First off, regarding the games... The were disappointing. They could not capitalize on a St Louis team skating on their heels in game one, and foolish mistakes by Huselius and Williams in the shootout likely cost them that point. Moving on to Sunday, the effort was clearly not there from the opening draw. With horrible mistakes defensively leading to countless turnovers, odd man rushes, and breakaways, Mason was hung out to dry and given no real chance to have a competitive game himself, which he did not.
But the point here is as flat and simple as it gets. Win enough to get in the playoffs, or deal with a truly unsatisfied, angry, and upset fan base that will inevitably feel like they were violated. Columbus is now expected to make the post-season. They are no longer playoff underdogs. Prior to the week, their statistical lead from 9th place was enough to have a multitude of media outlets suggest that it was a sealed deal. Was that their mistake? Of course not. They were playing great hockey, winning games while staring adversity in the face, and proving their worth.
Hard to say the same thing about this weekend.
I am ready to expect a strong effort in their next six games. I do not expect them to win them all, but if I am forced to witness another lackluster effort, this blog will be a lot more hostile towards them. I have personally been called a homer, and a prude regarding the teams I favor heavily. This year, I have been told that my negativity towards the team is frustrating and confusing. I have been told to lighten up and enjoy what the team is doing. Well, it is at this point I sit back and remind myself why I was upset they squandered those points. It reminds me why I was so angry they lost 7-2 to Edmonton months ago. It was me carrying the flag then, and it is me telling you to do the same now..
So Jackets fans... Carry the Flag!