Saturday, October 31, 2015

John Tortorella

Listening to the Post Game Presser with Torts...He was honest. And he said something that made me think, that I need to start a list of some of his comments. I'm going to call them #Tortisms. He's a straight shooter, and ya gotta love him for that at the very least. The first #Tortism is "Gotta have some Skin". The question posed to him was about the booing that was raining down on the players during the game.

He said that you have to get some skin to play in this league. You can't let them get to you (the players and coaches). They like it when they are winning, and the fans are cheering, so you have to be able to take the boos. And he repeated himself saying "You Gotta have some Skin".

The whole presser, he was honest, didn't hold back, but did it in a respectful way. This is a breathe of fresh air, and even though the record is 2-3 with the new coach, I feel pretty positive about this team. They won't win every game from here on out. But they won't lose all of them either, even though we feel that way right now. I'm still behind the Jackets, #CBJNoMatterWhat.

Oh, Blue Line Store, Where the hell is the Campbell jersey?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

4 days later

Well, we are now 0-6-0. We haven't come close to a win. We seem to be feeding the notion that we are a joke of a team. We can't even get out of our own way. And now, the fanbase of the CBJ is turning on each other. Losing has a way of doing that to a fanbase.

Yes, I agree that changes need to be made. What are those changes? Who is to say. Four days ago, as stated in this blog, I felt that firing Todd Richards would be a bad idea. I've soften that stance a bit, but I'm concerned that there won't be a good candidate to replace him. Also, how would the players respond? There are so many variables in this that it's hard for me to say what, if any changes, should be made.

There have been confidence issues, that the CBJ Cannon spoke to at length here, and I happen to agree with his points. Sergei made mention he doesn't have any confidence in himself. The team itself doesn't have any confidence in itself, as evidence in last nights game in Chicago. Again, no answers will be found in this blog, but what needs to happen to get that back.

One thing that I noticed today, and I did myself, was that the CBJ FAITHFUL are tweeting the players, giving them positive vibes. The fanbase needs to remind themselves that this may be a bump in the road. Eddie Olczyk even said that the CBJ still have the talent and time to get to the playoffs. I happen to agree with him. We have the time and talent to still do this. We can still live up to our potential. We still play into May and June with this team. We don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater right now.

I have faith in this team. I have faith in the ownership and management team to make the right decisions for the present, and future, of our Columbus Blue Jackets. I may not agree with them, we all may not agree with them, but they are paid to make those decisions.

Short Blog, but I leave you with this inspiration video. and Go Jackets!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


The season has started for most teams. For the CBJ, it doesn't seem to have started as of yet. I'm concerned, like most fans, that this is indicative of another bad season. Our talent base is one of the best, if not the best, we've ever assembled. We, as fans, were hopeful, excited, and dreaming of a playoff run. Now, we just want to win a game. I know there are other teams that haven't one, including three other teams in our division. But, I'm not worried about those teams right now. I'm worried about my CBJ.

One of my main issues I'm having right now, are all the people already calling for major changes. Some are asking for HCTR to be fired. Some are asking for trades and call-ups. I've even seen someone calling for Jarmo to be fired. I don't get it. Why is everyone wanting these drastic changes? Has it ever worked for other teams in the past? I'm dumbfounded by all of the comments.

I've been a fan of the CBJ for a few years. I can't say I've been a fan since the beginning, as I lived in Boston when they started. I somewhat followed them. I have read about the bad years, of which there are alot in the 15 years of existence. But, I'm been bitten by the bug. I'm a diehard CBJ fan now. Win, lose, tie, shootout. I'm a fan. I stand behind them.

Does this mean I'll turn a blind eye to what is wrong? No. I will make suggestions to what I think will improve the team. Right now, support is what they need. They know they are playing like complete crap. I hate seeing them playing like this. But, I will still support them. I will not boo them, I will not ask for HCTR to be fired at this point. I won't ask to trade certain players right now. It's way too early for that talk.

I'm a fan. A loyal fan. Just like I am for Ohio State Football. I have faith right now that the CBJ will turn it around. We need to give them that. We want to keep this team a destination for some of the more talented players in the league. Let's show the hockey world that Columbus deserves the 6th best fan base in hockey according to ESPN. We owe the players that.

