Fans have a tendency to look for both the positives and the negatives in their team. You never want to let up on your expectations while at the same time always looking for the good news and notes. During this odd stretch of gaining ground in the standings while losing, fans couldn’t decide whether to be happy or angry.
On Sunday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets took down the Ottawa Senators to secure only their 2nd win in their last 10 games. Throughout this rough stretch, however, Columbus has been on a 5 game point streak.
Before the Senators game, the Jackets had been on the tail end of some pretty tough losses. In Washington, Cam Atkinson scored the go-ahead goal with under 6 minutes to play. A few moments later, though, the Capitals tied it up only to see Alex Ovechkin win it overtime.
Although they did get a point for their “effort,” it was tough to swallow. When they played the Boston Bruins a few days later, it was a similar result, but different story. The game was a physical affair, brutally battled in the trenches. Boston came out on top in a shootout but that point was earned rather than them limping into it.
Hockey is different than every other sport. It’s not just about winning and losing. You can lose a hockey game but still go up in the standings due to the “loser point.” And sometimes, going on a losing streak isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Although Columbus has lost 8 of its last 10, they’ve gone up in the standings. A bevy of overtime and shootout losses has propelled the Jackets from the bottom of the metropolitan barrel.
What are you supposed to feel? What are you supposed to take away from a losing streak like that? It seems strange to be both frustrated about the losses and pleased with the point streak.
Now that the Jackets won handily against Ottawa, fans can fully embrace the point streak. As soon as the game went final, it was “the point streak continues!” When they kept losing, it was “we extended the point streak but we still lost.”
That’s what hockey does. If you lose in any other sport (except for NASCAR), nothing positive comes as a result. But as for hockey? As for the Columbus Blue Jackets? Losing oddly enough meant climbing the standings. Here’s to another losing streak! (Kinda.)
P.S. If any member of the Columbus Blue Jackets team or coaching staff happens to read this tonight before puck drops against the Edmonton Oilers, I didn’t mean that last sentence. Please don’t lose!