View from–222 on game 63— AND a Real Hockey Fan


Tonite it was up to section 222. I saw a GREAT game, [for about 50 minutes]. and that’s pretty typical for this year’s edition of the Blue Jackets. But first, let’s go to the real hockey fan. The guy sitting beside me was from Ontario. But, no he is not a Red Wings fan. In actuality he is a Montreal Canadians fan. He attends Junior hockey games in London and Kitchener. His hockey world is watching Junior Hockey and following all the teams/leagues, who frankly are confusing to me as only a very casual follower..Note that in Canada, the Junior hockey is televised.  He has met both the New Jersey and Washington head coaches and J Boll’s father and ran into Steve Mason at a Tim Horton’s.  He comes to Columbus annually to get his “hockey fix” .  Why Columbus?

He can see good hockey at a very low price. According to him, the only cheaper seats in hockey are in Detroit [which are $9] but you have to get them about 4 months ahead of the game. He has been here for the past 6 Blue Jacket games and has attended OSU hockey games. His thought was that the Canadian Junior hockey plays better hockey than the college level does.  He is seriously trying to get his hockey fix. As a good fan, he knows all the Columbus players by number, but even though he does not like the Red Wings, he knew a lot of them also. He’s here for hockey. The point of all this, is that we can be proud of the fact that we have an NHL team, in a great facility, at reasonable prices!!!

The Red Wings were in town. The walking street through the Arena District was a sea of red. [Bringing green $ to Columbus as the restaurants were also filled with RW fans]  some of the ticket hawkers were trying to get face value for their tickets, so “prices were also up” I heard the phrase “it’s the Red Wings man” numerous times. This kinda reminded me of the time we were in Puarta Valarta, Mexico we went into a restaurant overlooking the harbor. It was very pretty as 2 cruise ships were in. When we got our menu, we saw the prices were much higher than the day before. We complained and were given the menu that was not for the days the cruise ships were in port. And now, on to the game.

The Jackets played well the first 2 periods. There were tape to tape passes, active sticks blocking the shots and passes of the RW, and Sanford made a number of good saves. I was anxious to see Jack Johnson in his first game on home ice and was not disappointed. He and Wiz looked good together. Johnson actually seemed to calm things down. As in my previous post, I am concerned about this pairing.  Of course I was also interested in seeing newly acquired center Darryl Boyce. He was advertized as being like Derrick MacKenzie. It isn’t fair to judge him in his first game, but he did look similar. He is slightly younger, but It’s sort of a case of “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

I think Todd Richards made a mistake in the 3rd period. That the 2nd goal the RW scored was pretty soft. He should have called a time out to settle the boys down. They seemed to get all messed up [and that folks is being tactful] after that soft goal and things went down hill big time. I know there were some TV time outs but the Jackets sure checked out after that goal. Gone were all the good things they were doing, passing was poor, back checking was worse and the active sticks almost disappeared. It has been noted that the combo of JJ and the Wiz were a -6 for the nite. Again they have not played together long, so lets be fair and wait on the evaluation. I did note that John Moore was paired with JJ on the PK as the game progressed.

Speaking of John Moore. He is still playing well. The guy has played with every Bluejacket defense man this year except Nikitin. [Who knows he may have had a few shifts with him also] But as far as the familiarity and settling in with a pairing, he sure has not been able to do that and he still impresses. One particular RW rush near the end of the 1st period, his poke check broke up the play and caused an offside, and very neatly too.

I thought C Gillies played his best game since joining Columbus. I think the jury is still out on him. He still has too many penalties for his contribution. If Todd Richards stays he has a greater chance of staying, but at this point,  it would be my guess thumbs down.

My Ontario friend, noted that he thought David Sevard had been playing great also and expects to see him in the NHL next year. As far as I can see, Sevard, “got it” when Nikitin was hurt and since that time has been great.  He also thinks that M Methot does not have a place on this team as he just does not have the talent.