Columbus Clash

by

I don’t think I’d be speaking out of turn if I said neither the Columbus Blue Jackets nor the Boston Bruins had Tuesday, March 15th circled on their calendars at the start of this season as a Must Win Game. I’m not sure too many fans or media would have, either. Two teams from different conferences who see very little of each other playing on a weekday night. Just another stop on the schedule, right?

Not any more, folks.

The up-and-down Bruins are losers of 4 straight and certainly have to be feeling the burn of what’s happened since they returned to a hero’s welcome from an undefeated 6 game road trip to beat Tampa Bay at home. They were looking like the team they were supposed to be. They had found an identity. They were sitting atop TSN’s power rankings and looking like they deserved it.

Then came Pittsburgh. Then (deep sigh) Montreal. Buffalo. And the goddamned Islanders.

Full stop.

Suddenly we have a team apparently reeling from what happened to them at the hands of the Canadiens (and perhaps from another well publicized incident in that game, as well) and looking they they desperately need to rescue their cool before things get out of control. Where has the identity gone? Where is the balanced scoring and the goaltending that has led them so far? Where is the confidence? Their leader is under fire from all corners thanks to an absurd, hysteria driven witch hunt and it seems, instead of rallying to his side, they are buckling under the pressure. They’ve tumbled back to 3rd place in the East, a mere 2 points ahead of surging Montreal for the Northeast Division lead. Not good.

Enter the Columbus Blue Jackets. 3-4-3 in their last 10 games and desperately seeking some hope that one of the last playoff spots in the West are still within reach (currently 8 points behind Calagry for the final spot) they also need a win badly. Every game for them becomes a Must Win until the math says it’s over. I know damned well from conversations with Comrade Gonz just how badly the team and it’s fans want in to the Post-Season Party again. Hell, the long suffering loyalists there deserve it. They really do.

As such, the import and interest in tonight’s match is amped up that much higher. Here at HGW, CBJ vs. BOS has always been a grudge match. Now it seems we might not be the only ones who think so.

Game on, motherfucker!

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