Monthly Archives: March 2011

Big Changes In the Right Places?

Posted by Canadan82 on March 31, 2011
Team Discussion / No Comments

So what does that mean..?  Last night the Dispatch “shocked” the twitterverse, claiming a quote from majority owner John P McConnell that will ‘rock’ the very fabric of the Columbus franchise, from the hockey operations department all the way to the skyline chili kiosks.  Today, in a post that can be found here, Aaron Portzline provides a few soundbites and a lot of opinion on what could, should, and might be done to change the landscape of our favourite hockey team.

But what does it mean?

How many times have we read in the rumours section of *insert website/twitter handle here* that so and so will be moved, or Johnny 3rd liner is going to be getting dealt for a 2nd round pick and futures?  At what point does the speculation outweigh that in which will actually happen?  No doubt the current Columbus structure is in perfect alignment for major change, with the scouting department on the final year of their contract, Rook in the final year of his goaltending coach contract, and the better half of the NHL roster set to become UFAs or RFAs with none of them actually entertaining contract offers from the Jackets brass at this point.

Here are what I deem to be facts;

1 – You cannot stand idly by as an owner of an unsuccessful business and watch it falter without the threat of change.  Anyone who does that is either too dense to own a business, or too stupid to realize that their efforts have not been good enough.  These comments were inevitable

2 – Making comments like this are what fans arguably want to hear (read: Your team WILL be better) and what people in the organization have been expecting.  It’s common sense, and once again, when you look at it from a business standpoint, any time there is an obvious lack of success, change becomes water cooler talk.

3 – People who do not deserve to lose their place with the organization will lose it.  It is one of those things where someone needs to take the fall, and likely in this case, many will become the scapegoat for a number of unsuccessful years.

Getting passed all that, here is my problem with the statements being made.  Portzline takes the opportunity to put the scouting department front and center in this mess because they (conveniently) have contracts expiring at the end of this year, I believe just after the draft concludes.  What he is either ignoring or not saying, is that the scouting department really has not done a bad job at all.  Columbus has been doomed to finishing not bad enough ever since they drafted Rick Nash.  Look at their last couple years of first round draft pick places.  4th, 21st, 6th, 7th, 6th, 6th…. You want cold hard facts?  How did Pittsburgh land two of the best players in the game?  Crosby (1st), Malkin (2nd – after Ovechkin), Staal (3rd).  It is not a matter of good drafting in their departments, it is a simple matter of finishing bad enough to get an elite player.  I would be happy to argue that any team finishing bad enough to have Crosby or Malkin’s name come up as an option would not think twice about drafting them.

Sometimes I simply wonder if they have been bad enough.  I have little doubt that Johansen will be an impact player in the NHL, but I recognize the timing it takes for a mid-range top 10 pick to become viable.  Would they have done better getting Taylor Hall with the first pick?  Of course they would.  How do you fault a scouting department for taking the best possible talent at the picks they are given?  How do you not credit them for generating what appears to be an excellent group of prospects currently developing in the minor leagues, all of whom could become impact players within the next 2-3 years?  How do you fault a group of people paid to build the future of the team for the team not winning NOW?

I want to look at the guys like Clark and Moreau to find fault.  Almost five million dollars paid out by the organization this year for basically nothing.  A big body who is clumsy on the puck, two veteran captains who are bandaids if not paving the way for players like Calvert to step in and take charge.  The Jackets need an overhaul in the depths of their roster, as well as the defense, but to fault an organization for something like that, to me, is a bit much.  How much can they possibly do when players like Huselius suck up almost five million dollars of potential cap space?  I just provided 9.5 million dollars of wasted cap space.  Who is to blame for that 9.5 million?  Is it the scouts?

If I had summarize my thoughts into a paragraph, it would revolve solely on the active roster.  The time for taking chances and overpaying for players is over.  The time for acquiring aging veterans to fill out a roster is well past over with players like Kubalik, Wilson, Calvert, and soon to be Johansen waiting in the wing.  The time for accepting mediocrity from their lineup has run its’ course.  I simply cannot support it anymore.  No one has to look far to see what is wrong with this team.  The core players (short of maybe a first line center and a top tier defensemen or two) are in place and have room to grow.  It is time to build on that properly with players like Upshall over players like Moreau, and stop trying to filter the blame elsewhere in the organization.

Carry the Flag!

