Today marks the beginning of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ five-day “bye week,” where the team rests up before returning to host Dallas on Thursday night. A five-day break seems like a lot, but they’ll have four days without a game immediately after Thursday and another four-day break for All-Star Weekend. Regardless! Five days is the longest you’ll have to go without a Blue Jackets game for the rest of the season, and that extra day can make it feel like an eternity. What will do you to fill the gaping, gnawing void in your heart? Worry not, because we’ve put together some ideas to help see you through.
Cheer on the Monsters
The Cleveland Monsters finish a trip to Grand Rapids tonight before hosting Rockford on Wednesday and Friday. They’re looking to snap a five-game skid and recently recalled Joonas Korpisalo and Tyler Motte. Of course, our own Elaine Shircliff will have your Monsters coverage right here on this very blog.
Imagine all the trades the Jackets will make
The boys in blue need an injection of offense and have a glut of defensemen in the system. Regardless of whether those bottom pairing defensemen are any good, it’s fun to think up all the incredible offensive talent the Jackets would definitely, no question, 100 percent get for say, Jack Johnson. Who will be the deadline savior? With your powerful brain, it could be anyone making Nationwide Arena his new home. Max Pacioretty for Scott Harrington? Hey, you’re Jarmo, you pull the trigger.
Design a better All-Star jersey
It’s wonderful that Seth Jones will represent the Jackets in this month’s All-Star Game. It’s a shame he has to wear this boring, monochrome mess. Way too many design elements on an ugly gray and green background. You have some time on your hands, so take a crack at a better one. No experience? No worries. I believe in you and whatever you come up with. It’ll be better than what we’ll see in Tampa.
Brainstorm some power play strategies
This is something else you may have no experience doing, but feel free to throw some spaghetti at the wall. The Blue Jackets rank second-to-last in power play percentage (13.5 percent), so they need your creative approach to complex problems. Put five forwards out there! No dump-ins allowed! Ban Sonny Milano from attempting to pass! The only limit is your imagination.
Root against the Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins end their own bye week this afternoon against Detroit before hosting the Rangers tomorrow night. They’ll then head West for a back-to-back against the Ducks and Kings on Wednesday and Thursday. Pittsburgh finds itself one point out of last in the Metropolitan Division and will need a strong second half to even qualify for the playoffs. Spend some of the next five days by hoping against hope for more Matt Murray letdowns and bottom-six struggles, cheering on their opponents as much as you can stomach for more Pittsburgh disappointment. A Pittsburgh loss is the next best thing to a Jackets win, after all.
Convince your significant other that “Machinehead” is perfect as your wedding reception introduction
We’ve all had this argument. It’s as old as time. Just picture the excitement building as your guests eagerly watch the entrance after the wedding party’s final couple moseys to their table. They know you’re up next, and they’re ready... and out from the speakers blasts the opening riff of “Machinehead.” It’s perfect. But deep down, you know your partner’s not going to go for it. So use this time to devise a better plan of attack. Don’t have a significant other? A bye week’s the perfect time to either a) hone this argument for when you do or b) use this quandary on your dating app of choice make sure you get that high-quality someone.
Workshop some new team slogans
“Jackets Time.” “Gotta See It Live!” “March to the Playoffs.” “Join the Battle.” The Blue Jackets marketing team has turned out some memorable ones over the years but frankly, the team could use a new snazzy marketing slogan. You have five days to come up with something better than “March with Us.” You could reference the cannon, or the ice, or the fact that Andrew Precourt doesn’t own the team. There are definitely some pieces to work with.
Scour eBay for old CBJ memorabilia
You can always count on eBay for some stuff you’d expect (jerseys, trading cards, car flags) and some other things you absolutely wouldn’t. Check out this Deron Quint jersey, right after you hit Wikipedia to remember who Deron Quint was. How about an XXL CBJ baseball jersey (just missed it)? That’s only if you don’t want this sharp Columbus Blue Jackets yarmulke, which rules. Or maybe all the Horton, Saad, Clarkson and Johansen merchandise you can carry. Whatever you pick up, it’s a great way to pass the time before CBJ hockey returns.
Learn a new language
Ok, maybe it’s not enough time to become fluent, but in five days you could probably pick up some phrases to shout at your favorite players the next time you see them in person. Perhaps something in Russian?