Calling the events of last nights match-up between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Rangers exciting is the understatement of the century. Sitting in the arena, one could see an outpouring of pure passion and emotion from the sellout crowd.
The bonds that are built between a fan base and a player, no matter how strong, are able to be broken. Last night we saw just how fast that can happen. In one period, 20 minutes of play, Columbus went from being cautiously welcoming towards Rick Nash to wanting his head on a stick. How do I feel about this, you ask? I think it is awesome.
To be fair, we all know that Nash was provoked, but so was Bobrovsky. Did Nash cross an invisible line? I think he did.
Taking to twitter will show exactly how it played out.
First, the Blue Jackets official Twitter sent out the following:
— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 21, 2014
This tweet is a perfect example of justice in the Bobrovsky court of law (and some of Bob’s provoking that I mentioned):
— Mark (@RedditCBJ) March 22, 2014
Later, Rick Nash crashed the net with the puck and steamrolled Sergei Bobrovsky.
Sergei Bobrovsky not at all happy with Rick Nash, who pretty much ran him over. Goal disallowed. Nash is getting the penalty. #CBJ
— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) March 22, 2014
There was provocation, but it was perpetuated by both sides. It was all good hockey fun until Nash threw a punch at Bobrovsky. It is an unwritten rule that if you touch a goalie, retaliation is headed your way. This time, it came directly from the fans:
— Michael Nyeste (@SlimZamboni) March 22, 2014
Boos every time Nash touches the puck now. Good will is gone. #CBJ
— Alison (@AlisonL) March 22, 2014
It is obvious to say that a single moment burned the only bridges that Rick Nash had left with Columbus. Those bridges did not burn quietly. The moment was followed by an ire from the fans unlike anything that I’ve ever seen (or heard) inside Nationwide Arena. Every second following that Nash was on the ice or touching the puck created one constant hate-filled “Boo” from the sellout crowd, along with plenty of very choice words.
This entire event is exactly what Columbus needed. Never have these fans moved on from the past so quickly. Fueling the fire of what is probably our new rivalry is great for the team and will end up being great fun for the fans in future games (and how about a Rangers/Blue Jackets playoff series?).
The possibilities are endless. So, Jackets faithful, you can be angry. It is all good, but if this is our next big rivalry, I welcome that with open arms.
Thank you, Rick Nash, your time here was fun…but we’ve moved on. Go Jackets!