Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interesting Times

Since my last blog, the Blue Jackets have gone on to an eight game losing streak. We have only gotten one point, which was this past Friday night as we tied Carolina in regulation. We have lost players such as Bob, Wiz, Johnson (to a questionable suspension), Murray (again), Letstu, et al. We got back Jenner, and Bob is slated to be back on Friday. Dubi is still out, and last I saw, no timetable to return, although he has been skating. Horton, in my opinion, is going to be forced to retire. Sad, but I think for him, it's for the best.

Not to say there haven't been bright spots so far this season. First off, there is the new guy, Scott Hartnell. He has definitely shown his veteran abilities and kept the team moving. He has scored 6 goals in the past three games. He has been physical and making his presence known on the ice. This was a great pickup for the Blue Jackets. He has stepped up in this early season chaos, and I hope it maintains and he stays healthy.

Nick Foligno. Nicky, as I like to call him. I am beginning to think he isn't human, as he came back from a scary hit in the game against the Kings two weeks ago. He was going after a puck and he got caught in between a Kings Player who shall not be named and the ref. He hit the ref in the butt and went down hard. He was motionless for what felt like an eternity and was eventually stretchered off the ice. The Hockey Gods must have felt pity, as he came out with no issues. He did play the game the Friday night (which was his birthday), but didn't score or assist. The next game, against the Devils, he got an assist, and scored a goal. He's been a scoring machine. It's great that he's on the ice and making contributions.

Ryan Johansen. It seems so long ago that he wasn't with the team during the dispute. With that behind him, he's been showing his skills. He had a ten game scoring streak, and was the 16th leading scorer in the league.  He's had a presence on the ice that has been, for the most part, inspiring. He's been a constant as well through the chaos of injuries that have plagued this still promising team.

Which leads me to this. Yes, we have only gotten a point in the past three weeks or so. We've lost 8 straight games. Our play as a team can be called sloppy, uninspired, crappy, etc. Coach Richards has called the team out as well. The team knows it as well, as they called a players only meeting after last nights game. The fans know it. I've seen friends and other fans say they may not go to a game until they win one. This isn't what the team needs, this isn't what we, the fans need to see and hear.

As a fan base, this is the time we need to get behind the Blue Jackets. This is when, just like the team needs to, buckle down and do what needs to be done. Help rally them, get loud when the team is on the ice. This is what we did last season during the run to the playoffs and during the playoffs. Let's get the mojo back. It's early enough in the season we can recover and make a run.

On another note, I have to admit that I've been bad about listening to podcasts lately. My life has gotten a bit crazy, with few signs of it slowing down. I see that the CBJ Artillery has a podcast that I have to listen to, and I've been missing the Jacket Racket by Kevin VanManen alot lately. I'm sure WithanOhioBias has done a couple as well. I'm hoping to get back to listening to them this week, but you

That said, I hope to see many of you at the Cannon during first intermission on Saturday night. I will be part of the Tunnel of Pride that night. I've done that before with my son, and it was an amazing time and I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nathan Horton and other thoughts

With some of the reports that say W Nathan Horton may have to retire due to a degenerative back problem, I thought that I would give a few thoughts on this.

I've only seen Nathan Horton play live a few times. I've seen him when he was with the Bruins a couple times during the Bruins run at the Stanley Cup in 2011 on TV. My impression of him was a go getter who played his heart out. He was a team first player that never thought of himself. That made him a great fit with the Blue Jackets. When he was signed before last season, I got excited. I loved the signing and was hopeful. While his first season with the CBJ wasn't as good as he wanted, we were hopeful for his second season. He would be healthy, and go back to the Horton that played for Boston.

Sadly, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. As a fan, it sucks. When healthy, he was great. As a person, I feel for the guy. This is something he loves and it's about to be taken away. It would not surprise me to see him retire. You don't want to potentially risk permanent damage, as he does have a family to think about. If it were me, I would retire as well. I would love to see him in a front office job somewhere, even if it's not with the CBJ.

