The Blue Jackets finished up Ohio-Michigan weekend in style with a 4-2 loss in Detroit. I was really hoping that Columbus’s home loss on Friday was a fluke, a down night during an otherwise stellar season. The Buckeyes were the delicious cream center between the CBJ’s poop-flavored outer cookies.
I attended Friday’s game and found myself constantly counting the number of DET players on the ice. Much to my dismay, they only once had too many men on the ice. Yet, it seemed as if they always had 6 or 7 skaters out there. They were consistently taking pucks away and their players were always in the right spot at the right time. It was a very frustrating game to watch.
I watched Sunday’s game from the comfort of my recliner. CBJ has won the majority of the games when I’ve got my fat ass parked in the chair, so I figured the Jackets had a chance today. Unfortunately, the same teams who showed up Friday showed up today. Detroit played light-out hockey and Columbus looked like the uninspired slumping team from last December.
Columbus had a 5-on-3 opportunity in the third period that Detroit killed off like they were playing a bunch of high school kids. I think Arniel should have pulled Mase at that point to make it 6-on-3. It probably wouldn’t have made a difference, though, because Detroit’s defensive talent and structure is unlike anything the Jackets have seen this year. It’s really amazing. I hate Detroit almost as much as Michigan as a whole (see below for more) and it pains me to say it, but Detroit is playing at a level far above anyone else in the league at this point.
Michigan Hate: I was up in Detroit earlier today to drop a friend off at the airport. The entire drive once we got out of Toledo was complete hell. From the concrete highway to the abandoned buildings everywhere, the place is a complete dump. It’s only fitting that the Red Wings and the Wolverines call such a cesspool ‘home’.
Streaking: The Jackets need to rebound against Nashville on Wednesday. They have a couple of days to get their act together before then. If nothing improves, then…
A Change Must Occur: When I was 11, I played little league baseball. I wasn’t very good and was always relegated to the outfield during the 5th and 6th innings (I was sitting on the bench the rest of the time). After a series of games where the team played like complete ass, the coach made a bold move: He put all of us bench-warmers in the starting line up. I was told that I would not only be playing second base (my true passion as an 11-year-old) but I would also be the lead-off batter. To fast forward a bit, we lost the game and I’m pretty sure I popped out during my first at-bat, but I’ll be damned if our team didn’t win the rest of our games until the championship that year. I don’t expect the Jackets to win out, but my god, there has to be something done about the defense and overall leadership on this team. It might be blasphemy to say it, but…
Nash Shouldn’t Be The Captain: Being the best puck handler, shooter, and spokesman on the team should not make you the captain. If Nash is to earn his stripes as captain, he needs to inspire his team to a win or two, especially a divisional rival and conference leader. Maybe it’s FSO’s presentation, but I haven’t seen an ounce of leadership from Nash this year.
The Columbus Blue Jackets released the long-awaited 3rd jerseys through much fanfare on Wednesday night. It was a good break from the rotten game against the Islanders.
Since the announcement that the jerseys were going to be released many months ago, there have been dozens of concept designs and hundreds of suggestions regarding what they should look like. I got into the speculation discussions early on, but didn’t look at a single concept since late September. I’m glad I waited, too.
I knew they would incorporate the cannon in some way. I got the offer to pre-order the jersey, but held off as I was afraid they would put stinger in Union Blue and have him firing the cannon in some ridiculous Dragon-ball Z pose.
I’m so incredibly excited that it is a tasteful, great-looking logo that I ordered a jersey from NHL Shop this afternoon. The Mrs. got one, too. Great work, CBJ. You’ve made me proud.
The Rimer’s Ramblings update for today highlighted a quote from Arniel that was delivered during this morning’s practice:
Just because we had success last game, doesn’t mean that tonight’s game is going to be easy. We’ve seen how we handle adversity, bouncing back after bad games. I’m interested tonight to see how we handle success.
If tonight’s game is any indication, the team didn’t interpret the message the same way as Rimer. After pulling out a divisional stomping against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, the Blue Jackets played without any kind of cohesiveness tonight.
I don’t think it was the lack of the captain on the ice or the overall lack of veterans on the ice all season (Huse, Commie, Moreau). I also don’t think it was the lack of someone on the ice to stomp (Foote was out with a concussion despite the lack of a brain). You could point a heavy finger at the defense (letting the Avs get to Mase too much) or at Mase himself (being a sieve).
I have to give props for the goddamn Avs tonight. When they arrived in Columbus, they showed up in their grit pants. Right from the start, it seemed like they were one step and pass ahead of everyone else on the ice. They didn’t quit, either, unlike the CBJ.
There was a moment or two in the second where the Jackets seemed to have it all together, but soon enough, Colorado put out that fire. The Jackets played entire third period like a desperate team, and with good reason. They could have turned to thugs, like the Blues did during the stomping, but instead, they started playing like a drunk monkey playing NHL 11. Entertaining as that seems, it was not so tonight.
