Jackets without Joey


The Jackets will face arguably the hottest team in the NHL right now tomorrow without their star center. Ryan Johansen has been scratched from his second straight game for an undisclosed illness. This is a bit suspect as he has dressed in the last 202 games (prior to Saturday). Is this (hopefully) a real bug that he has? Or is it the “I don’t like this new coach who is tough on me I want my old one back” bug? The later is extreme speculation and should not be taken as anything but. Joey has always been a top NHL player, however he has also had past tendencies of being a bit of a drama queen.

Joey hopefully will be back in action by the Jackets next home game against the Jets. If not, then this writer will start leaning towards the previously stated speculation and assume a trade would be in the future for Columbus, something Joey wanted to avoid at all costs under coach Richards.

Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

As far as the game tomorrow, The Jackets come in riding high after an exciting victory in the Rockies. Torts’s will look to make a dent in their season total record in the home arena of a team that is currently on one of the hottest runs in the NHL.

The Devils of New Jersey enter the game with a 4-3-1 record. Those three regulation time losses were their first three games of the season. Since then they’ve beaten the Rangers, the Coyotes, the Senators, and the Sabers (three of four teams contributed to the Jackets 0-8 start). They lost in a shootout with San Jose before going on the four game run.

These are the facts. However one fact I have yet to mention. The Jackets are pissed. If we have learned anything from the end of last season, it is that when the Jackets are determined and pissed off about their “lot”, amazing things can happen. To be able to go into Jersey and walk out having handed the Devils a loss breaking that wonderful streak they’re one. Well that would just be the icing on the Blue Jackets turn around cake.

Watch for the Jackets to continue to improve at playing with Torts’s style of play. Bob will be in goal and don’t look for that to change anytime soon. This is a Torts that no one in the NHL is familiar with. He is actually okay (and defended for that matter) a goalie who plays the opposite style in goal than Torts has ever worked with before. Torts to our knowledge has not yet fed on the souls of the living or made he grown male players cry harder than their five year old daughters. For the most part he has been pretty mellow as far as coaching goes. But he sure has instilled a spark in the boys in blue. Look for that spark to grow and start igniting into a red hot inferno of goals, hits, and blocked shots, all ending of course with an announcer saying the best words in hockey “JACKETS WIN”.

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