The CBJ are looking at a three game road trip. Thursday against the Sharks, Friday against the Ducks, and finally Sunday against the Kings. It's a rough stretch on the road, and I would love to see them go 2-1 on that swing. I think it's a possibility, as this team is good enough to do it. The only down side that that Mcelhinney is hurt. I think Forsberg will be a suitable backup, but I'm a Dansky fan. I think we will do fine no matter who is backing up the BOB.

The team, in my opinion, is doing well. With the exception of the Stars game, they are hungry and aggressive. That is the CBJ I love to see. If we can keep up this intensity, good thinks will come our way. Wennberg, who is still waiting to score his first goal, is doing well. Dano is looking good. Hartnell is doing well.

With that said, I can't wait for the next home game... I miss my boys.....

Monday, October 13, 2014

First two games..great start

For the CBJ, the first two games are in the books. Both of them wins over the Buffalo Sabres and the New Yawk Rangers.

I got to watch the CBJ-Sabres game at R Bar downtown. The atmosphere at R Bar was electric. Everyone one excited and jacked up for the game. I have to admit it surprised even me how people were excited for the game. It was really good to see that. Got to hang out with some great people, including Kevin Valentin, Alex Sawyer among others. 97.1 was there, and just a great time to be had.

Saturday. The home opener, I got downtown around 2 or so, and you could already feel how excited the fans were for the game to start. I didn't get to see the red carpet as I decided to hang out with Teressa and the rest of the Arch City Army (Brian, Jerod, Zach, et al). I'm glad I did. It was a great time with fellow fans and just plan great folk. Got to see Dancing Kevin again, who, as I've said before, is a GREAT guy and very approachable. I love the fact that his video of him dancing with the LaBlatt bear has gone viral. He's simply an amazing guy.

At 5:30. we did the March of the Union Army. I must say it was an amazing success. We started at R Bar, and immeditly, people were curious as to what we were doing. Once they realized what we were doing, people around began to chant along with us. Kevin, your enthusiasm in getting this started and moving was incredible. All credit goes to you for the idea and organizing this. This was a pretty amazing thing, and we got alot of cheers along the way. Next year, it will be much better

The game itself. Let me say that it was amazing. From the time they hit the ice for pre-game warmups, to the player introductions, to the final cannon shot, the crowd was into it. It was more than electric at Nationwide Arena. It's hard to explain what it was like to be there for my first home opener. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever had the honor to be a part of. The crowd was on the edge of their seats for every play, pass, shot, line change. It was a great night, which I was honored to be part of.

It was nice to see the Blue Jackets honor the players that were either injured or scratched. You know that they want to get back on the ice, although I feel Horton with his back issues, is done.  I love the guy, and he played with great heart last season when he did play. But I feel that he should step aside for the sake of his family and be there for them. I'd love to see him as a commentator or a coach down the road.

Tomorrow night, we take on the Dallas Stars. I'll be attending that game, so hope to see some of you there at the game. #CBJ

Friday, October 10, 2014

March of Union Army Call offs

March of the Union Army.

Let’s Go Jackets!!!! Let’s Go Jackets!!!
1st Line (Sounded by lead group)

C (Sounded by Lead Group)
Ryan (Front group)
Johansen (Back Group)

RW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Cam(Front group)
 Atkinson(Back Group)

LW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Nick (Front group)
Folingo (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Jack (Front group)
Johnson (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
David (Front group)
Savard(Back Group)

G (Sounded by Lead Group)
Sergei (Front group)
BOBROVSKY (Back Group)

2nd Line (Sounded by lead group)

C (Sounded by Lead Group)
Artem (Front group)
Anisimov (Back Group)

RW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Alexander (Front group)
Wennberg(Back Group)

LW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Scott(Front group)
Hartnell (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
James (Front group)
Wisniewski (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Tim (Front group)
Erixon (Back Group)

G (Sounded by Lead Group)
Sergei (Front group)
BOBROVSKY (Back Group)

3rd Line (Sounded by lead group)

C (Sounded by Lead Group)
Mark (Front group)
Letestu (Back Group)

RW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Marko (Front group)
Dano (Back Group)

LW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Matt (Front group)
Calvert (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Fedor (Front group)
Tyutin (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Dalton (Front group)
Prout (Back Group)

G (Sounded by Lead Group)
Sergei (Front group)
BOBROVSKY (Back Group)

4th Line (Sounded by lead group)

C (Sounded by Lead Group)
Micheal (Front group)
Chaput (Back Group)

RW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Jared (Front group)
Boll (Back Group)

LW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Jack (Front group)
Skille (Back Group)

G (Sounded by Lead Group)
Sergei (Front group)
BOBROVSKY (Back Group)

Goalie Coach
Ian Clark
Assistant Coach
Brad Larsen
Associate Coach
Craig Hartsburg
Head Coach
Todd Richards

Repeated for each line.

In between the lines, alternate CBJ and Let’s go Jacket Chants

After the 4th line and coaches are sounded off, All groups go We Are the 5th Line!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Done deal, but let's move forward

The nightmare is over. The Ryan Johansen ordeal is over with. He has been signed to a three year contract. The terms are all over Twitter and Facebook, so I'm not going to re-hash it here.  Bottom line is that it's a fair contract that is backloaded. I like it, and he's back with us. I'm happy, and with the addition of Skille, I think we've improved our team.

In other news, Kerby Rychel has been assigned to Springfield. I'm a little surprised by that, as I felt he played better then Wennberg, as much as I was pulling for Wennberg. I'm sure Richards saw something that I obviously missed. I'm glad Wennberg made it, but was also pulling Rychel. I hope to see them both, as I mentioned that to both of them at the Zoo event last week.

Brian Gibbons is on the IR, which would be why I didn't see him the last two games. I hope he comes back soon, as I think he's a GREAT addition to the team. Get well soon, Brian.

With the last pre-season game in the books, we now look forward to the start of the season on October 9th against the Buffalo Sabres. I'm excited to see this game, hopefully from R-Bar with some great people in the CBJ family.

While I am there, we will be talking about the March of the Union Army. I'll be finalizing the march call outs (based on the lines we see on Thursday). With all of the events going on with Opening Night, I would like to see everyone at the March, which kicks off at R-Bar at 5:30. Wear your Union Blue (CBJ Jersey's are welcomed), and March with us. I'm excited to be part of this, and honored to be helping make this a great event. Thanks to Kevin Valentin for allowing me this opportunity.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

March of the Union Army thoughts

Here is a rough draft of the Sounding off for the March of the Union Army on October 11th.

March of the Union Army.

Let’s Go Jackets!!!! Let’s Go Jackets!!!
1st Line (Sounded by lead group)

C (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

RW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

LW (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

D (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

G (Sounded by Lead Group)
Player First Name (Front group)
Player Last Name (Back Group)

Repeated for each line.

In between the lines, alternate CBJ and Let’s go Jacket Chants

After the 4th line is sounded off, All groups go We Are the 5th Line!!!!

Also thinking about adding in the coaching staff, Jarmo and Davidson as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Getting Closer to 10/11

As we get closer to the start of the season, teams are starting to make cuts to get their rosters down. The Columbus Blue Jackets made their roster moves this weekend. I have to say, nothing surprising about the moves so far. Most have been or are expected to go to Springfield, with one going back to their Junior club.

From what I've seen and read about in regards to the pre-season games so far, all I can say is that I'm excited. Excited for the future of CBJ hockey. As it stands right now, (barring a signing of Ryan Johansen, which I would welcome), I see Wennberg getting the call to come to Columbus over Rychel, although it would be very close call. I got to see Kirby thrown down at the Penguins game, and I must say I was impressed. I like Wennberg, and his style of play, which seems to fit well with how it's done in Blue Jacket land. But, that said, I wouldn't be disappointed if Rychel got the call either.

With the status of Nathan Horton up in the air, it's quite possible we'll see both of them. Moving Jenner to 2nd line center (moving Dubi up to first, assuming nothing changes) would be a great move. That would enable the CBJ to bring up both of them to get some early experience while both the Horton and Johansen situations sort themselves out.

