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 know...life....
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.
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