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Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Posted by AlisonL on March 31, 2011
Game Discussion / No Comments
So we are heading to DC tonight to see our beloved Jackets play the Caps. And, allegiances to my friend Blair aside, I’ll admit I have a small hope that we can pull out a win…or at least a point…or at least a respectable performance. (I confess, I do like Ovi)I do believe that regardless of what sport, regardless of what team, every fan should experience going to an away game. (Pens fans and that ridiculous taking over of Nationwide aside)

As a visitor even if you win, being in the minority away from home turf can (should!) teach you a lot about class and humility. If you lose, you will see receiving crap from home fans in a whole new light as well.  Hopefully…this turns around into how you will treat visiting fans in your home arena.

Hopefully we’ll have some good stories to share…haven’t been in the Verizon center since back when we still lived there and it was called the MCI Center. If you see two people in blue jerseys, that’s probably us. LOL.

Looking forward to it – win, lose or draw!

Go Jackets!

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Should CBJ Prospects Get Exposure?

Posted by Canadan82 on March 30, 2011
Prospects, Roster Talk / No Comments

It has been an interesting discussion to say the least throughout the Blue Jackets realm of the world whether youngsters gaining valuable experience in the minor leagues should be invited up to play with the big club for some of the remaining games.  Another promising year has all but passed, and we are left with these little fragments of criticism to round out the regular season.

Certainly, the exposure to the National Hockey League is highly valued for most prospects.  Each level of hockey provides different challenges and teaching those challenges seems all but impossible without actual exposure.  What will be debilitating at this point, would be to come up and watch a group of professionals play a stock game without any sense of urgency.  I would be far from convinced if someone were to tell me that the Jackets have been playing to their potential over the last few weeks, regardless of whether their output has been thwarted by the opposition.  This brings me into my next thought..

Should the Jackets brass really award their players with nights off in lieu of these younger players getting the opportunity to develop their games briefly on the NHL stage?  If you ask me, I think it is a complete sham that these guys are not getting verbally broken every time their lackluster hustle causes them to get beat on plays, and in games. It would almost seem like an award to a player to give them nights off, unless it is a character guy like Umberger or Calvert who would clearly be crushed by the thought of their play warranting a night in the press box.  This conveniently leads into my next point…

The topic of resting players was brought up early last week when discussion lead to assume that Ovechkin is being rested for the playoffs (all speculation of course, and broken last night when he was inserted into the lineup).  I think that is Washington’s mistake to be made if true, but I am personally under the impression that it is extremely unfair to the fans showing up to the games to not ice the best team available.  With that thought in mind, I would hardly be surprised if the fans in Columbus would relish the opportunity to watch Kubalik over one of the Jackets current roster players, or see Stralman relegated to a suit to see Moore lace them up for an extended stay.

I say make the players finish what they started.  Training camp gives the youngsters a perfect opportunity to show their abilities, and it gives many of them the needed months of development and training period to really prepare themselves for extended stays with the big club.  I would much rather see the guys us fans have come to watch 77 times this year finish out strong, and that will be the expectation I will be bringing into each game from here on out.

Carry the Flag!

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Recap: Florida @ Columbus

Posted by Canadan82 on March 30, 2011
Game Discussion / 1 Comment

Sometimes I wonder if winning a game like that is generally meaningless.  Hear me out..

I am a big fan of playing the season out.  I think that players are paid for 82+ games a season and they should play at 100% for every single game.  That said, what I saw tonight was not a performance that would drag the common fan out to a game just to see it live let alone a common Blue Jackets fan considering catching a game before the season ends.  Bulleted opinions here we go!

– The pace was strong for the Jackets for the first 7-10 minutes of the game.  They came out reasonably strong, dominated play early, and made the Panthers look like they belonged in a different league altogether.  Their offensive zone pressure and shots were generally of a high quality, and it seemed like they had every intention of giving the home crowd lots to cheer about

– The powerplay at the end of the first period was excellent. Two posts and sustained pressure for the entire initial powerplay, along with the delayed call and rest of the period on the five on three.  It was sheer misfortune that they did not score during that scramble of opportunities.

– For the (forget the number, just assume many) game in a row, they allowed the opposing team to either dictate play, or play themselves back into the game.  It seems to be an exercise were the Jackets players are well aware of their own potential, yet play down to the opposition until it bites them.

– Mason was strong, for the most part.  Certainly the wrap around goal would have been something that he would have wanted back, but he made a strong move to cut off the angle and it’s a shame the Florida player was not cut off before he managed the wrap.