Something else I want to get out there is something that I'm excited to be a part of. That is the March of the Union Army. We start at R Bar @ 5:30 and march from there to Nationwide Arena. Kevin Valentine came up with this idea, which is a terrific idea. This will not only bring together some of the great CBJ fans that I've gotten to meet so far, such as the CBJ Avengers, Boone's Goones, the Arch City Army, just to name a few. Hopefully, we can bring more to the march. This is going to be an epic evening.

I'm honored to be a part of the March. We've got some great ideas for it, such as CBJ chants, sounding off each players name, and doing it by line. We are trying to get a couple of other things together for the March as well, although they may not happen, and something we could save for another time, say a playoff march.

Now, my next dilemma.... is figuring out which sweater to get next? Is it Jenner, Hartnell, or a blank one and get my name on it. These are the types of decisions that keep me up at night.....

CBJ Podcasts

Over the past few days, book ending my OSU game I attended, I've been able to listen to a couple of podcasts. The first one I listened to was called Blue Jacket Racket. You can find that podcast here. It is on the air on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5pm, although that is subject to change come the start of the regular season. The gentleman who runs that is Kevin J VanManen. You can find him on Twitter @k_vanmanen. His guests that day were the guys who run the twitter account @boones_goones. They were on to talk about the CBJ, and announce their 2014-15 World Tour. They are visiting various towns in Ohio during the Columbus Blue Jacket Season. They are bringing some giveaways to each stop on their World Tour.

I enjoyed listening to Blue Jacket Racket. The passion that Kevin has is undeniable. But he is also honest. I'll definitely catch his podcast when I can. He will have the creator of the March of the Union Army Kevin Valentin on his pod cast this week on Friday at 5pm EST. I could be wrong, but there might be mention of a March on Oct 11th. Catch it. This one is going to take off, in my opinion. Support him and this really good podcast.

The other podcast I listened to was one done by @WithAnOhioBias. That podcast can be heard here. I listened to that earlier this morning, and let me tell you, it was an outstanding piece of work as well. They had the CBJ Artillery on discussing the #WeAreThe5thLine movement they started. They also had one of the CBJ Ice Girls on, who explained why she wears goalie skates instead of regular skates. Kevin Valentin was on as well, talking about the March of the Union Army that is happening Opening Night. They ended by talking about the latest RyJo news.

With An Ohio Bias was a great podcast as well. Great questions, and some great responses. The hosts were very gracious with their guests, and the guests got to talk about their CBJ world, and even had time to give shoutouts (Disclaimer..I got one....went all fan boy here...). This is definitely one I will catch on a regular basis.

This is actually my first two times listening to any type of podcasts. I will have to indulge a little more on those, especially those that talk about the Blue Jackets.

Give both of these a podcasts a listen. If you are even a casual Blue Jacket fan, you'll be better for it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Two down, two to go (Preseason Style)

So, I just got back from my second of two pre-season games this week. Let me tell you, it's getting me even more pumped up for the season. Being there for both games, the smell of the ice (yes, it has a smell I can get all the way up in Sec 209), the me goose bumps.

After watching the first two pre-season games, one thing that stood out to me was the puck control. It seemed like the CBJ just couldn't keep the puck in control. I'm not as concerned so much as many of the lines that played the last two nights haven't played together, so they may be a bit off. It also seemed like the ice was playing a major factor, as it was scrapped several times each period.

Players that stood out to me:

Alex Wennberg. Scored a goal in the first game. He seemed aggressive the first game, and seemed to fit in well with his line mates. I think he'll get the call if (player name deleted) isn't available, especially if Jenner slides to Center.

Boone Jenner (shout out to @BoonesGoons): I feel he did well at center. Since he's played center every level, this would not surprise anyone. He works hard, plays hard, and leaves it on the ice every night, and Sunday was no exception. One I was happy. There was also a good article by @aportzline on Jenner this week. Check it out here.

