Friday, November 02, 2012

The Final Post

The canceling of the 2013 Winter Classic is the final straw for me. Thanks to the greed of owners and players and Bettman and Fehr, I give up. I'm done with the NHL. I have no time to waste on fools arguing over a giant pile of money. They'll get no money from me again. Now or ever.

I'm out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Encompassing the first good signing in a while, the Jackets add John Davidson as the person in charge of hockey. Former goalie, commentator and most recently jettisoned by St. Louis after building the team up to respectability via youth, Davidson brings credibility to an organization lacking it. No one is a miracle worker, but his hiring constitutes a step in the right direction. Well, assuming there is hockey this year... or next.

Separated at birth? Chef Boyardee and John Davidson

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I'll offer no comment about the lockout. There's no point to commentary on the subject.  I have no interest in the negotiations or in speculation. Jimmy Devellano was partially right. There are cattle involved in NHL hockey, but it's the fans, not the players, coaches and GMs. We're taken for granted, pushed by ticket prices and arena costs... and the gate is left open for us to meander back home.

 Here's to the owners who purport to need protection from themselves and to the players who seem to be arguing that the system may be flawed but the owners wanted it, so screw 'em. Bad faith all around. Keep it hostile, boys.

 See in in December, next year or never again. Hard to say.

Monday, July 23, 2012


The hammer finally falls as the Jackets deal the team's best player of all time - Rick Nash. Earlier I read this on Twitter on a break and began dreaming of the riches brought in for such a star. The Rangers must have given a lot for such a prime player!

 Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Artem Anisimov and a first-round pick. That's it.

You see a game-changer?

Anyone in that list going to make you go to Nationwide Arena and buy tickets?

 The embarrassing ineptitude of this organization has grown to epic proportions. Keep in mind that the draft with the 3 first rounders they have doesn't happen for practically another year. Give a season or three for those guys to have a real effect. That's four more years of bad hockey. And the poor offense that Columbus fans had to endure last season has now been stripped of its best (okay, only) weapon.  

Good luck with that, Howson.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Draft

Defenseman Ryan Murray was taken #2 overall by the Jackets. At 6'1" and 195 pounds he should add some weight down the line, but they took him because he should be able to step in soon. Soon as in next season. A good skating, smart defenseman would be something new for Columbus. Important given the events earlier in the day. Before the draft began Columbus sent second and fourth rounders in this year's draft and a fourth round pick next year to the Flyers for 23 year old goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Consider Mason and Sandford to be on notice. The young Russian has been a solid backup in Philly. Seems like a lot to give up for backup. Unless of course he's who Howson believes will be the new starter. We shall see.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brodeur the Great I've been silent during the playoffs. As a Jackets fan, it's the time of year to happily watch playoff hockey while trying to choke down the disappointment in not being invited to the dance. It's also the annual questioning of Martin Brodeur by the armchair cowboys and media who have run out of Tortorella stories. I was elated to see Brodeur outduel Lundquist and send the Devils to the finals against the juggernaut eighth seed Kings. When you beat the 1, 2 and 3 seeds... Well, you're on an epic roll. Nonetheless I couldn't help but be captivated by Brodeur and his still off the charts compete level. He does, and always has, all the little things to win. A key poke check on a breakaway, a backing of the glove atop the desperate pad stack and never missing the chance to punish an opponent camped in his crease. He and his teammates do the tough, unglamorous, unpretentious things every minute if every period of every game, and that level of commitment to intensity and greatness is missing from the Blue Jackets game. The little things that add up to a Cup.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny

With a 48% chance to get the first pick in the draft, the Jackets lose the first pick to Edmonton and their 18% chance. For the third year in a row the Oilers have the top spot. It's unbelievable. Howson could fall into a barrel of nipples and come out sucking his thumb.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Say What You Will

The team is playing out the string.
The third string goalie is playing due to injuries.
Florida is in town.
Yet the Columbus faithful showed up in force.

A crowd of nearly 18,000 cheered on the Blue Jackets to a 4-1 victory. Allen York made 30 saves for the win. Say what you will, but the fans are desperate for hockey and want to support the team. It's up to management to make a team that can contend for ithe playoffs. Not a cup winner. Not even a conference winner. Just make the playoffs. Is that possible in one off-season? Very unlikely, but one can only hope.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Same result, different game
After a 4-3 loss in Vancouver a fine game summary by Rick Nash: “I think the big difference is our mistakes, Everytime we made a big mistake, they scored a goal.”

