0-4 starts are no fun. Let's read more about that in today's links:
- Grantland (which may be on the way out since a bunch of writers just left to join Bill Simmons) covers developments from the NHL's first week. On their last point - "And we close with Columbus, because even in blog posts, the Blue Jackets are dead last." Ouch.
- Yahoo's Puck Daddy dives into Bob's rough start and the horrendous starts under Todd Richards.
- Last week, The Sports Quotient detailed the potential Eastern Conference wild card teams and predicted the Jackets to take the first WC spot. That was, of course, before the 0-4 start.
- Mark Scheig of The Hockey Writers wrote about the stunning start in Columbus and also highlights some positives (the defense is not one of them).
- Also slightly more optimistic than most is Union and Blue's Christian La Fontaine. Read his take on the season so far here.
- Ready for a bunch of ESPN? (*gasp* ESPN covers hockey? On their website, at least, the answer is yes). Jarmo Kekalainen spoke with Pierre Lebrun, who wrote this piece on the Jackets. He mentions "looking in the mirror" several times. There is also a video in that link of Scott Van Pelt talking about the CBJ with Barry Melrose who maybe isn't so high on Columbus after the first week.
- Columbus friend and Ohio native John Buccigross wrote a great blog piece for ESPN as well, covering a variety of hockey topics. Of note, he thinks Saad can be a 30-40-70 player with Johansen and though he had the Jackets as a 100-point team at the start of the season, he thinks they'll make the playoffs if they can get going.
- Todd Richards is actually not the odds-on-favorite to be the first NHL coach fired this season according to Bovada. Claude Julien (Boston) tops the list at 3-2 followed by Darryl Sutter (Los Angeles) at 2-1. HCTR is 3rd and you can get those odds at 5-1.
- Via our FanShot section (shameless plug to remember to use FanShots & FanPosts on the site if you see a link or have something you want to share) and user FletchTopper - ESPN The Magazine's 2015 Ultimate Standings. The magazine ranked all 122 professional franchises (sorry, no MLS) based on a variety of categories. Somewhat surprisingly, the Jackets came in at #19 overall and #6 in the entire NHL, just behind the Blackhawks. This was due largely to high marks for stadium experience, bang for your buck (among the cheapest tickets in the NHL) and fan relations. Their "title track" leaves something to be desired, though the on-ice area is trending up. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in town tonight, came in dead last and the Tampa Bay Lightning were the #1 NHL team.
- Speaking of tickets and fan relations, the club announced some tweaks this week. Via the CBJ mobile app, fans will have the chance to upgrade to club or lower seats one hour prior to the game. They also will have the chance to get "unique experiences" such as sitting on the bench, in the penalty box, or standing in the tunnel...based, of course, on availability. Those will be made available one hour prior to the game. All of these details came via @THWMark on Twitter - Mark Scheig (mentioned & linked above) of The Hockey Writers who covers the Jackets, Monsters, and Erie Otters. In addition, via Rob Mixer:
Students: you can now buy #CBJ Student Rush tickets on the CBJ mobile app beginning at 12 p.m. on game days -- six hours before normal time.— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) October 14, 2015
- This has gone a bit under the radar - but the Arena deal does not sound like it is working out currently. The Arena's owners, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, want the property to be exempt from future taxes. This all sounds like a jumbled mess, so I'll defer any opinions on the matter to *cough* lawyers *cough Jeff* on the site.
- And finally, from the "where are they now?" category - Tim Erixon was sent to the AHL by Pittsburgh and Sean Collins cleared waivers via the Washington Capitals.