Really a pathetic showing to follow up the bloodbath on Wednesday. Arniel asked for consistency after Wednesday’s game. I implore him to ask for the same damn thing again so the players will do the exact opposite.
I really shouldn’t have to say more (pay no attention to the boobs on the right and left).
Following a terrible effort at home versus Calgary, CBJ headed to Chicago to face a divisional rival and defending Stanley Cup champions. Head Coach Scott Arniel no doubt delivered a message to the Jackets, but would it sink in?
Following one period of play, Columbus was down 2-0. I wasn’t able to watch the first four-fifths of the game, so I don’t know exactly how the Jackets played. Following along via score updates, it didn’t appear that Arniel’s message sunk in.
By the time I was able to tune in, it was the third period and the game was tied 2-2. A come-back in the second of back-to-back games didn’t seem likely especially following the thumping received from Calgary the night before. It was immediately evident that this was an inspired CBJ team in Chicago. They controlled the puck the puck well and kept pressure on the Blackhawks. This is something they couldn’t do against Calgary.
After going up 3-2 on a Vermette/Umby goal (as of this writing, it is still being called a goal for Vermette, though it looked to me like that should change), the Jackets had 13.5 minutes to prevent Chicago from tying it up again. They did so in style, too. It wasn’t like Mase had it easy, but the Jackets maintained control of the puck well and even kept the puck in the zone during a power play opportunity with about 10 minutes left in the game.
I don’t have any confidence that Arniel fixed all the problems of the CBJ after the trouncing by Calgary on Friday, but I don’t think the Calgary game is going to be the average of the year. After Friday’s game, everyone on Twitter and in the blogosphere was very doom and gloom. After Saturday’s game, everyone was sunshine and lollipops. We still have a tough row to hoe this season, as we’ve got 75 games left before our second playoff berth (yeah… I said it). We just need to hope that we win a few of our own 6-2 games and not be the league’s whipping boy.
The Blue Jackets hosted Western conference foe Calgary Flames on Friday night. I attended the game in support of Hockey Fights Cancer. Hopefully the monies raised for the effort are more effective than Columbus’s effort on the ice. It was an awful game all around, ending in a 6-2 loss for the Jackets. Congratulations to Rene Bourque on his hat trick with 6 seconds left in the 3rd. I don’t think anyone noticed it, as they got back to the last 6 seconds of play pretty quickly.
To recap the game, let’s go to the Twitter feed!
7:57 PM Dorsett:Iginla::Hockey:Cancer #cbjfightscancer
Dorsett played with some heart against CGY. After tallying the Jackets’ first goal, he dueled with Calgary’s captain, Jarome Iginla. It looked like it was going to be a short one, as Iginla took Dorsett to the ice almost immediately, but no one intervened before Dorsett could get back on his feet. Derek finished the fight in style by putting Iginla down. Great effort the whole night from Dorsett.
8:42 PM I hope #CBJ fights cancer better than they fight Flames.#cbjfightscancer
8:46 PM #cbjfightscancer #CBJ down 3 but one period left to Fight back!
8:49 PM Hopefully none of the #CBJ are volunteer fire fighters… They can’t stop the Flames
9:14 PM #CBJ has one thing going for them: consistency.
9:34 PM Ouch. 6-2. No chili. No win. No crowd.
Arniel’s post-game sounded just as uninspired as ever, but if you listened to what he was saying, it was very telling that he was unhappy with the performance. This isn’t an exact quote from Arniel, but the message accurate: “I’m still getting to know this team and I’m learning lots that I don’t like at all.” I love it. Arniel made it very clear that he had a message to deliver to the team and that, hell or high water, he was going to get that across to each and every player. He’s like the Ben Stein of coaching: sounds bored out of his skull, but you can tell there’s a lot going on upstairs.
It was a very rough night to be in Nationwide Arena. We were among a mere 10,784 in attendance. It wasn’t a good showing by the team or the fans, especially given the focus on cancer awareness. The Jackets would have an immediate opportunity to right their wrongs from Friday as they boarded a plane to Chicago for a Saturday night fight.
CBJ looked inspired at times during tonight’s battle against the Ducks. Those fortunate enough to be in the half-full Nationwide Arena should forever remember the new coach’s first home win as one where the defense actually showed up and the offense was barely alive.
While the Jackets scored two goals (not including Nash’s empty-netter), they only tallied 22 shots on goal. Mase had a good night and was quick to recover after flailing around on the ice a bit.
Most impressive was the penalty kill for the Jackets. They stopped the Ducks from scoring on all five opportunities. This is a big improvement over their 24th-ranked PK heading into the game. It might be a sign of life, but Columbus held MIN (league leaders as of tonight) to 1-5 the Saturday prior.
