Even when the Blue Jackets were on their near record-setting winning streak at the end of last season, something very odd struck me.
Now, perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places, but any conversation I saw - on this community, on twitter or anywhere else I happened to be - there wasn't a whole lot, or any, talk of "THIS is our year! THIS is our year!" It's more of...shock? Awe? Wonder?
Well, it was some of that. Maybe all of those. But sometime during the streak, hell maybe even before the streak, the wins became expected. The good play became expected. Though, not in a bad way. In fact, in the exact opposite way. In a very workman-like way.
As frustrating as it might be for guys like Portzline or anyone at FS Ohio, it's great to listen to Torts after the game and not be focusing on the accolades that this year has seen. Yeah, it's nice to set the all-time wins and points mark. It's something great for us fans - as tortured as a history as we've had, its great to see something this positive and good - to talk about, celebrate and even revere, but if the players had popped champagne tonight...yeah, that wouldn't have been awesome.
What is awesome is to see how this team goes about its work. To see what the Jackets did last night, their first game after blowing a 3-0 lead, was awesome. Torts gave them credit in his post-game presser, instead of harping on turnovers or bad penalties (and man, there were a couple bad penalties), he focused on the fact that they went out there and got the job done.
All of this is, really, just a long way of saying this - Jackets fans aren't delusional. They weren't calling for the Cup in December. (Well, most of us weren't, anyway.) They just know a good hockey team when they see it, and it hurts when someone else doesn't.
And, if I do say so myself, 94 points with 14 to play is a pretty damn good team.
Columbus Blue Jackets News
- First and foremost, what a bloody win from the Union Blue last night. Cam Atkinson had two goals. Zach Werenski had a goal. Sergei Bobrovsky won again. You should check out Matt's quick takes.
- I'm not sure how you could have missed it, but if you did, Matt Calvert and Josh Anderson returned to the Jackets lineup last night.
- It seems we have a timeline for Ryan Murray's hand injury - 4-6 weeks. Better than "indefinite," right?
- Is Puck Daddy ready to call Columbus a legit contender yet? Eh, not quite. but we are getting close, me thinks.
- Two exciting things are happening for Blue Jackets fans - this incredible season, where basically every night has the potential to set yet another milestone, and a new foe to look forward to next year when Vegas comes to town. However, as we all know, a current Jacket will soon be a Golden Knight? Who is it going to be? Well, as Union & Blue suggests, lets not worry about that just yet.
- Speaking of the Expansion Draft, here's something fun! I wasn't quite sure where to slot this since it isn't Blue Jackets "news" or even NHL "news" yet, so I'm putting it right here. DarkandStormy over in the FanPosts is putting together a community mock Expansion Draft, and at the time of writing, three teams are left for research and evaluation to be done on.
Cleveland Monsters News
- Nothing necessarily broke on the Monsters front yesterday, but Elaine Shircliff ran down a busy Monsters weekend for you yesterday, including some statistical updates.
National Hockey League News
- It must be weird to be a fan of the Winnipeg Jets. They were there. Then they went to Arizona. Then Atlanta left the south to head north and are the Jets again. It's kind of wacky, but also unique. What it isn't, however, is happy. Well, that's if you agree with this fan-written post from Arctic Ice Hockey.
- Did you know Auston Matthews hasn't scored in five games? Well, he's learning how to play well in other areas, which will only *gulp* make him better.
- If you didn't know, this is the time where NHL teams can start signing U.S. college players. What fun!
- If you can win a Cup in Anaheim, you can do it anywhere, right? Puck Daddy spoke to the man who helped assemble that 2007 team.
- The Women's NCAA Tournament bracket is out and, look, Ohio State is in! They actually play my alma mater, Western Kentucky, in the first round on Friday in Lexington. So, you know, Go Tops. Also, isn't it crazy how the committee just sent UConn straight into the title game? Weird.
- Having trouble with filling out your bracket? Have you considered Villanova to repeat?
- TWITTER BEEF! TWITTER BEEF! TWITTER BEEF! Los Angeles and Portland of the MLS got into a twitter beef.