I don’t blog much these daysFebruary 18, 2008
I haven’t posted anything in a long time. There are a number of reasons for my absence, including work and travel load, family commitments, and other items. But the main reason I’ve lost my enthusiasm for blogging on the Blue Jackets is because of Puck Rakers. It is an interesting blog, with timely inside information and loads of comments from the readers. And they are doing a great job of killing my interest in the Jackets.
First off, the people who comment at Puck Rakers can say whatever they want, which they have no problem doing. But the level of negativity is overwhelming and stifling. Every player in this town has an army of enemies who can’t wait to rip them after each and every game. At the beginning of the season, all you read about was how worthless Nikolai Zherdev was, that he sneaked around the locker room and sabotaged his teammates equipment, that he was plotting to kidnap Rick Nash and imprison him in Russia. But I guess Zherdev must have stopped taking his stupid pills because I don’t read those comments anymore.
I can list lots of other examples, like Kris Russell should be playing in the House league at CCYHA, that Manny Malhotra is shooting from the wrong side, that Jason Chimera is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that most of these people who are locals don’t go to the games but watch them on television. Or else they pay too much for tickets or parking. If you think you’re paying too much, well then you’re paying too much. But that is a personal problem that has nothing to do with hockey.
But my real gripe is with the Puck Rakers themselves, Aaron Portzline, Tom Reed, and Michael Arace. These guys, who a year ago didn’t write anything unless Doug MacLean told them to, fan the flames of fan unrest better than anyone. Sergei Fedorov left the team. Nikolai Zherdev won’t talk to the media. Scouts at Nationwide to close a deal. And my favorite, the Jackets are pussies.
I know a few things about hockey and one of them is that hockey players are loyal and tough. They do not back down from a fight, they stand up for their teammates, they take umbrage when they are being shown up, they do what the coach tells them. When the team loses a game, if the media wants to question the match-ups or the game game tactics, or an individual act, fine by me. But don’t tell me the team is soft. The only thing soft about hockey in this town is the quality of media coverage.
Like I said, in the past when Doug MacLean would stand up to say that he wouldn’t trade his team for the Red Wings, nobody in the local media, save Bob Hunter long after it occurred, spoke up. When MacLean let Ray Whitney go, who questioned him? When he selected Alexandre Picard as first pick in a previous draft, did someone ask him why he evaluated Picard so high?
Now we get reports of NHL Scouts attending CBJ games. That’s great, but tell me, Puck Rakers, where are the Jacket Scouts at and who are they watching? Tell me why the team isn’t negotiating with Ron Hainsey more. And while you’re pouring it on about the latest win/loss streak of the team, tell us that in reality, the whole NHL West is not moving much. The Jacket losing streak is news, but so is Detroit’s.
The team is in the thick of things and because the other teams fighting the Jackets for a playoff spot are not doing much better, we still have hope. Not a sliver of hope, but real hope. In fact, the race for the final playoff spot might go down to the last day.
So if you miss me, I’ll try to write more. If you don’t agree with me, let me know, but please use reason and logic. My suggestion is that the local hockey community was served better by Neutral Zone Trap, Bethany, Better On Ice, Blog Jackets, and a few others. Puck Rakers has turned into a rant fest, not a site for those who love hockey.