That said...where the HELL is my Campbell jersey at, Blue Line store?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pre-season thoughts

So, we have five pre-season games in the books so far. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. Campbell, who I'm more excited about, acquistion wise, is looking good. I haven't seen Saad yet (his first game was today), but I have high hopes that he is going to do well. That kid has some potential.

Switching gears one of the prospects that stood out to me was Oleg Yevenko. He had a fight during the game on Tuesday evening, and he reminds me so much of Chara from the Bruins. Big, bruising, and ready to protect his teammates. I'm hoping that he finds his way back to the Blue Jackets. He is one player that I feel is ready for the big leagues. And, he moves well for a guy his size. Something to be said for that.

Sonny Milano has impressed as well. He's had more game time, due to Saad's injury (puck to the face). This has given him some valuable ice time, and I think it's raised his stock. He seems to fit well with the team and has developed some chemistry with the vets. Respect is big, and he seems to have it.

Joonas Korpisalo. After watching the first game against the Penguins, that name is going to be known. He played a lights out campaign (save for the shootout) that night. I'm hoping that he is the best kept secret of the CBJ, meaning that his name never gets out. In my mind, and many others I spoke with, he is the new #3 goaltender.

We have one more home pre-season game, against the Nashville KittyCats. It's going to be a fun one, for sure. Hoping to see some of you there.

A few things I wanna plug before I go. First off, the March of the Union Army. If you haven't signed up, I have one question. WHY? WHY NOT? Go to the Union Blue Soldiers Page on Facebook to sign up. There is no basic training required other than yelling and walking. Want to see what it entails? View this YouTube video from last years March. This will give you all you need to know.

Also, my buddies at Boone's Goons have their own YouTube Channel. When they are not fighting off the Content Police of YouTube, they post some Most Excellent videos and are planning on expanding their offerings. You can go here to visit their channel. I know these guys personally, and I can say they are funny and honest off camera as well.

Although I was unable to attend, it seems that Flockfest was a huge success. A huge shout-out to Foligno's Flock for putting together an awesome event for a great cause. I'm hoping to make it next year, as judging from the pictures, it looked amazing. Unless I have another grandchild at that time, I'll trek up that way.

Lastly, a more personal one for me. On October 11th, I will be participating in the Autism Speaks Walk for Autism. I am the captain of the team for where I work. But it is also a personal endeavor, as my son was diagnosed with Autism in 2006. Since the first walk in Columbus in 2008, I have been a part of the walk. My team name is Melissa's Missionaries, after my late wife who passed away in 2011 of cancer. If you can't make the walk, please consider donating to my page to help raise awareness and fund research for those affected by Autism. My personal page, complete with a goofy picture of my son and I in our Blue Jacket sweaters, is here.

Thanks for reading my blog. Probably be the only blog I ever compose from the great state of Washington. If you ever get a chance, visit this beautiful state. The views that I've seen here, both of the mountains and the coast, have been breathtaking. For now, can't wait to see you guys at the Cannon at first intermission.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

5th Line Fest, and FIRST PRESEASON GAME.


No, I'm not excited at all. This is the best time of year. The leafs are starting to turn (and will still not make the playoffs), everyone is starting to wear sweaters (my fave is #71, but I'll wear any Union Blue past or present), and the gloves will be dropping again, along with the pucks.

Our first pre-season game is against the dirtiest of the dirty birds, the team-that-shall-never-be-named, and the team of the Crysby. Kessel, Crybaby, and Malkin are not going to be there, according to the local press, as Kessel and Malkin are playing in their Tuesday game. Apparently, Crysby has a tear duct infection to deal with, and is day to day.

I've been counting the days down to this event. This is our first step to a special season for us. With the addition of Saad and Campbell, and being healthy, we are looking at a season where teams are not looking forward to seeing the Union Blue on the other side. They are going to hear ALOT of the cannon this year.

Fan Fest..or 5th Line Fest, as it's called now, was a great event this year. I only got two autographs, in Justin Falk, and Greg "I have a broken leg, but no way in hell is Crysby scoring on this power play" Campbell. Campbell is the one I really wanted. He came from Boston, which is my second team, as I lived there for a few years. Plus, and more importantly, he is a bad ass. I think he and Saad are going to bring some leadership to this team on a team that is already rich in that area. Based on what I've seen about Saad, he's already fitting in well and looking forward to seeing him on the ice.