– You have to like that snipe by Upshall.  Takes a great pass by Dorsett (@AlisonL was probably gushing) and in one fluid motion absolutely rips a shot above the glove and off the bar.  Upshall just seems like one of those guys that finds himself on the scoresheet and in the minds of the other players 40-60 times throughout the season.  As much as I think the Jackets need to focus on some top end talent for the upcoming year, I think Upshall deserves some serious consideration to round out the third line

-That win springs the Jackets to 79 points and sole possession of 21st place.  I love and hate to do this, but I would not be too upset to see a couple of teams leap frog them to get a little bit closer to the potentially useful top five picks coming up in this years draft.  Then again, if it were up to me, that first rounder would not be in the hands of the Jackets come draft day.

Carry the Flag!

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Under the Bus or an Invitation to Get On?

Posted by AlisonL on March 29, 2011
Team Discussion / No Comments

Quote of the year. That’s what NBC/Versus/Network that screws up Hockey called it.

The exact quote attributed to Coach Scott Arniel regarding call-ups from our AHL team by both the Dispatch and NBC was this:
“I’m kind of caught on the fence on that one,” Arniel said. “(It’s) a little bit of the guys that are here are the ones who got us into this mess and they are the ones who have to finish it off. The other side (of it) is do we want to have to some guys play some games that could help us next year?”

When this quote hit the Twitterverse from what I saw, it was met with universal approval and hurrahs. Now granted, obviously like draws like, a lot of the CBJ fans I follow – though NOT all – share similar opinions on “the CBJ situation” to mine. And while we are getting disclaimers out of the way, let me say that thus far, I am definitely an Arniel fan-girl. Like him, like his style.

So imagine my surprise when I saw our own Aaron Portzline stir the pot a little bit by taking the spin on this quote that Arniel was throwing his players under the bus. Porty’s take – and I do love love love Porty (appreciate his commitment to keeping folks updated and willingness to engage and not just throw “news” out into the ether) – was based on, in his words, the fact that Arniel did not use “We” to include himself in the “mess” and that this was cause for question. To Porty’s credit, he acknowledged he likes a good quote – and that’s what reporters are supposed to do…

But I remain in support of Arniel’s quote and attitude. First, we’ve heard pretty much all good about the impressions of Arniel’s leadership from players in the CMH as well as at his previous posts. These are not Hitchcock days. Second, throughout this roller coaster season, the one thing that would get me most upset was when the team just seemed to “stop caring” on the ice. I like players with fire, fight and intensity (if you know me you know I swear allegiance to #15 but we’ll get to that later) and, while I don’t always know when someone lines up improperly for a power play kill, I do feel like I know when the heart just goes out of our team.
Let’s face it, this roster is not “used” to getting to the playoffs. And some argue we ARE “used” to a bit too much losing. And winning is not just physical conditioning its mental as well. You learn that you like steak enough, you’ll scrimp and save to buy yourself one every once and a while – no matter what it takes.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know – we’ve heard many versions of these coaching and leadership platitudes for decades. But I really believe that, in a coming off season where every knows we are poised for moves (or lack there of on some players) that Arniel is setting a precedent that the status quo will not be tolerated. Just as when we were little, mom or dad taught us to clean up our own mess, Arniel’s starting at the basics. Get a mindset that drives you to do what it takes to win. And take responsibility for your action – or inaction.
Arniel is setting the stage that people either get on the bus that he is driving, or we’re going to find someone to take your place – and the key is he is CHALLENGING his players to step up to the plate. I believe that in what will be an active off season, this kind of growing “team personality” is what we need not only to affect who’s already here, but who we hope to attract – those with the heart of a Jacket (see what I just did there? ;) )
Go Jackets! Beat the Panthers!

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Free Agent Wish List: Brad Richards

Posted by Canadan82 on March 29, 2011
Roster Talk / No Comments

Another potential offering I am going to try and take advantage is to throw around exactly how a certain pending free agent would look playing with the Jackets, and how much the team stands to gain by adding him.  This specific post will take a look at a player that almost came to Columbus during his tenure with the Lightning, only to be outbid by the Dallas Stars.

