Last year Derek MacKenzie pulled that line along with his speed and tenaciousness.  Letestu doesn't have the same speed, so you need to give him the forwards that will provide that speed, as well as scoring punch along with a sandpaper game.  Those players will come from within, or from free agency.  The current crop does not match the last years accomplishments, and is a fundamental reason for the slide of our team (along with the injuries).  The fourth line needs to be a match up we win, right now, that's not happening.

The funny thing is that we don't need stupid, opinionated bloggers to convey this to the team.  They have ears.  Last year, Nationwide Arena became a fabulous place of thunderous fan response.  It is not going to happen this year, And they can hear it, and they know what is gone.  These are the things I hope drives our team over the off season and through the dog days of December next year.  The thunderous roar of CBJ!! CBJ!! CBJ!!  That is a fan response that is earned, not given.  Rather than rehash why it is not there this year, the players should focus on that for next year, and use that incentive to help them through the grueling off season.

Our team is in transition all of a sudden.  I'm not sure where it will take us, but I'm hoping a deep playoff run is part of it for next year.


1 comment:

  1. Agree with your blogger comment, but it is just so frustrating to have poor Letestu dragging anchors around.

    . But the 4th line needs to be a force. AGREE 100 % despite what the home town announcers say the skill level is........


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