It has been an interesting week for fans of Columbus. A blow out loss against Vancouver brought about the possibility of a Hitchcock firing if a second occurred against Edmonton. A series of wins to basically negate any possibility of a Hitchcock firing. 4 out of 6 points, when I personally expected two or less.
For me, it is hard to be excited. I was absolutely sure we would have a new coach by the end of this week. I had already accepted a two or three loss roadtrip, and was looking forward to the change of pace once a new coach had been named. In fact, I was so far ahead of myself, that I actually started cheering for Sam Gagner (former hometown London Knight and now Edmonton Oiler) to finally put us out of our misery.
But then, unexpectedly, the Jackets started playing hockey. While the win in Edmonton was not a good win, it was something that seemed impossible a week prior. While the Oil have been struggling harder than Columbus, it still drew the tinge of excitement to see Garon get the 'W' against his former team.
Even more shocking was the win against Calgary. A hard nose team no matter what evening it is, the Flames have been able to man handle some of Columbus' more offensive players in games past. Yet another strong game by Garon, and a breakout game for Vermette and the Vermette-Voracek-Torres line left me absolutely boggled. Could it be that these guys just needed a spark to get going? Could it be that Hitchcock may still have the locker room, and that the players were the issue?
I am not ready to admit being wrong about Hitch. The team will have to win a whole heck of a lot of games before I change my mind. In fact, a playoff berth may be the only time this year I admit being wrong about our coach, but I will admit he has bought himself a couple games even from me. I would love to see them make a move to bring a big name to Columbus, but I have to think, based on the standings, that will not happen before the off-season.
The Stars are in Columbus on Sunday. Believe this; This game means more to the fans than the Jackets will ever know. You can not win on the road, and return home playing like crap. If they come out slow tomorrow, you better believe the fans will let them know.
Carry the Flag!