That's Campbell in the red shirt, with Falk in the white. Both great guys...I have more pics, but need to get them off my phone, and I'll post them. I'll also post some pictures from the game tomorrow as time permits. I'm going to all three games this week, fly to Seattle to see my new grandson Friday morning, back on Monday night, in time for the next home pre-season game.

I do want to address the Kane situation. I read in an article today that it looks like the charges won't stick due to the DNA not matching his. That article is here. My take on this situation is simple. He should not be with his team until the case is resolved. While it looks like he's in the clear, which is a good thing in my opinion. But Slava Voynov was accused of domestic violence. He was immediately suspended. Call me crazy, but rape is a couple notches above domestic violence AT LEAST! Kane should have been suspended pending the outcome. I hope he didn't do it, and is cleared, but treat him like everyone else. Don't do the NFL route and do it based on your mood that day.

That said, I'll end on a happy note. I hope to get to meet alot of you this year at the Cannon this year, starting tomorrow night.  GO CBJ!!!!!! And don't forget, the March of the Union Army is happening again this year. It happens Friday, October 9th, which is opening night. We start at R-Bar Patio at 5:30pm and we march to Nationwide Arena. We have about 100 people so far, and hope to see you there as well.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cannonfest, a week later

It's been a week since Cannonfest 2015. People are getting excited about the upcoming season. The players are starting to come into town to start getting ready for camp. There is a chill in the air (right now's going to get hot again). Did my first Fantasy draft today. Hockey season is coming.

Cannonfest this year was head at Dick's Last Resort in the Arena District. It was a very warm day, definitely not hockey weather. It was well attended, and there were some familiar faces there, such as the Boone's Goons, CBJ Avengers, the Union Blue Soldiers, the CBJ Artillery, and the Monster's Jacket fan club, which represented the Lake Erie Monsters. I had the honor to help out at the Union Blue Soldiers table and help promote the March of the Union Army (Cheap Plug time) that will be held Opening Night, Friday, October 9th beginning at 5:30 in front of R Bar. You must be there if you are a CBJ fan, or a very confused Rangers fan (as if there is any other type)

Below are some pictures I took at Cannonfest. Not a lot, but proves I was there....

Sonny Milano was the surprise this year. I'm looking forward to see him in a CBJ uniform this season. He is going to be a special kid.

I missed the videos from Shane Guilfoyle this year as I was at the UBS table, but I've watched them, and they are excellent. Excellent job, Shane. I particularly like the third one, as it starts out with the Prout beatdown of Lucic

Three weeks from tomorrow (Monday), the CBJ have their first pre-season game against the Crysby Flightless Birds that Smell. I'm excited for that. That is also the week I may become a grandfather, which is very exciting as well. (Much more so, I have to admit). The season cannot start fast enough for me. My grandson can't get here soon enough. 

Let me sign off with this, which we should hear ALOT of this year....  GOAL!!!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Slow week

Seems like there is a lull. It's been a quiet hockey week. posted some stories about our beloved CBJ last Saturday (that I've been kicking myself that I didn't repost them here last week), so for your re-viewing pleasure (if you haven't watched, your viewing pleasure), here is one of the stories, with a video overview from two guys at about the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Since it's a slow week, CBJ wise, I will use this time to talk about a March. No, not the month of March, but the March of the Union Army. The 2nd annual March of the Union Army will happen the evening of October 9th, which just happens to be the opening night game of your.... COLUMBUS BLUUUUUE JACKETS! It's as if the CBJ planned that for us......

Anyway, we will start off at the Patio of the R-Bar around 5:30, and march to the Nationwide Arena. Last year's march was amazing, and this years is looking even better. This is a great way to show your CBJ Pride, march down the Arena District, and maybe even get a picture or two with that great looking bunch in the picture on the March Facebook event page.

Hats off to Kevin Valentin for organizing the march last year, and getting it together this year as well. Thanks also goes to Union Blue, as we've already go 60 commitments to the March, and that number is sure to grow.

