December 14, 2007

December is half over and the Jackets are holding steady, the only regret being the giveaway to Anaheim and maybe their lack of effort against Minnesota. They’ve earned eight out of a possible twelve points so far. There is a tough one coming up in Boston and then the newly motivated Calgary Flames arrive in town on Tuesday. I’ll take two points from these two games.

The last game against Colorado, 4-1, was not a thing of beauty. You didn’t see any great offensive plays nor did you see Nash and Zherdev free-wheeling through the Colorado defense. What was on display was how the team can play defense when it has nothing else in its bag. I have been critical of Adam Foote in the past, but on Wednesday he showed a lot, blocking a shot with his shoulder and making Ryan Smyth‘s life miserable. It was almost a turn back the clock night for Foote as he played Smyth the way the NHL allowed before the lockout. Of course, the NHL allows Smyth to play the old way all the time, except now he doesn’t have to pay a price for his interference and obstructing. Hats off to Adam Foote and I hope he can get away with it for more games.

At the same time we were treated to the return of Kris Russell to the lineup. He played the same way he has all season. He hasn’t scored a goal yet, but came close a couple of times. He was tough in his own end and wasn’t over matched. On the goal that Colorado scored, there seemed to be some confusion between Russell and the 5’11” Duvie Westcott on coverage. But it was a solid night for Russell.

The same night the Jackets played our old friend Joe Motzko scored two goals for the Washington Capitals. Joe is one of the many ex-Jacket defensemen playing in the NHL. Congratulations, Joe.

What about the 13,000 (really?) fans that showed up? The team is playing hard and is much better than last season (or any season), but the lack of fans is alarming. I read all the excuses over at Puck-rakers about how they still suck or ownership won’t spend money or they’ve been burned before. But with Hockey Entertainment Sales Agents (scalpers) almost giving tickets away, a person can walk up and get lower bowl seats for a nice price. The team itself has a promotion every game. Some promotions will throw in a few adult beverages to help get through the game if you are still depressed thinking about how bad they are. A hockey team is a terrible to thing to lose.

-Truth Serum



  1. I’m still hopeful that attendance will pick up the second half of the season, especially after OSU football is over.

    This time of year is probably a bad one to have a long stretch of home games, because people have holiday parties, shopping, etc filling up their evenings more than at other points in the season. And they’re probably spending a lot of money on presents and cutting back elsewhere. I know I missed the two games last week specifically because money’s a bit tight due to Christmas shopping and my determination not to put stuff on my credit cards.

    I know attendance has been down all year, so those reasons don’t apply to the general downward trend, but I think they’re part of why it’s stayed slow in December.

    (I’ll miss the Calgary game next week for work reasons, but I do hope to make the rest of the games this month. Although I’m debating between CBJ-CAR and the Ohio Hockey Classic on the 29th)

  2. Mrs. EOB and I have not made our fair share of games this year, either. We usually make it to between 6-10 games per year, and by that stretch we’re doing okay (we’ve been to four so far), but three of those games we received free tickets. But we haven’t had the disposable income to pay for extra games, and that is regrettable. If I could swing it, I’d attend every game.

    I don’t attend for any other reason than I can’t afford it. But I agree, the excuses over at Puck Rakers are pathetic.

    For example, “yes, they’ve never done this well in the past, but they’ve sucked for so long I’m not going to be happy with .500 hockey right now even though I’ve paid for season tickets in the past.”


  3. I realize this is kind of a whiny complaint, but I want to throw in my 2 cents on the promotions, because this is really irritating me this season. It used to be possible to order the promotions on-line through the CBJ ticket office, but now all the promotions are done through Ticketmaster, and once they add in their “convenience charges” and other charges, the discounted ticket is the same price (or more) than the full face value if you bought it at the box office. I used to do the Dispatch subscriber promotions pretty often, but the savings on that is more than wiped out by Ticketmaster. And a lot of the promotions this year say that they’re only available through ticketmaster.com, so I can’t get them by going to the box office.

    And they wonder why people go through the secondary market?

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