And now it is getting dark

October 30, 2008

Aaron Portzline blogged last night about the Blue Jackets and he is disturbed.  He wrote about his friend who used to be enthusiastic about the team, a PSL holder, going to all the games, etc.  But now his friend is done with the team, not being able to absorb the pain that the team gives him.

When I read the post, my first thought was, Portzline has no financial investment in the team like the PSL holders, he actually gets paid to watch and report on the games, and he is tired of the Blue Jackets?  Or is he simply bored?  Has the team detected his attitude and stopped talking to him, making his job more difficult?  This is a guy who caused a minor shit-storm last year when he reported that Adam Foote threatened to quit the team unless his wishes were granted.  I believe that Portzline was probably accurate about Foote, but he didn’t provide actual quotes or facts to back the story up.  Now he is blogging (NOT REPORTING) that things are not good and the future is dark.

It is probably fair to say that a lot of PSL holders, both current and former, are tired of the team and not enthusiastic as they used to be.  I am an early member of the blame Doug MacLean club and have not joined the blame Scott Howson club yet, although their membership is growing.  I think MacLean put the team in a hole that was much deeper than people realized.  I think that ownership let him stay here too long and were not honest with the public about the damage he did to the organization and the length of time it would take to correct things.  Last year was an example of how the team should have been preforming in year four or five and it gave me hope for the future.  No, the team didn’t make the playoffs, but it was in the playoff hunt in February, longer than any past Blue Jackets team.

This season has gotten off to a poor start, but it is early.  I do look at some of the new players and wonder what Howson was thinking when he acquired them, but I’ll wait another ten games before I come to a conclusion.  I hear about how bad we need a center, but if we had wings that could score and check, it wouldn’t matter.  I hear about the need for a puck moving defenseman, but he was sent to Syracuse and the other one is playing in Atlanta.  I won’t even mention Dick Tarnstrom.

The team needs to win and if they don’t have the most goals at the final horn, they need to show the fans that they fought hard and gave 100% until the end.  They have to stop taking all the penalties, they have to take more quality shots on goal, and they have to play strong in front our goal.  Our goalies have to be consistent and make all of the routine plays, like saves and clearing the puck.  They have to be in shape to play in the NHL and if they’re not, the team has to find someone else.

The fans need to show up, too.  Not the ones who hate the team, or Nationwide, or hockey.  I mean the fans who say they like the game, but either don’t bother or depend on free tickets.  You can buy a ticket for less than $10 and sit anywhere you want these days.  You can park on the streets nearby for free.  If you like hockey or are simply curious, you can see a game for a reasonable amount of money and then go to a bar afterward to have a cheap beer.  If the fans show up, the pressure is on the team to perform.  A bad team playing in an empty building has a life expectancy of about one more season, and then Aaron Portzline will be covering the OSU band if he is still here.

I’ll have more comments later.  I actually agree with a lot of what Portzline wrote, but I think there are other things to consider.

-Truth Serum


One comment

  1. Amen to the Doug MacLean hole. I am afraid it was much deeper than we might have thought.

    But there is hope, one only has to look at Syracuse to see the future, and not the too distant future, is bright indeed. Trades and F/A add-ons will stem the tide and I for one think we have yet to see this last summer’s actions bear fruit. It is still, and always will be, a TEAM game and this CBJ group is not yet a team. My thought is that it will be. Will it be soon enough for a playoff run, that remains to be seen. But as each game is played another step is taken. The days of wondering are over, the promised land is in sight. The question is how many of us will be left when we get there.

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