If It’s March, We Must Be Spoilers

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In non-Cooke/Savard news, the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrated their second win in a row last night, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1. The game was noteworthy as Chris Chelios became the second oldest player to play in the NHL at age 48. And he made an immediate impact when an R. J. Umberger pass intended for his Blue Jacket teammate Fedor Tyutin deflected off of Chelios’ leg and behind Thrashers goalie Johan Hedberg to make the score 1-0.

In fact, all three goals scored last night were of the fluky nature. After the Chelios leg goal, a Kristian Huselius shot pinballed through a couple players before caroming off  another Thrashers d-man into the net. The Thrashers got on the board late in the third when Thrashers defender Johnny Oduya lobbed a shot towards the net and that shot went in off of Tyutin into the net behind CBJ goalie Matthieu Garon.

Despite the victory, the Jackets are yet again playing their Spring role as spoilers. Though some players on the team are unwilling to admit it, they are out of the playoff race and any hope to change that are thinning day by day. Interim coach Claud Noel has been a quirky change from veteran taskmaster Ken Hitchcock, yet results haven’t been consistent. The trade deadline gutted the team of so many veterans that the Jackets are now the second-youngest team in the NHL. There’s a good nucleus of players with Rick Nash, Steve Mason, Jakub Voracek, Derick Brassard, and Jared Boll, among a few others. But to think they can save this season is laughable at best.

Keep in mind, this is a franchise whose front office is mired in hamfisted boobery. Their handling of the broadcast team situation at the end of last season could be described as Orwellian via the Three Stooges. Then there’s the drama over the team’s consistent loss of money due to a badly negotiated arena lease. A few days ago, Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman hinted that Nationwide Arena could go into public ownership. Judging from the comments of Columbus Dispatch readers, that would be as popular as the Ohio State  Buckeyes rebranding themselves as the Southern Michigan Wolverines.

So yet again, Jackets fans are left to see out the remainder of the season and wonder What If? What if Hitchcock hadn’t frustrated Nikita Filatov enough to set him off to Russia? What if Mason hadn’t suffered his sophomore slump? What if the players were actually in condition enough to play three periods and not poop out mid-game? What might have been?

There’s quite a few things up in the air still and nothing will be decided until the arena issues are solved. Until then, their 2008-2009 season will be the jewel in this team’s crown of shit.

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2 Responses to “If It’s March, We Must Be Spoilers”

  1. Ken Socrates Says:

    Non Cooke/Savard news? Where? Haven’t seen any in my neighborhood, that’s for sure.

    Seriously, though, I’m just wondering if you could actually see the Depends Chelios was wearing or if the bulk of his hockey pants hid them well enough.

  2. KofC Says:

    I didn’t know that game was on till I found it online for the 3rd. So I missed Chelios’ first shifts. I’ve seen him play well with the Wolves but that might not have been the greatest debut. I was hoping Thrashers would win last night, not to beat the Jackets but so the Capitals wouldn’t clinch the division just yet, or whatever it was.

    I hope the Jackets/arena situation gets worked out, though for selfish reasons on my part–if I get a good deal on Megabus/Greyhound, it can be cheaper to see games in Columbus, Detroit, etc. than in Chicago. And I liked Nationwide, except for the cannon (or maybe I disliked having to hear it so much in Chicago’s 6-5 win that time).

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