Arniel’s post-game presser seemed as uninspired as anything Noel ever did. It did, however, feel like he actually watched the game, which is something I never thought the Absent Minded Professor ever did. He mentioned something that I really liked. Still having lots to teach. Arniel’s system is a lot different than what CBJ is used to and they will need to learn a lot from him and his staff before they can become a good team under him. Maybe after that, they can upgrade to Great.
I am so freaking excited for the new season of Blue Jackets hockey. How excited? So excited that I’m not using exclamation marks because they are too cliché for my level of intensity.
It has been a long off-season for the CBJ faithful. At the end of last year, I was so depressed about the finish, the lack of a clear coaching candidate, and a Central Division foe taking the Cup home.
Then Cannonfest came along. I didn’t participate much and met very few people (none as Mr. Soangrydotnet). That’s just my style and I had a great time being in the presence of so many Jackets fans wearing their favorite sweaters, despite the wicked heat. It gave me hope and got me revved up for hockey season way earlier than I ever have been before. I was so ready for hockey that I almost forgot about fantasy football. I never forget about fantasy football.
The CBJ v. ANA game is the first I get to watch in it’s entirety at home with my fat ass in a recliner. I missed most of the openers across the pond due to work and life.
Me and the Mrs. caught the first two periods of the CBJ v. CHI on 10/15 at a Ralphie’s in Lima. What a hell-hole. The highlight of the night was a picture falling off the wall and almost crushing an infant and a 5-year-old. It’s horrible, I know, but did you see that game??
I missed the CBJ v. MIN game due to a high school reunion. Interesting time, but not Baby-Crushing Picture interesting.
I’m finally ready for this night. Get ready, Recliner: You’ve got another 70-ish games to enjoy the imprint of my butt.
Ovi and The Washington Capitals visited Columbus in a mostly meaningless game. The Jackets are just playing for pride at this point, though they should be throwing the games away in order to get a better draft pick.
CBJ completely shut down Ovechkin in typical Jackets style. Ovi never does well against Columbus. There’s no doubt that he’s one of the best of all time and probably the best of this generation. Somehow, CBJ has his number everytime they meet.
The game really came down to goal tending. Garon didn’t look comfortable from the get go. After Chimera was taken out of a play in the first, he hit Garon who took a headshot on the left post. He looked dazed after the play and after letting another goal past, he was pulled like a tooth tied to a door knob. Mason let one goal past, but then settled in and played like a champ from there on out.
Theodore was really the star, though. Time after time he stopped shots from everyone except Antoine Vermette. He looked sharp and likely solidified the starting goal tender spot for the Caps in the playoffs.
In his post-game press conference, Claude was disappointed with the outcome, but pleased with the effort. The power play was lacking (pretty common lately) but the comeback was good (which is not so common lately).
The season winds down for the Jackets this week. I wonder how soon we will hear an announcement about Noel’s position. Finishing the season gracefully and with a few wins should just be more fuel for the fire that should get him the job.
How could you not love this game?? Oh yeah: if you are a Blackhawks fan.
@Commie22 started off the scoring fest just 30 seconds into the first on a lucky bounce off Huet. The scoring would continue with Huse and Vermette each getting two and Blunden (first NHL goal!), Murray, and Voracek each getting one. The latter goal was on a penalty shot in which Jake became the first Jacket not named Nash since David Vyborny to score on a penalty shot. Awesome effort, Jake.
Mase did an incredible job tonight, stopping 29 of 32 shots. He’s going to be a legend some day. If not in the NHL, he will at least be a god in Columbus. It will be great to see him consistently out of his sophomore slump.
I’d like to see the top line play a lot better in the defensive end. For Huse and Vermette to have four goals and one assist between them and to only be +2 each seems ridiculous.
Blunden got the hard hat tonight as he picked up his first goal in the NHL. He also stood ready to mix it up with some dirty Blackhawks, showing his committment to a team that is all but eliminated from the playoffs this year.
In an intelligent move, Noel stated in his press conference that he never felt comfortable in the game. Despite being up 5 goals, he knew he and the team shouldn’t enjoy it too much and get cocky or loose with their play. That’s when the game would get out of hand in Chicago’s favor. The Jackets did sit back in the third and allowed two goals while tallying two more of their own. AMP said at the end of the TV broadcast that he is very pleased with the personnel. And it didn’t sound political. It didn’t sound like he was saying it to kiss Howson’s ass to hopefully get the permanent job. He genuinely is happy with the players and the progress they are making.
I have to say that the team appears to be making progress. At least they aren’t regressing as they appeared to be under Hitch. If Howson decides to look elsewhere for a head coach, I think he would completely ruin all the progress that Noel has been working on for the past two months. What would the point have been of firing Hitch that late in the season if they didn’t want to have something to build off of. Dismissing Noel would crush that momentum and the Jackets would be right back to where they were months ago. We jus can’t afford that right now. Go Jackets.