Kerby Rychel: Scored the first goal Sunday night. That didn't impress me as much as what he did against the Penguins....He threw down. I went crazy over that. The guy has a great punch. I hope to see that alot this year, and especially against Crysby.

Those three stood out to me. Of course, Bob made 30 saves out of 30 shots against the a  BIG shout out to him for his performance. Dansk(ing) made 12 more. I think he's making a statement as well.

What does this all mean right now? It means that we are stocking the pantry. If one player goes down, we have enough spice to choose from and get the job done. I think it will come together nicely by the time Oct 9th rolls around in Buffalo, NY. Then on October 11th, NWA may need a new roof.

I will say one good thing about what I saw out of the Flightless Birds that Don't wear Pants. The team seemed to communicate well. Nice clean passes for the most part.  They just suck at shooting at the goal.

questions, comments, concerns, media requests? Drop me a line. I have a great face for Radio... :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughts of the day....

I do want to thank Greg May for including my blog yesterday on his CBJ Daily on Ryan Johansen. Three posts in, and I'm linked. Thanks.

I just learned that Johnasen's camp made an offer. What it was, is up for ALOT of speculation. My take from this is, that the door is still open. I'm not caring at this point what the offer was, or why it was rejected (although I think hurt feelings may have played into it).

What do I want, as a fan? A fair deal, that also allows us to sign our Top Cop Sergei Bobrovosky, and maybe some room for another free agent next year. I don't think that is asking much. I hope Joey is of the same mindset. Everyone one know Joey wants to be here. The Blue Jackets want him here. Something will give, and Joey will be here. I have faith in Jarmo, Davidson, and the Management team.

On to happier news, the first preseason game is this Sunday. It is against the St. Louis Blues (Columbus is doing a split squad in Carolina as well). This will be my first true game as a Season Ticket Holder. We will also be practicing for the March of the Union Army. This will be a March from R-Bar to Nationwide Arena. There will be chants, there will be flags, there will be guys from Illinois leading the way, there will be fun. But most of all, brotherhood. We are all united in our love of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This will be my first march, and I'm excited about it.

Oh, and I get to see a former, not-to-be-named former Blue Jacket get his ass handed to him.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

As the Lines Turn

See what I did there in the title? HEE HEE

In the past twenty four hours (give or take a couple), there has been SOOOOOOO much discussion about one Ryan Johansen, a center for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He wears #19. He was the one of the top scorers last year for the CBJ. He is a physical presence on the ice. He made some exciting plays during the course of the year. He fed Dubinski the tying goal in Game 4 of the playoffs against that team in PA, a shot that beat THREE different flightless birds.

That was last season. It seems so far away. Since then, it's been nothing but "When is Joey going to sign?" or "Let's get this done, Joey". I was part of that questioning as well. I really want him to sign and be in camp tomorrow. I think he would be a great presence to build around in the coming years.

But, he won't be in camp. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, he has cleaned out his locker and has flown to Vancouver (his home). He and his agent declined several offers made to him over the summer. Some of these offers were very good. One of them was eight years at $46 million. That's just under 6 million a year. That's one million under what they wanted. I would think that was MORE than enough of a concession.

That said, I will say that with not knowing what the details were, it's hard to put the blame all on Joey. I would think that his agent should shoulder much of the blame, and the Blue Jackets a little bit.

Let's start with his agent. Kent Overhardt. He is also Brandon Dubinski's agent, yet a great deal got done with him. A proven player. Someone who has shown over the last couple of years what he can do. He was trying to get the same for Johansen. However, based on what has come out, I believe that he was operating from a position that wasn't available to Joey, and that of a UFA. Joey was a RFA, meaning he was in a position of very little leverage (outside of any offer sheet from another team, which the CBJ can, and would match). This agent seemed to me, and this is my opinion, that he was trying to make a splash for himself as well. He seemed to be trying to circumvent the CBA that was reached during the strike shortened 2012-2013 season. I understand that he was trying to do what was best for his client, but he wasn't doing it the way it should have been done.

