Sunday, December 26, 2010

6 of 7

The Jackets have now lost six of seven after tonight's 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the Blackhawks. They fired Ken Hitchcock for a slump after making the playoffs. Well perhaps it's not the coaching. The league's preposterous points system keeps the team artificially looking like it's in the race, but we should know better. Time to beat the dead horse - No offense means no meaningful playoff expectations. With no prospects for change, its already time to think about next year. Sad.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Downward Spiral

Four in a row. Losses. Poor play, often masked by superb goaltending, rises to the surface. If the game turns on one play, the team is making the wrong choice. Klesla's gaffe leading to an easy goal in Vancouver, squandering a game full of great saves by Garon, comes to mind. Tuesday is Calgary, in a down year and a Western conference member, in Columbus and it feels like a must-win to me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Up and Down

WIn one, lose one. The team beats the Rangers then loses in OT to Calgary. It's a maddeningly inconsistent team. Filatov to minors, Huselius off of injured list. Crowds will not return to Nationwide until the ship steadies and while I hope for success, how does one conjure the belief that the offense will get better? Based on what changes?

We'll see what happens in Vancouver. As always, pray for solid defense, a Nash goal or two and magic from the goalie, be it Mason or Garon.

Friday, December 10, 2010


4-1 loss in St. Louis where the team inexplicably decided to wait to the third period to show up. Power plays turned this game: the Blues went a remarkable 3-3 while the usually hapless Jackets went 0-8. Still 29th in the league in power play efficiency, the team's struggle with the man advantage is just an extension of the overall poor performance on offense. The penalty kill unit has now slipped to a disappointing 23rd place. Special teams like this will yield no playoffs.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

OT Win

Last minute goal from Nash with Garon pulled ties the game in the third and the Jackets win the shootout. Great work by someone (Umberger, I think, getting mashed but holding his ground) in front of the net as Nash inched closer before netting the tying goal, his 14th of the season. Early goal for Russell, who joins the rush and converts a nice pass from Vermette. With the offense lagging, the defensemen need to step it up. Garon only faces 16 shots (and gave up a softie on Richard's shot that somehow got through his glove) as Columbus outshoots Dallas 29-16. Wilson's wrister beats Lehtonen blocker side for the win in the shootout.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Stampeded 5-0

Describing the effort against the Sabres in Buffalo as poor would understate the matter. Rick Nash said, "We just didn’t seem ready from the start. It was a poor effort.” Umberger noted, "“Too many guys on vacation. It was probably our worst effort in a while. We’re not going to win any games like that.” The Jackets managed only 19 shots on a bored Ryan Miller. A horrible, horrible showing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

After sleeping for a couple of days due to a bad head cold, I was going to write of the sweep at the hands of the Red Wings. That was until I opened my RSS reader.

Yesterday Jim Kelley died.

You'll see obits noting his Hall of Fame career at the Buffalo News and Sports Illustrated. I first read his columns when I was in college and living in Buffalo. Pick a column and you'll see what is obvious: he cared deeply about the issues around hockey and sport in general. The sport has lost a champion who never skated in the league yet managed to contribute as much as many Cup-winning players. Rest in peace.