Tale of the tape
The Jackets haven't beaten the Canucks in regulation since 2009.
Columbus is a mere 43 points behind Vancouver in the standings.

Friday, February 24, 2012


A few days after dealing Vermette, Howson sends Jeff Carter to the Kings for a conditional first round pick (either 2012 or 2013) and defenseman Jack Johnson. Neither move is earth-shaking, but he gets an A for effort in contract dumping. Getting a sound defenseman is good on the surface, but having $10+ million in two defensemen (Johnson and Wisniewski) seems a like short-term plan. I add on the surface because I don't see how they can move Wisniewski (if that is their wish).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

As the deadline looms

There are many questions swirling around the team as the February trade deadline approaches. Nine more days until we learn:

  • What will the team do with Rick Nash? The only bone fide star in the team's history has been the center of many trade rumors. Trading away such a valuable asset may not be wise during a deadline crunch. The team may get better value near the draft. That's of course if they want to trade Nash. If they do, the return must be tremendous to avoid alienating the fan base.

  • Is Scott Howson really the guy as GM? If he's not, why is he being allowed to make such important decisions? The answer seems to be that Howson will survive into next season. It would be inconceivable that he would be permitted to trade the team's only star and later be fired. The remaining question is does he deserve more time? Ownership seems to be willing to give him more time. Let's hope they're right because I'd move on.

  • Has the Jeff Carter era ended before it really ever started? It's dangerous to rely on rumor mill material, but it has been strongly suggested that Carter is being dangled as deadline trade bait. While he hasn't made an impact this season, trading your top two scorers (Nash and Carter) on a team that doesn't score seems like suicide.

  • Steve Mason has a relatively big contract. He has the rest of the season to prove he deserves the job. With Sanford out, he'll get as much ice time as he can handle. Will they give Mason a shot? Or will they seek goaltending in a potential Nash trade?

Monday, February 06, 2012

As if it matters

When Doughty scored the goal with :00.4 seconds remaining to beat the Jackets, video replay showed the puck crossing the goal line before time expired. Additional replays showed the game clock stopped with 1.8 seconds left and didn't restart for at least 1 second before starting again. Clearly the game had ended and no one told the officials. If I'm on a team battling with the Kings later this season, this game result would not sit well with me.

The Count:

"Not good, not acceptable -- if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime," Bettman said. "And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That's not the point. We are taking this very seriously. We're investigating as to how it happened. Obviously it's either human error or a technology glitch. We don't know which, but we've already begun investigating and we will get to the bottom of it.

"Now I know lots of people are going to say, 'How can you have a mistake?' Well, unfortunately or fortunately, our game is full of mistakes -- by players, by coaches and occasionally by officials -- and on some levels it's no different than if a guy makes a bad penalty call, puts a team on the power play and they score the winning goal. It happens. We don't like when it happens and our job is to minimize mistakes. We don't want any, but obviously when you have a human element in any aspect of the game you're going to have it.

"If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we're going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Better than Nothing

The all-star game in Columbus? Nice, but I'd rather be hosting a Cup final game any day. I know... when Hell freezes over. Jeff Carter watch is officially on. Who will take the contract? Sad to say that speculation on future games is all that matters at this point. I declare this season dead to me. RIP 2011-2012 and good riddance.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dog Days

As we enter the playing-out-the-string period of the season for bad hockey teams and as if on cue, Jeff Carter earns a trip to the IR with a separated shoulder. Welcome to the hell that is all things Blue Jackets, Mr. Carter. Add that the normally very durable R.J. Umberger is concussed, and the table is set for the long, slow stumble to the draft. Arniel is gone and Todd Richards is in. Good luck, Todd... you'll need it.

Oh yeah, they beat the NHL-owned Coyotes 4-3. Whee!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Too Late

A day after yet another shellacking, this time at the hands of the Kings, the coach lost his job. I suppose there's no point in firing the general manager in the middle of the season, but I would make an exception here. Howson needs to go, and he needs to go now. There's no analysis of the team's situation that doesn't start with a Howson blunder. The irony of St. Louis sitting at the fourth slot in the conference with Hitch at the helm apparently is lost on the Columbus brain trust.

This post seems appropriate to unearth.