Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Good game at home against Calgary that ends regulation tied at 1-1. Mason plays a good game, as does Kiprusoff at the other end. Mason makes a clutch glove save with 2 seconds left in overtime to send it to a shoot out. Only one goal in the shoot out - Iginla nets the winner as Wisniewski's shot rings off the post behind Kipper to end the game. Good crowd gets a solid effort, but no win.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

22 points on December 26 - good enough for worst in the league. Losers of four in a row. Unless someone catches fire, no one will score 30 goals or earn 75 points. There is on regular with a favorable plus/minus rating. The winner: Derek MacKenzie. Our top two players, Nash and Wisniewski, are a combined -37. Steve Mason can only be found on a milk carton these days. The holiday spirit these days is bourbon, by the barrel.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mason Returns

Steve Mason was back in goal after nearly a month in the doghouse, and the Jackets walk away with a 2-1 shootout win against the here-to-fore hot Canucks. It had to gratifying for Mason in stopping 30 shots and beating at-times similarly beleaguered Luongo. Carter had the only goal in regulation for Columbus, netting his sixth and, shockingly, on the power play. 37 shifts and 26+ minutes of ice time for Tyutin. A good win in front of the home crowd.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Everything but the win

Tough loss at home to the hated Nashvillans on Friday night. Trying to follow up on the Tuesday win against Montreal, the Jackets carried the play for 57+ minutes. Unfortunately the Rinnes were ale to score on a 6-on-4 power play with Rinne pulled with 1:30 left. Destiny completed the letdown in overtime as Wlison beat Sanford for the loss. Carter, Vermette and Dorsett scored for the Jackets.

Why We Are What We Are - Columbus is:
27th in power play
28th in penalty killing.
28th in goals per game
27th in goals against

Why does Howson still have his job?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Western Swing

The mini trip out west ended up being a microcosm of the season. The team dropped two of three and finished up the trip by allowing edmonton to net 5 goals in the third. Huselius was activated for the first time this year in that last game. Clearly he will need many games to get himself in game-shape, as his -2 attests. Hate to see a gritty come-from-behind win at Calgary get followed up by the collapse in Edmonton. The team gets a break until Tuesday when they travel to Montreal.

Interesting that after 26 games, Derek MacKenzie leads the team at +6. In stark contrast, the player with the worst ratio on the team? Rick Nash at -14. Hard to believe. High priced free agent Wisniewski is just behind him at -13.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The team has earned points in the last five games including a 5-1 win against the Sabres. Admittedly it was against the Sabres without Ryan Miller, but we will take it. Seeing Nash, Carter and Lupul heat up is a good sign. It won't last forever, but at least they're entertaining.

Oh by the way, I guess the Sanford for mayor campaign kicks off soon. Don't break a leg jumping off the Mason bandwagon, folks. Remember it's a long season.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A good night

The first goals of the season from Carter and (the game-winner from) Wisniewski lead to the first win in Nashville in five years. Sanford is again in net. Two days after a tough 2-1 loss in Boston, finally something to cheer.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Good to see young Johansen step it up and score both goals in a 2-1 win. Mason stops 35 of 36 shots. Jeff Carter is activated and plays 20+ minutes. Niktin, received in a Friday trade for Kris Russell, gets an assist. 0 for 4... on... the... power play! Sorry, held off for years but had to do that at least once (c:

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Not fast enough

I wasn't fast enough as I got home from jumpstarting a friend's car to find the Jackets down by 5. By mid-second period, it was 8-0. Obviously the team wasn't fast enough either. Steve Mason again did his best Swiss cheese imitation and had to be pulled before the end of period one.

The only major question left is why do the coach and GM still have their jobs? If ownership wants us to believe that they don't care, well take my word for it - we're convinced. The Hitchcock countdown is officially running. For those of us who never understood why he was fired in the first place, his rehiring can't happen soon enough.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Sinking deeper

On home ice the team dropped another game in a disheartening fashion. The first period ended with the Leafs up 2-0... on four shots. What do you say when you have to pull your star goalie? Well Coach Arniel had a few choice words, ""Their goaltender was better than our goaltender. Plain and simple. Their guy made a lot of big saves. One end was good and one end wasn't. That's the end of that story." Indeed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The Jackets win again on home ice against a solid opponent. The team downed the Kings 4-2 in a chippy, fight-filled game. Mason faced only 19 shots as the team has hunkered down. Hopefully the inspired play will continue as Columbus has a long way to go to even get to a competitive level in the tough Western conference.

Coach Scott Arniel "When we play with a little bit of any edge, when we play like we're pissed off, when we play in the hard areas and go there first ... that's usually when better things happen for us."

