Another shutout


Thanks a lot, Jackets. Thanks for treating the fans that managed to drive hours through the snowstorm to the worst effort in franchise history.

It’s a good thing it was only the ‘yotes. Otherwise, the Jackets would have lost 912-0. That’s how bad they looked.

Not at first, though. For the first ten minutes, the tempo was high, the hits were hard, and the Blue Jackets were outshooting Gretzky’s squad 9-2. Then the bottom inexplicably fell out.

Some of the offenders (oh, yeah, I’m naming names):

Berard/Malhotra. Boy, was I looking forward to welcoming Berard home to the ‘Wide. But he played exactly like someone who hasn’t played in a year. He wasn’t ready, and it showed. Both players had sloppy turnovers that directly resulted in two Phoenix goals, taking whatever wind was left out of the Jackets’ sails.

Fedorov. I never thought I’d be calling out Sergei, but I (and the hundred or so fans closest to me) caught something that made us quite angry. Near the end of one of his shifts in the third period, he began heading back to the bench from inside the Coyotes zone. An errant pass from the ‘yotes sent the puck directly beside his skate, where he could have picked it up and had it to himself, one on one, with the goalie. Fedorov looked at the puck, and casually skated by it. He didn’t reach for it, he didn’t even react at all. It was like he was daydreaming or something. The folks sitting in my section just looked at each other, saying things like, “…oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” and “…no way did he just ignore that,” and “…THAT BLACK THING’S THE PUCK, SERGEI!!”

Just one example, but very representative of the team’s overall effort.

Nash/Carter/Brule/Modin. It ain’t got to be pretty, boys. Chuck it in there and get the rebound. Stop insisting that all NHL goals have to be fancy finesse shots or mach 1 slapshots. Most goals nowadays come from, what, 6-10 feet in front of the net, the majority of them redirects? Get it in there, and let someone else mop it up.

Whoever’s on man-advantage. Just. Take. The. Shot. We really don’t need to take 1:45 seconds to set up a shot during a PP, do we?

Overall, it was just sloppy, undisciplined play. No battle for the loose pucks. Repeatedly going offside – not accidentally, but cluelessly. Six to seven men playing on the ice in the same zone, and nobody realizing it until the refs give the penalty. Not finishing checks. Bad passing. Daydreaming.

Okay, some positive things. Fritsche and Vyborny did play hard and give good effort. Klesla also played hard.

And I think I like this Konopka kid, too. He’s… “tenacious.” A little undisciplined — I think he gets angry a bit too easily — but I definitely enjoyed watching him. He finishes his checks, and isn’t afraid of anyone. He was at the center of a huge melee in the first period between the benches, which seemed to go on forever. Owen Nolan took a cheap shot, and Konopka responded; then Nick Boynton responded to Konopka; then Shelly jumped in and it became a yard sale… two fights, three roughing minors, blood on the ice, etc.

When the play-by-play looks like this, you know you missed a dandy fight…

If only they would play hockey with the same effort as they use to defend one another…

More CBJ bloggers also blowing off steam:
Army of the Ohio
End of the Bench
The Jacket Times


  1. Doug must go. That is all.

  2. WoodyHayes says

    Sorry buddy, I see your frustrations expressed time and time again as you watch them.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: