Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
So let me cut to the chase: my theory is that there is a conspiracy to make it as difficult as possible for the Blue Jackets to get into the playoffs.
Let me lay it all out for you...
Well, if you've been paying attention, and if you are a Jackets fan...I probably don't have to detail these out completely for you....the persistent kicking motions, the nets being pushed off, the epically bad calls or lack there of, the goals being allowed to stand against us, or taken away from us at any given turn. It's ridiculous.
Obviously there is no way in hockey to control all aspects of a game. I mean..it's hockey! It involves a frozen piece of rubber being chased around a pool of ice by strapping young men at blistering speeds! So the only aspects that can be controlled are those that are the most subjective and so the aspects controlled by the referees would be it. But not all of them...that would be too obvious. Nope. Just certain ones that need to be reviewed. By others. In another room. In another country.
Yes folks, for you not familiar with that process...the War Room that reviews these calls exists in Toronto. For real. Makes perfect sense, right?
Ahhhh. Here is the beauty of my theory. It works even if it doesn't work!
You will note that the conspiracy is not to keep the Jackets out of the playoffs, just to make it as difficult as possible. We, as Jackets fans, know how hard it has been never having tasted the sweet flavor of post-season games. We feel the pain. So if they make it to those mid-April days, even after having face down all these awful calls and horrible injuries...OMG - WHAT A STORY!?!?! Can you see the PR dream? The NHL will have a Cinderella story packaged up and ready to go!! The heavens will part above Nationwide Arena and heavenly light will shine down from Toronto, pretty lady advertising executives will descend upon Columbus to sell tons of air time, folks will come from far and wide to cheer on the Jackets, and the Blue Line stores will run out of stuff to sell! Awesome, right??
And if they lose? Well, par for the course, meh, we did it last year, big whoop, see ya' next fall.
So yeah...I think this is real. I think there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by making it unbelievably hard for our boyz.
Again, as a new fan, it has been disappointing to see my faith in a system of checks (PUN!) and balances fail miserably. That being said, I will continue to put my faith where it really counts... into this team... who is putting their heart and soul, blood and guts into every game!
Carry the Flag!
Being reported on Puck-rakers is that the Red Wings are appealing the one game sit out rule for Datsuk and Lindstrom. If they get their way, they will be able to play in the all-important first game back against us Tuesday night.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Now, to some accounts, this is not a big deal. To some, Regehr made a mistake, and hit him in a way he did not expect to. To that, I say bogus. This was a blatant and ugly play, and is currently being reviewed by the league to see if a suspension is necessary. Regehr received a double minor for roughing, and Dorsett received a minor for roughing on the play, which only enhances how poorly the game was officiated. How he could cross check someone in the face and not get ejected is beyond a 'missed' call. This is a substantially unsafe play that should be well within the confines of the 5-10 game suspension range.
Fortunately, someone decided to throw it on youtube!
The hit reminded me of Jesse Boulerice when he used his stick in a comparable fashion after slashing a Vancouver player. If memory serves me correctly, he was given a substantial suspension, and quickly released by the Flyers because of it. That is the kind of reaction that this play deserves, especially in a game that already hosted a nasty check from behind (which resulted in an ejection) and a knife across the neck gesture, both of which will also be reviewed by the league. These hits are categorized, along with the Chris Simon stick facial on Ryan Hollweg, and Marty McSorely baseball swing on Donald Brashear. While this one may be the least disgusting of the bunch, it should still absolutely be dealt a hefty suspension.
Now, I do not expect the league to take a thoughtful stance on this, as they have shown their disinterest in the Jackets on multiple occasions this year already, but I do believe for the safety of the players, an example needs to be made. Dorsett is extremely lucky this was only a cut to the forehead and not something worse (MRIs confirmed no fracturing), and is even more fortunate to be able to suit up again for the Jackets in their next game. It could have easily resulted in something terrible, such a fractured skull or eye injury, which would case Dorsett to miss a serious amount of playing time.
Carry the Flag.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
What I am here to talk about is what you might not have heard about. Folks, the Arena was jumping and completely packed to the rafters!! It was rockin'...and to change the phrase..."come on in!!" The theme was White Out night. T-shirts were handed out at the door. We were present at this same promotion last year. Not only was the attendance lower but the participation was, in a word, pitiful! This year they had the right idea. Not only did they embarrass non-participants on the jumbo-tron, but midway into the first period there was an announcement that the section with the most people in the t-shirts would get free beverages! Woot! I never saw so many people do the "omg, I must put this t-shirt over whatever I am wearing for carbonated syrup" dance before!!
Watching Mase doing his job...well, a-maseing as always!! A ref went down and out with an arm injury early in the first leaving one less ref on the ice (an 8 year old girl behind us stated that "he got checked!!"). But otherwise it was a rather slow start in the first period. So when the Jackets came out and Manny Malhotra scored in the second period, the place went nuts!! And anyone NOT wearing their shirt either donned it out of love or started waving it joyously!