Another upcoming event is Cannonfest, which happens this Sunday, August 23rd, at Dicks Last Resort, which is just outside the east enterance of Nationwide Arena. The Union Blue Soliders will have a booth there, and Kevin Valentin and Mark Ruckers will be at the booth. I would help with the booth, but we would like to have people come to the table, and not run away screaming. :)

Last years Cannonfest was a great time, and this years looks to be amazing. The festivities start at 1pm, and I hope to meet some of you there. Depending on how my pictures turn out, I'll post some of them here next week.

(For the record, I'm the guy to the left of Kevin in the March picture on Facebook. I'm between one of the amazing Boone's Goon's guys and Kevin. I don't have a mask, but probably should get one.)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

First post of the New Blog!!!!!!!!!! we are. A new season is almost upon us. Does anyone know if the Blue Jackets did anything of note during the offseason? I can't seem to find anything on Facebook or Twitter about it....hmmm...strange. Makes me Saad.....but nothing that a Campbell soup can't fix.....

Anyway, This upcoming season has playoffs written all about it. How do I know? Just read everything from what was published on today about the Blue Jackets to just about any blog or hockey site outside of Chicago has been posting about the CBJ. When they finished the season from Hell strong last year, it got noticed by the rest of the league. And not just the non-playoff teams. Even the "mighty" *enguins made a comment that our CBJ team is now "scary good". I'm betting Crysby is going to have pink eye in both eyes when they play us. Or, is did she buy a Dubi blowup doll to practice on? The world may never know...

Brandon Saad is one of the reasons that many pundits believe that we are going to the playoffs. I cannot argue that. He's won two (that's 2 for those that don't know longhand) Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks. He knows how to win, and he played well with some of the great talent that was, and still is, to a degree, in Chicago. Names like Toews, Sharp, Kane. But, he's not there anymore. He's here. And I think playing with young talent like Joey, Cam, et. al, he's going to bring us some playoff memories, including watching the Lord Stanley skated around NWA.

But, he's not the player I'm excited about the most. I'm more excited about Campbell. Greg Campbell. The man who took a slapshot to the leg, was broken, and he FINISHED THE POWER KILL against Malkin and Crysby in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let that sink in. Against the self appointed "best pair in hockey". And the they didn't score on the PP. Crysby couldn't score against someone with a broken leg, who was hobbling and limited. And now, he's on a team with Scott Hartnell, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen and the 5th Line, who are all anti-Crysby. I'd hate to be Crysby's towel boy when Sidney looks at that line. Might have to re-zamboni the ice right after the first face off. I think the toughness and energy that he'll bring will invigorate the rest of the team, and they will do what everyone seems to be impossible...and we will not only win a series..but we will at least get to the Conference Finals. Hey...I can dream....and play NHL 16 to realize it....

Now, let's talk about those Blackhawk fans who got so bent out of shape when Saad left. Terms like Butt-hurt, and "They were Saad" where pretty commonly thrown back at them. But the best part was the fact it wasn't just CBJ fans telling them that. It was pretty much the entire league telling them that. And we got a collective pat on the back from alot of the other teams. It was like "good job kid" That felt pretty darn good.

Even the Chicago media writers were crying. I mean, seriously? Wishing ill will on a player that helped bring two Cups to a town that not 10 years ago had a crappy team, no fans, and no playoff prospects? Hell, at least the CBJ had fans then. There was nothing "United" about the Chicago hockey fan base at the time. Now, the bandwagon is so full that they have to have a spotter and the "Oversize Load" put on the back of the wagon. Be interesting to see what happens when the wheels on that bus go flying off...

Let us not forget about those that have left us. Dano, Arty, Morin, Letestu. A moment of silence for them. All great players, and CBJ warriors. Maybe we can get them back someday.

I need to make a comment about my Captain. Nicky. Nick Foligno. I could not think of a better player to lead this team. Yes, we have so many potential C's on the team. And who is the say one of them may become a C down the road.  But right now, Nick is the best man for the job. Now, if only electing a President would be so simple...

That's all I have right now folks. Tune in next time when the topic will be.........whatever is on my mind.....I'll also take ideas from anyone. You can reach me on Twitter at the handle @gambit624, or email me at