Friday, October 28, 2011

4-2 loss in Buffalo comes down to special teams. While the hapless Blue Jackets went a horrid (even for them) 0 of 6, the Sabres went 2 for 3. Conveniently, the margin of victory. Columbus is an unworldly 10% with the man advantage on the season. Despite peppering Ryan Miller's stand-in for 43 shots, the team just cannot score on consistent basis. Jeff Carter is still out. What a mess.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Off the schneid

The Jackets outhit, out hustled, out scrapped and outscored the Red Wings to earn their first victory of the season. The home crowd was given the rare opportunity to see a focused squad playing with a determination unseen this season. The team wwas desperate and played like it.

It was a game of firsts:

  • Wisniewski made his debut after serving an eight game suspension and logged an impressive 27 minutes on the blue line.

  • Umberger scored only 21 seconds into the game to net his first goal of the year

  • Ryan Johansen's shot knuckled off a Red Wing glove into the net for his first goal

  • John Moore joined the "first" party with his goal in the second period

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The worst possible scenario

Still looking for the first win of the season. The team looked outmatched, and they were, by the Red Wings. No end in sight as the team is misfiring in all possible ways. The embarrassing 1-on-4 goal given up the other day is just indicative of a rudderless team.

Still think firing Ken Hitchcock was a good idea, Howson?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The same old song

People starting talking up the Jackets based on some exciting off-season signings. The expensive and yet-to-play-due-to-suspension James Wisniewski and Jeff Carter. The signings cannot hide what people who follow the team know. The team lacks scoring punch, the power play is horrid, and Steve Mason is usually the only hope for victory. Less than 9,000 people came to see last night's game, a shootout loss to Colorado.

The power play is 0 for 5. Not in chances, in games. No conversions by the unit in the five games. O for the season... Good times!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Off & stumbling

Would've been nice to get off to a good running start, but Columbus has stumbled out of the gate heading into turn one. The loss at home to Vancouver (and Cory Schneider, not Mr. Luongo) drops the team to 0-3; a solid effort not rewarded with a win. 0 of 5 on the power play... seems vaguely familiar.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Free agent pickup defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended for eight regular-season games for a hit to the head of Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck. I have no problem with Shanahan's suspension for Wisniewski. At this point the league has to draw a line in the sand. Players who go for the head now know there will be repercussions. The test will be when a top player makes such a hit. Will they get suspended, or will the league turn its back? That is the question.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Howson on Fan Base

On the Fan 590 Prime Time Sports radio program from Toronto, Howson spoke about the free agent moves, especially the signing of Wisniewski.

In response to Bob McCown's question about the relationship between fans and this year's signings, Howson said, "We've been in the league ten years and have only made the playoffs once. And our fans have been really patient. We really needed to energize the market."

Seeing is believing, but at least they are listening. Invest in a better team to attract fans. It's not rocket science. So far it has been a good free agent period for the team. I, for one, am sad to Garon go, but the additions of Carter and Wisnewski plugged vital holes in the offense.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


A draft that nets a proven scorer like Jeff Carter cannot be all bad. Rick Nash must feel like a kid on Christmas morning having just received his most wanted gift - a talented center to call all his own. Last off-season the team did little to boost confidence in its fan base. This move can only be seen as a move towards improving the team and its fan appeal. Hopefully Jeff comes to Columbus with a positive attitude. That much will be tough not because he lacks professionalism, but he leaves a team seemingly on the verge of playoff success. Some may argue that Philly lost too much by trading Carter and Richards. We'll see. Once they sign the goalie of their dreams, let's see what's left in the till.

For Howson, improvement is the key. Signing Carter put the fans on notice that he saw the empty seats in Nationwide. What's next?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Looks to be an exciting game seven for the Cup. Hopefully the game measures up to the moment. I'll be happy with any result. Good luck Canuck and Bruins fans.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Just like that

Luongo gives up two weak goals followed by a third goal, of all things, a power play goal. Good night Roberto. A few minutes later another goal on a tip in of a shot from the point and it's 4-0 in the first. No chance for anyone in goal on that tip. Drive safely folks.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

On the Edge

Strong game on home ice from the Canucks led by the much maligned Luongo. Roberto shook off criticism and played a solid game shutting out the Bruins 1-0. Thomas played spectacularly to keep Boston in it, but the Canucks looked like the better team on this night. Crisp passing and quality rushes seemed to indicate that they were about to break out, but Thomas kept them at bay until Lapierre banked one in off Thomas after what looked like an intentionally wide shot off the boards. Vancouver is on the edge of a title as they fly back to Boston.