I will touch briefly on the "call" and that is only to say that after Toronto had reviewed it, and when it was announced that the goal would stand, that the entire Arena erupted in a loud roar of protest boos the likes of which I have never heard. These boos continued long into the next minutes whenever a Devil touched the puck, and as Hitch continued to, um, talk about the incident. As the final minutes ticked away, and the Jackets battled for some kind of control, and some kind of scoring opportunity (our seats were at a perfect angle to the right of the Devil net), the entire crowd was on their feet, screaming, yelling chanting, shouting, jumping up and down and trying to lift practically their team to victory. . . .
Unfortunately, as you also know by know, this was not to be. But I dare anyone to say the team didn't try. I dare anyone to say that the fans were not into the game. And I dare anyone to say it was not a rockin' way to spend a Friday night.
Oh, and Future Jackets? Toooooo cute for words and one reason to stay in your seat during intermission!
On to Canada boyz!!!
Carry the Flag!!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Blue Jackets have acquired Jason Williams from the Atlanta Thrashers for defensemen Clay Wilson, and a 6th rounder. This is a solid step for the Blue Jackets in regards to the depleted offense, and mediocre powerplay.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Tonight was a turning point in the season. Once again faced with a game where the winner moves up in the standings, the Blue Jackets squared off against the fo*teless (name modified for hate) Avalanche at Nationwide Arena.
Concerns are once again running amok in Columbus with captain and leading scorer Rick Nash moving to the IR. According to the Dispatch, his injury was not healing the way they anticipated, and I am left wondering whether they are simply not willing to create a bigger injury, or whether they are downplaying his leg injury to ease the minds of fans..
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
So what is my point here? Columbus, we have a professional sports team in our midst of top-notch, talented, well-mannered, educated, respectful, kind, and dedicated athletes. They are playing their hearts out for us. The management team for the Blue Jackets is trying to find creative ways to get the guys out in public by thinking outside the autograph session box. This bell-ringing session is one of those ways. Brian and I easily had 5-10 minutes apiece with each pair of players all to ourselves! Where else does this happen? Can you imagine taking a kid who admires one of these guys to an event like this? Hockey players are the kind of athletes who represent something great that is missing in most other sports, in my opinion. And hockey is accessible. And professional hockey is happening right here, right now, in our town.
Another example of outside the box thinking is the recent and on-going Pepsi 4-pack promotion. Go to any Giant Eagle, buy Pepsi cases of pop, and at the register use your Giant Eagle shopper card. When you have paid a voucher will print out like a coupon. You simply take the voucher to the ticket booth at Nationwide Arena for 4 tickets to any Blue Jackets game, through March 3rd. Really! I am not making this up!! Basically you can get 4 tickets for $5 apiece!! There are always a list of great promotions here.
So you have no excuses Columbus!!!
Our team is carrying the flag for us.....now it's your turn!
Carry the Flag!!
So many different things could be taken out of tonight's MASSIVE victory in Washington. While I sat on the edge of my couch rooting like crazy for the Jackets, I had mixed emotions, as it was a game I came into thinking there would be an inevitable loss. But let's break down why it was a win.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
It was very clear that Columbus was worn down from their long trip as the game against St Louis completed. With Steve Mason playing every game in the road trip, it came at no surprise that he struggled against the Blues, in one of the few games this season where he actually looked human.
So my question here, is why Hitchcock is using him so actively throughout the last couple months. For a guy who will not stop suggesting that rookies need to be eased into play, he has been a hypocrite when dealing with Mason. The second he arrived with the team and showed potential was the same time Leclaire was relegated to the bench to watch. Now, I certainly agree with his attitude toward Mason, but why the sudden change in opinion?
It appears that part of the question could be answered, with Leclaire having his ankle checked once again by specialists, leading everyone to believe that not only is he underachieving, but he is also unhealthy. Not exactly the right combination for a team that just let Norrena go on waivers, and are milking everything they can out of Mason in his rookie campaign.
So here is what I would like to hear from all of you. Why do you think Mason is being used so heavily by Hitchcock? Would it have to do with Leclaire’s poor play this year, his injured ankle, or simply because Hitch realizes how strong Mason is as a netminder, and how much different the team plays with him in net?
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Welcome Jackets fans to CBJfans.blogspot.com! We are excited to offer you our opinions on the Jackets, news, and our experiences while attending some of the Blue Jackets activities, whether it be a hockey game, a signing, or a Jackets sighting with an interesting story.
Our bloggers will be focusing on their strengths and personal opinions on the team, which should give us an opportunity to provide you the reader with not only a diverse collection of opinions, but also a multitude of different angles on everything CBJ.
With Columbus fighting hard for a playoff spot this year, and the team really building as a group, It is the best time to really consider what they can do to boost themselves into the next level of hockey, and really make a statement in their first ever playoff series.
So put away the Jackets notebook, toss aside the stats sheets, and get ready to get involved in a ‘for the fans, by the fans’ experience!