Currently playing out the final year of a 5 year contract paying him 7,800,000 per year in Dallas, Richards was the talk of the trade deadline, being mostly considered the most valuable asset potentially on the block. Certainly if he does not sign before the free agency period begins, he will be one of the best centers available, and more than certainly, he would be a tremendous addition to the Jackets roster.  I won’t delve too deeply into contract numbers, but at 30, I am sure a contract in the realm of 7,500,000 for around 4-6 years could come close to doing the trick. Slightly lower than Nash, yet a great pay day. His current stats over the last three years along with career numbers are the following;

Now, to the perks of him playing in Columbus:

1 – Bringing him aboard makes Rick Nash instantly better because Richards is a secondary threat, but not a difference between a top tier player and a second tier player as it stands right now with Brassard and Voracek on the ice.  More like a 1a and 1b forward, they have the freedom to open up the ice for one another and with Richards being a fantastic passer, will provide Nash the space to be, well, Nash.  I am not suggesting that Nash cannot do it on his own at the moment, but I do think he finds himself playing to the level of his linemates sometimes, and a guy like Richards will keep him at the elite level that makes him so immensely powerful on and off the puck.

2 – This would likely generate a 1-2 punch that would rival all others in the league.  When you think about the Sedin twins in Vancouver, or the Getzlaf-Perry group in Anaheim, you immediately think about the success they generate because of being a top tier pairing.  Rarely do you consider who rounds out the three man line, which leads me to believe that a guy like Voracek could have a sneaky good year while becoming a top tier winger at his own pace.

3 – The powerplay becomes immediately better.  His role appears to remain consistent with the rest of his game, providing a substantial number of powerplay assists in each of his last three seasons, and again becomes a filler to a substantial gap in the current Jackets lineup

4 – Brass and Vermette drop a tier, heading down to the second and third lines respectively.  While this is not meant to be a personal shot at either of them, it puts them in a fantastic position to succeed against players weaker than they are currently used to playing against.  It also takes some ice time away from Vermette at even strength, but keeps him fresh as a top line penalty killer, something he is well versed in during his days in Ottawa.  Something about an Umberger – Brassard – Calvert second line gets me pretty excited for the future scoring potential of the Jackets.

5 – It brings in a much MUCH needed star beyond Rick Nash.  Sure, the Jackets have loads of character and a number of players that fans cannot help but love, but they truly need another player with the star power (or at least close to the same amount) similar to Nash.  Bringing in Richards creates a certain level of depth that is sorely missed in Columbus, and something that could see a substantial increase in ticket sales when management shows that kind of buy in on the long term success of the team.

These are just a handful of the potentially beneficial opportunities that would arise with a Richards signing. Would you all be happy with that kind of pickup in Columbus without dealing major components of the Jackets potential future?

Carry the Flag!

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State of the… Jackets

Posted by Canadan82 on March 28, 2011
Standings / 1 Comment

Once again the crickets have fallen on CTF.  I would apologize, but I cannot tell you folks how many times I have begun a semi rant on the team for packing it in, but I know the Jackets get enough bad press as is.  My goal is to try and stay constructive, and I can certainly agree that ranting about them is not all that constructive.

Since I last discussed the Jackets, they have been blown out at home three times, with a goals for of 1, and a goals against of 9.  Their ten game record is 2-5-3, and their current ‘stretch’ of bad games looks like this:

Now, off to the more relevant topic at hand, and that’s what the rest of the season will bring.  Here is the current league wide chart at least that is relevant to the CBJ and their finish;Like I said, I am not looking to be a giant downer.  These stretches of games do happen to even the best of teams, but it has to be as emotionally draining for the team as much as it has been for myself as a fan.  Hard to believe that prior to this specific stretch of games, we watched the trade for Lepisto and Upshall go down thinking we would see the Jackets get into better position to fight for a playoff spot not long out.  Follow that with 13 losses out of 15 games, and a fanbase left demanding and wanting more, and myself generally speechless about what really can be done in the last handful of games this year, short of wait and see where the Jackets will be drafting..

As you can see, it is pretty tight around 20-24.  Obviously looking at the standings and considering how many games the Jackets should lose before gaining a great pick is awfully negative, but I think it is worth watching.  Three wins from the Islanders and the Jackets could be looking at a top five pick, in a draft that most would argue is really quite shallow.  Then again, it would be interesting to see whether Howson will take advantage of the draft and try to deal for a quality defender before draft day.

Personally, my dedication towards watching the games has wavered.  While they are on, I have not been following the game with great focus.  I intentionally opted to not make the trip last Sunday after watching them get shutout by Detroit the previous Thursday (a very thankful decision) and was half expecting their third straight time being shutout at home against Vancouver.  Thankfully for the generally strong attendance, RJ popped one in over Schneider’s shoulder, breaking one of the lowest of lowpoints of the season.

But cheer up Jackets fans.  The season will end soon, and with it, comes quality playoff hockey and and more change for the team moving forward.  Feel free to offer your suggestions for upcoming changes, as I intend to provide my suggested defensive changes within the week.