Count me as one who hates the two days off between games. They could have had a good audience on Sunday night, but we get carried over yet another day. It's more of a buzz kill than an interest build.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Game Four

Is it just me or does the Boston anthem singer look like Michael Palin? I was hoping he'd break into the Lumberjack Song in place of the anthems. Goaltending is again the difference. Boston gets a shutout from Thomas as Luongo gets chased to the bench. Scrappy game got a bit ugly at the end. Luckily an all-out brawl managed to never occur. Onto Vancouver.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

11 Seconds

Burrows took a bite out of the Bruins hopes with a gift of a goal only 11 seconds into overtime. Thomas gets caught out of position and it's over just like that. A tough loss to swallow. Luongo has played very well and lets hope he gets to shed the unfair choker label once and for all. Former Bluejacket Manny Malhotra makes the comeback from his serous injury to make the finals for the Canucks. Good to see Manny back on the ice!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Game One

Feisty first period from Vancouver. Tim Thomas continued his stellar play in goal stopping several excellent scoring chances. Fun to see Charra planted in front of Luongo on the power play.

Happiest guy in the league today? My nomination is Colin Campbell. His days as daily scapegoat for all that is wrong with the NHL is over. Good luck Shanny, you'll need it.

Period two is as good as the first. Luongo fights boredom as Thomas faces the lion's share of the action. The replay of the finger bite has gotten enough play. Shanihan will get tested on his first game. Should be a no brainer suspension. My guess is one game, but who knows?

My vote doesn't count, but I'd love to see the Jets back in the league. That or the Rough Riders.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Boston - Vancouver

Just watched the game TB-BOS game seven. Pulled for Tampa but have no bad feelings towards Boston. Thomas carried that team to the finals. Roloson played valiantly as well, but the Bruins managed to get it done. One defensive breakdown decides a close series. Hard to imagine either team beating the Canucks, but hopefully we'll get a competitive Stanley Cup final.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The one thing

Have enjoyed the playoffs so far. Watching game 6 of the Detroit-San Jose series. Just saw my favorite moment of the season so far: the smile on the face of the serviceman when the Detroit PA announcer mentioned the soldier was back from Afghanistan. The bewildered smile after the roar from the crowd was fantastic. The squid has hit the ice and they're ready to go.

First game with the new cable receiver. HD hockey is so great.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Another year outside looking in at the playoffs. Sad finish to the season though there were no real hopes of competing. The simple love of hockey kept fans watching, but the team has worn its good will thin. It's time to improve the team or consider more dire changes. Hamilton anyone?

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Friday, April 01, 2011

So it goes

Like a microcosm if the season itself, the Jackets play hard but come up short against the Capitals. Former Jacket Chimera ends the game in overtime with a tap-in.

A few weak plays by Mason lead to the first three Capital goals. Okay, two weak plays and an unlucky bounce in his clearing attempt. Nonetheless Steve has to better control rebounds. The first goal arose from what should gave been a routine glove save. Nice goal by Upshall to tie the game at 3 in the third period. Nash sat out.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

The beat goes on

All you need to know: 13 shots on goal against the Devils on Columbus ice. 3-0 loss.

If nothing else Brian Burke, the truculent one, is quotable: “I think people know my feeling on the shootout generally. It’s almost the same as if the NFL decided overtime games by throwing a ball through a tire.” Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The way they play the game

By now you have seen the video. Probably have watched it several times - in real time and in slow motion. Zdeno Chara rides Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty into a stanchion and Pacioretty drops to the ice. My first thought at the sight of the video before I knew the result, "Is he dead?" Chara doesn't strike many people as the type of guy who would intentionally injure someone. Intentionally ferociously check, yes. Injure, no.

Did he deserve a suspension? Let's be frank - Pacioretty will not play hockey for a long time, perhaps never again. Hockey is a tough, dangerous sport; no league can legislate complete safety. Without evidence as to intent, it's hard for me to insist on punishment despite the dramatic injury.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Is it next year yet?

Five losses in a row - the latest is a shootout loss to St. Louis on the road. Read an unbelievable stat: The Blues went 6 for 8 on the power play in three home games against the Jackets this season. Yikes.

Here's to you, Don Meredith... "Turn out the lights, the party's over."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Klesla Traded

So ends an era as the original Blue Jacket was traded to Phoenix last night. Rusty Klesla, slid defenseman who has battled the injury bug, was shipped to the Coyotes for Scott Upshall and Sami Lepisto. Upshall has offensive potential from the blue line though he an unrestrcited free agent at season's end. Lepisto adds depth to the defense. Klesla simply did not stay healthy enough in his stay in Columbus. Good luck in the desert, Rusty.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


"Big" road win in Chicago as a team record for consecutive road wins is set at 6. After the game Chicago and Columbus have the same record: 29 W, 23 L, OTL 6. cynicism runs deep so I cannot shake the feeling that the champs are winning the tie, so to speak. A peek at the second level stats reveal my concern. Despite the tie in points after 58 games, Chicago have a big lead in goals for with 183-159. The Blackhawks also lead in goals against 174-164. Columbus goals by Calvert, Vermette, Stralman and MacKenzie. Chicago goals by Sharp (2) and Kane. Toews added two assists. Come stretch time, who would you rather have? Enough said.

