On Saturday night, the Columbus Crew won their second MLS Cup with a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders. A championship is always a special moment, but this was something out of a Hollywood screenplay. Just over three years ago, it was announced that the team would be relocated to Austin, Texas. Two years ago, new ownership took over which would keep the Crew where they belong, right here in Columbus. Next summer, a gorgeous new stadium will open up in the Arena District, meaning this game was the final playoff game in Mapfre Stadium, the first pro soccer specific stadium in the US.
Many Blue Jackets players were posting their support before, during, and after the game. Elvis Merzlikins even managed to score one of the few tickets to the game:
Riley Nash, meanwhile, was like the rest of us who were watching from home:
I have to agree with the team’s official account here. We’re all very proud of what the Crew accomplished.
The week that was
The NHL is getting closer to starting the 2020-21 season, with word that the league and the players had agreed not to amend the CBA signed this summer. Now they have to figure out what special rules will apply to the season, including roster sizes and playoff format. The dates to start are not set, but it’s being widely reported that training camps will start between December 28 and January 1, with the season starting by January 13. We’re just two weeks from that camp start date for the seven non-bubble teams so hopefully an official announcement is coming soon.
The other bit of news from last week was the rumored realignment of the divisions. This realignment is necessary due to the border restrictions between the US and Canada. Rachel wrote about the divisions here. If I may quote myself from the comments, here is how I see the Blue Jackets faring in this temporary Central Division:
Within that set of four, I see the Jackets as slightly behind Carolina, slightly ahead of Nashville, and a step or two ahead of Florida. So, over 8 games each:
3-5 or 4-4 vs. Carolina
5-3 or 4-4 vs. Nashville
5-3 or 6-2 vs. Florida
Probably 1-7 or 2-6 against Tampa. 6-2 against Minnesota and Chicago. 7-1 against Detroit.
34-22, so somewhere from 68-74ish points depending on how many OTL.
On the 31 Thoughts podcast, Eliotte Friedman said that Minnesota may be swapped out for either St. Louis or Dallas. Either would make the division more difficult, and take a few wins off of my projection.
Before that news came out, The Cannon Cast discussed some past and future Blue Jackets stars.
The Jackets 20 series went with an old and new player, one a captain and one a future captain. First, Will remembered Ray Whitney’s great 2002-03 season. Then, MrSwift13 reminisced about the trade that brought Seth Jones to Columbus. I did not remember how much I disliked the trade at first, but I am very glad to be wrong.
Seth Jones and Zach Werenski both made the list of NHL Network’s Top 50 Players. Do you agree or disagree with their rankings?
Presented without comment
I might never stop being mad about this pic.twitter.com/BsugzYZl5E— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) December 12, 2020
Play me out
Only one song to play after a Crew win: