Monday, November 23, 2015


Kerby Rychel has been settling in on the fourth line
Last night's 5-3 loss against the San Jose Sharks is the kind of game that happens to a team during a year of hockey.  San Jose was hot, and while they were coming off a back to back, the Blue Jackets were playing their third game in 4 days, and their fourth in 6 days.  So energy was a bit of a wash early.  Late in the third period a veteran team took advantage of a younger team, and before you looked around the Blue Jackets third period lead was gone.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a game to take lessons from, and get better.  With the NHL's current scheduling format, we play the Western Conference teams in a home and home.  Since the Jackets inexplicably won at San Jose on their last west coast swing, all the Sharks did was even it up.  Since the Jackets are looking up at a .500 record, this isn't exactly a death blow to their season.  If they can go through the year with essentially a .500 record against the Western Conference they'll be in ok shape at the end of the year.  A better record would be desirable, of course, and the albatross of a modern record bad start hangs heavy around the season's neck.  Nonetheless, you are going to have to do some winning in your own conference and division if  you want to be a playoff team.

It was a strange crowd yesterday.  Very quiet.  With the early start, I think there were lots of families there, and the crowd couldn't seem to sustain much energy, except in the second period when the Jackets were blowing the Sharks off the ice.  Problematically, however, the CBJ only scored two goals, and that wasn't enough to suck the life out of the Sharks.  Jack Johnson's shot off a post on the backhand was oh so close to going in, and if it does it might change the game.  The Jackets forecheck was on proud display in the second, and there was a period when we got a line change in while maintaining possession, and later we end up with a 5 on 3 power play.  You need more than two goals out of such a dominant stretch of play.  But its nice to see that they have that in them, and I think we are going to see more of that as the season goes on.

I find myself pretty compelled to watch Coach Tortorella's press conferences.  They are pretty insightful, and the dude is obviously very sharp.  It's going to be an interesting year.

Back in the conference Wednesday at New Jersey.  This would be a good game to win.


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