Joey. Joey should shoulder some of the blame, as he allowed his agent to take it to this level. If he really wanted to be here (again, my opinion), he would have pulled the leash on his agent and said, make a deal. Compromise. Get me on that ice with my teammates. I want to be there. But he didn't. He just sat back waiting for a big payday that was, in many respects, offered to him. But he didn't take it.

Blue Jackets. They deserve a little of it. But it seems they tried. They tried and put forth some damn good offers to Team Joey. And they said no. Why? Who knows. I'm betting there are several devils in the details that haven't gotten out yet. I don't like how they did the public beatdown of Johansen's team, but I'm sure they are frustrated with the situation. We are all are.

Bottom line. We will win without Joey. We will move forward and have our best players on the ice on October 9th in Buffalo. Is that going to be with or without Joey? Time will tell. But we can't afford to wait. The Blue Jacket will be fine.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Traverse City, and other thoughts

I just "watched" the last period and the overtime of the Traverse City prospects final, and the Blue Jackets prospects have emerged the winners, beating the Dallas Stars prospects 3-2. I say "watched" as the play by play was done by Rob Mixer and Alison on Twitter, and then I followed the last minute or two on DRW training's website.

It got me more excited about the upcoming season. Being a first time Season Ticket Holder (STH), watching a home team do well, and being part of a growing, but close knit family, just gets the blood pumping more for the upcoming season. Watching the CBJ prospects win this tournament gives me chills. We have some great prospects that are just chomping at the bit to come to Columbus. They want to come up to Columbus.

Which brings me to Joey. Ryan Johansen. Let me start by saying that I love Joey. I think he is a great talent and has TONS of potential to be the new face of the CBJ and being as recognized as a Blue Jacket as much as Rick Nash (that hurt to type). But this contract thing is getting old. I realize there is blame on both sides of this dispute. Get a deal done. Get Joey back to the Blue Jacket Family where he belongs. I think we, as fans, will forgive both sides once we see him skate on the ice at Nationwide Arena.

However, if he doesn't, we do have some amazing prospects, as was proven over the past week. Wennberg, Rychel, Bjorkstrand, Dansk.....These names will be spoken soon in Columbus. I'm excited for the future of this team, this organization, and this devoted, passionate fan base. I think that with the depth we have, we will be "THE" team no one wants to play, not just one of the teams that other's don't want to play. I think the hockey world took notice of that last season, especially during the playoffs.

This season, starting with the game this Sunday against St. Louis, let's show the world that even during the pre-season, we get up for our Blue Jackets. The Union Army is ready to go, no matter during training camp, or on the battlefield of the season.

Let's #BattleOn.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Opening FaceOff

I'm excited to be a Columbus Blue Jacket fan. I've been a fan off and on since about 2009. It really b
egan to take hold of me last season, when I attended several games, one of which I got to high five the team as they went out on the ice with my son. Last season, we got bit hardcore by Stinger, and my girlfriend and I decided to get full season tickets, so we would be able to go to any game we want. We got to watch Game 4 of the first playoff round at Nationwide from one of the suites at Nationwide. This was an amazing experience for us, and just left us wanting more.

We got to go to the draft party at Nationwide Arena in June. Got a few pictures with Prout and Letestu, both of whom are completely awesome. We've been to Cannonfest, which was a great time. We got to go to a Meet and Greet, and got to meet Boone Jenner, get his autograph and a picture with him.

I've meet some great people via the Blue Jackets as well. I'm hoping to meet many more throughout the year. If the first few months is any indication, it's going to be a very memorable time.

October 11th cannot come soon enough. That is the date of the home opener for the Columbus Blue Jackets. We are doing the March of the Union Army with fellow Blue Jacket fans that starts at R-Bar at 5:30 that evening, and we march to Nationwide Arena. I can't wait to meet several other Union Blue soldiers and cheer the Blue Jackets on to victory.

This blog will be undergoing some cosmetic changes as I go along. I'm always changing something as I'm never quite happy. If you have any suggestions for me, or ideas on how to make the blog look better, please pass them along to me.