Carry the Flag!

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Roster Wishes for 2011/2012: Forwards

Posted by Canadan82 on March 19, 2011
Roster Talk / No Comments

Admittedly, I am jumping the gun here with the current season not even complete, but having long winded discussions with CTF contributor Marvin, I would like to share the roster that I would like to see fielded by the Jackets come next October.  Obviously certain factors like trades and free agent signings could make a number of these players/lines moot, but with what is available, and who the Jackets currently have under salary, here is how I would fill the holes;

Late edit: It looks like this post will end up being a bit longer than I had anticipated, so I will provide my defensive preferences in another post within the next couple of days.

Line 1 –  The Scoring Line: Nash – Brassard – Voracek

Some may have given up on this grouping with arguably limited success this year, but I feel that as Brassard and Voracek grow as players, and Nash gets more and more comfortable with the idea of having capable linemates, the success will continue where it left off prior to Brassard getting injured this year.  While I do believe that some NHL teams find great success with multiple stars on their top line, I do not believe it is necessary to shake this group for the time being.  Allow both Brassard and Voracek to continue finding their game, and complimenting Nash in the process.

Line 2 – The Octane Line: Umberger – Vermette – Calvert

It is a fun experience to consider secondary scoring lines as ‘favourites’ but I cannot help it.  While the first line will be expected to score, the versatility of a line with both Umberger and Calvert on it is endless.  They could easily push the pace with their speed, or get physical in the corners with their edgy play.  No question, this line will be one that forces the opposition to really take care while matching up against them.

Line 3 – The Hard Hat Line: Upshall – Johansen – Jones

Colour me slightly optimistic, but I am personally hard pressed to be convinced that Johansen will be anything other than a Blue Jacket next fall.  His junior success has been spoken loudly in the media, and his size and ability could very easily find him playing comfortably among the Columbus third line.  Add in gritty players like Upshall (Free agent this summer) and a great supporting player like Ryan Jones (currently with the Oilers, and a UFA this summer) and suddenly Columbus has a third line that can rattle cages, force the play, AND bury pucks.  If a line like this were to be formed, I will be the first to argue that Arniel will be forced to reconsider his minute-per-game quota for the top three lines.

Line 4 – The Muscle Line: Boll – Pahlsson – Dorsett

I have always been big on Dorsett, up until part of the way through this year.  What I am beginning to really believe is that role on the team needs to be better established, and a 4th line crash and bang role is fantastic for him.  While he and Boll can take turns brutalizing opposing teams players, Pahlsson provides enough offensive threat for both Dorsett and Boll to take advantage of hard working chances in key points of the game.  I have never been a big proponent of a line solely focused on checking, and being that both Dorsett and Boll have the ability to finish, it provides a great presence of grit and ability on the back end of a very well rounded four lines for the Jackets.

Wildcards

There are a couple of wildcards in the Jackets system beyond Johansen of course.  Kubalik made a pretty strong case of himself in this years pre-season games, and while his effectiveness is strongest on the top two lines, it may be tough to not give the kid a shot at the NHL next year.  With that said, Upshall and Johansen would bring substantial talent to the third line, which could easily open the door for him if a player like Jones is not brought into the fold.  Certainly it would be a better option than bringing up one of Dorsett or Boll to the third, where I believe they are generally overwhelmed in that role.
Secondary to Kubalik is of course Filatov, who has turned exactly zero heads this year.  I have to wonder what his summer plans will be, and whether he can ever develop into the kind of winger he was drawn up to be by central scouting and the numerous pre-draft reviews on his playing abilities.  With that assessed, his role will be limited to one of the two top lines, leaving little room for error and a whole lot of ground to cover on Calvert.  The one potential possibility I have been weighing on, is if Filatov can show his value on the Columbus second line, how well Calvert-Upshall-Johansen would gel together, being three guys who I believe would make the crowd stand up and cheer every time they hop over the boards.

Leftovers

As it stands, Moreau, Clark, Upshall, and Murray are the offensive UFAs come summer.  Voracek is the lone forward RFA, and will likely receive an offer prior to arbitration.  I have no personal issues with Moreau, Clark, and Murray walking away.  While they all offer some options on the back end of the team, none of them have been major impact players nor have their contracts merited a real second glance from the team this year.