It's undeniable that the team is playing better right now, but the history of this season tells us that the other side of the hill is coming. Downward again? Only time will tell. Still less than sanguine about the offense, but it's good to see wins.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Captain

It was one of those games in which Nash asserted himself and carried the team to a win. On a night that marked the first game of the return of Forsberg, it was the Jackets captain who dominated play. After an Umberger turnover led to the opening goal for Colorado, Voracek's beautiful stop and pass to a steep angle shot for Nash led to the first goal. Later in the second period Nash stripped the puck from a defender and slipped a pass to Brassard who scored fronearly as steep an angle, though from the right, off-wing side. An empty-netter capped the win for a very solid Garon.

Forsberg was not much of a factor though his nifty feathered pass that led to an excellent scoring chance, foiled by Garon, gave a bit of a hint that the hands are still there. I like the way he plays so good luck to him in his attempt to stay healthy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

How the NHL is broken, example 537

Taking a deep breath before starting this post... As many Jackets fans know by now, Matt Cooke hit Fedor Tyutin from behind into the glass. The play was as plainly dirty as can be. We can only be grateful that somehow Tyutin wasn't injured. Cooke gets penalized and later suspended by the league for a paltry 4 games. Not a problem, he's done it before and he'll do it again.

That's the life in the NHL and it will remain that way until The Count and his minions get serious about cleaning up the game. Apparently no one is afraid of 4 days off during a long season. Make it 10 and let's see if there is actually a deterrent created. If not, make it 20.

Idiot Pittsburgh coach Blysma, “The player looks him right in the eye and knows he’s coming and makes sure he keeps his numbers turned towards him, but Matt does hit him there and send him into the boards.” How do these words come out of his mouth without his brain stopping them? Isn't he the coach of the injured Sidney Crosby? Somehow Cooke is exonerated because Tyutin may have seen him? The onus was on Cooke and he ran Tyutin in attempt to plaster him, leaping into the defenseman's back and earning that 5 minute charging major. This hit was completely avoidable... if Cooke had respect for other players. Clearly, he respects no one.

Blysma quote from the Sporting News

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Rare Win in Detroit

Steve Mason stops all shots to earn not only the first Blue Jacket shutout in Detroit, but the first win there in two years. Huslieus is a healthy scratch and his replacement earned an assist on Vermette's goal by slipping him a nifty pass for the one-timer blast. You can't stop him; you can only contain him: Boll gets his sixth goal of the season.

Coach Arniel said it best, "But for us now, it's about putting runs together. [Mason]'s a guy who, along with some other guys, needs to do just that." Dispatch

The hard-fought victory is meaningless if a lackluster performance follows tonight in Edmonton. The season's story has been to fall down at each opportunity to build momentum. We'll see what happens when they play the worst team, by point total, in the league.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Post-break Start

The offense scores four goals and the team loses by 3 at home. Defense was asleep for both Chicago and Columbus, but the Hawks will win the battle of offenses every time. They travel to Detroit on Friday. Good luck with that. I hate to be so pessimistic, but when you get lemons make lemonade. Now if only there were some sugar around...

Monday, January 24, 2011

All-Star Let-Down

Bored at the break. The team lingers slightly above .500 and has won three of their last five games. Yet no excitement based on the long-term lack of offense. 28th in power play and 2.58 goal per game. 25th in the league with 3.06 goals against shows that the defense is not getting it done either.

Stat that may only interest me: Jared Boll is at 0 +/- rating. Don't get me wrong – I think that's great. Hard to imagine really given his role. The Bollster has surprised this season with periodic scoring: 5 goals and 129 penalty minutes. Klesla leads the team with a +10 rating. For perspective, Andrej Meszaros of the Flyers leads the league with an astounding +29.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

0 for 2011

Happy New Year, Jackets fans! We're celebrating the new year just not by failing to win, but the team has decided to look like a poor AHL team. Until the second period goal, the team had surrendered twelve consecutive goals without a tally in response.

They fired Hitchcock almost a year ago. I know - he was holding back Filatov. How has that gone for you, Howson?

Sunday, January 02, 2011


What promise 2010 had at it's beginning. Coming off of playoffs and solid play, fans were thirsting for more. What was hope later became apathy as the team's moves addressed no glaring needs and the magical ride was not repeated. 2010 sadly ends with three wins in a row and very few excited about the streak. What a difference a year makes.

Too bad the rain detracted from the annual outdoor stunt. Seemed as if the night game was poorly lit. I have never had trouble following the puck on tv before. Likely due to bad conditions. I hope fans in Pittsburgh had a better view than the home-watching audience.