This leaves MacKenzie and Huselius, both with one year left on their contracts.  MacKenzie has played reasonably well in all roles this year, but remains a very functional player as the 13th forward.  He provides the depth necessary in case a player falls to injury, or if the lines need to be shaken up slightly.  Huselius on the other hand, has already played his way out of the top six in my opinion.  There have been bright spots few and far between, but the reality is, I would personally much rather have an extremely hard working guy like Calvert banging away creating chances on the second line than I would having Huselius floating through the middle of the zone waiting for a great pass from his linemates.  My expectations would be to see Juice moved with another pick or player for defensive support in the off-season.

As noted, I will move onto the defensive core next, which I think ends up being substantially more difficult.  feel free to share how you would break up the lines yourself, or who you would like the Jackets to add in the off-season to really bolster the lineup.

Carry the Flag!

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Recapping: Detroit @ Columbus

Posted by Canadan82 on March 18, 2011
Game Discussion / No Comments

I had a lot of fun throwing some at the game opinions of the Boston game, and with sitting only about ten rows from the ice during the Detroit game, I feel like I had a great opportunity to take in the game in a completely different perspective.  I apologize if some of the opinions are a bit broken and piecemeal, but I hope you enjoy;

– I want to take a quick second to really appreciate some of the staff who work the games.  I attended with my father and a co-worker of his, with his eight year old son experiencing his first NHL game.  We sat down just as warmups were ending, and did not have time to get the eight year old over to the entrance in an attempt to get a high five or a puck.  My dad opted to go and speak to one of the attendants to see if there was a practice puck laying around for the kid to have, and a short time later, they gave him not only a practice puck, but also an official game puck.  To say that is just fantastic barely does it justice.  For a team that badly needs to set some roots in both young and old fans, I can only imagine how much that meant to this kid.

– Ethan Moreau is a big dude.  While his on ice play does not match the play that he made a name for himself earlier in his career, I was truly surprised at his stature.

– Fedor Tyutin is starting to give me cold sweats.  Each time he touched the puck, I questioned his decision making abilities.  His timing appeared a bit sluggish, and his inability to take shots on the powerplay was exhausting.  Not only that, for at least the second straight game, his powerplay passing was so suspect, that I think the Wings players simply waited for him to turn over the puck.  How he still gets powerplay time escapes me.

– The just under 40 shots by the Jackets failed to impress me.  What blew my mind the most was the decision to not take the shot in the middle of the ice, yet make the pass to the outside for a weak’ish’ shot at a bad angle, often blowing the puck past the net and sending Detroit on their own rush.  Columbus really needs to work on getting their shots from closer to the center of the ice, rather than way on the outside.

– Mason was shaky for a better part of the game.  While he settled down after the first goal was scored, he never seemed to pull in the puck.  Certainly getting in the way is an important criteria of being a goaltender, but rebounds were plentiful for the Columbus number one.  It has started to make me wonder if he will be able to get over his confidence issues in Columbus, based on how the fanbase and media react to his losses (note, that is not an absolute statement.  Just an opinion that I have, that he is always the first to blame for a goal, unlike when Garon lets some in).

– To any Detroit fans who read this, don’t come into Nationwide with a dead sea creature and expect to not get tripped while running down the aisle.  I can’t believe that people think it is appropriate to do something like that in an away building, and it certainly mocks the home crowd for being welcoming to away team fans.  I’ll be the first one to stand up and cheer if someone manages to stop one of these idiots before the make it into throwing distance.

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St Patty’s Day in Columbus

Posted by Canadan82 on March 17, 2011
Team Discussion / No Comments

I usually don’t bother with things like this, but I found it pretty comical.  Rarely do I stray from team colours when buying Blue Jackets clothing or memorabilia, however, I plan to attend the game tonight, and thought it would be a good thing to get some green gear to support the home town team rather than just wearing one of my many college St Patrick’s Day green shirts.

On Tuesday, I found the blueline store to lack much in quality.  A couple of t-shirts, one or two sweatshirts, and a pretty weak looking hat (which I believe retailed at over 25 dollars).  Needless to say I was disappointed, and jumped on NHL.com out of curiosity to see what I could pick up for the game.

Three items.  one t-shirt, and two sweatshirts.  No hats.  No mugs.  No stickers.  Three items, and nothing designed for the ladies either.  Compare that with Pittsburgh and Washington’s 28 items, Philadelphia and Chicago’s 27 items, Detroit’s 26 items, Boston’s 25 items, etc etc.

Now, I get that Columbus is a smaller market, but really, three items?  I’m not even going to invest my time in LOOKING at three items, let alone hoping something actually suits my taste.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to anyone and everyone.  Here’s hoping the green beer flows, and the stands are crowded with something other than red/white.

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