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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What a snoozer...zzzzzzz...


Not sure how many of you out there stayed awake to watch the outcome of that snooze feast those two teams called hockey last night but if you did you must have bonged a gallon of caffeen....

In case you did miss it and haven't checked a score yet today, let me save you 2 1/2 hours worth of your time in case you were thinkin about watching it later on DVR -- the Jackets lost 3-1. That makes 1 win in their past 6 games... 2 wins in their past 11...

...and can this team even mutter the word playoffs with a straight face? I certainly hope not.

I have been beating the drum that this team has been inconsistant but the truth is, this team is consistant. They are consistantly losing. They are consistantly getting away from any kind of defensive team play and goaltending that made them successfull earlier this year. Their bread and butter penalty killing has also dried up.

What we are seeing here is the slim margin of error this team really has. The have no skill up front outside of Zherdev and Nash.....no puckmovers on the backend...and if their defense and goaltending don't put in spectacular efforts they don't win.

Well the defense and goaltending haven't been putting in spectacular efforts since the All Star break and of course the anemic offense continues to produce 1 or 2 goals a game...hence we are where we are.

Its that simple.

Hitch says he wants to keep his team together? Yeah right. I'd love to be a fly on the wall and really hear what he says behind closed doors. What's he supposed to say though? Truth is he's got to be one frustrated man right now. The offense hit a wall out of the gate but now he's not getting the defense and goaltending.....its hit a wall as well.

Are they wore down? Is this just the process every young team goes through as they try to turn the corner into that winning franchise? Is the fact that they are on the playoff bubble with so many unrestricted free agents to-be distracting the ultimate goal here?

I suspect its a combination of all of that.

One thing is for sure is Howson will be active come Feb 26th. He has to be. The ultimate goal here is to build a Stanley Cup contender and with the collection of veterans this team has it won't happen so he's got to sell and return assets that will achieve that goal.

Heck this team in its current state most likely won't get into the playoffs so if you kept them all together and miss the playoffs what do you gain? At this point this team has not shown enough to take the chance....he's got to what return he can and he's got some real attractive pieces that could garner a big return.

Sure it may signal the end to the dream of the playoffs this season but for me that signal started going off the first game this team played after the ASB. They came back on cruise control while the rest of the NHL kicked it up a notch.

Some fans won't understand the moves and think its "more of the same" and the franchise will takes some hits in the PR department but its hits they have to take to turn this thing around for good..

Now you have real hockey minds who understand the kinds of pieces it takes to build a winner. No Anson Carters to prove a point to your disgruntled Russian winger.... No 6 million dollar over the hill knee jerk Fedorovs....no 18 year old #1 pick given a 2nd line center role.. no Adam Footes that you expect to be Scott Niedermeyers..... Hitch/Howson will build a team and utilize its players correctly.

The Jackets are 1-2 three games into the 5 game road trip. Next up is Ottawa tomorrow night.

I know its hard now Jacket fans...I get frustrated to but the good times are comin...we got a little taste of it this year....I can see it what Hitch/Howson and trying to do and it will be a winning formula we can be proud of.

-LTL

2 comments:

The Guy You Thought Was Rude said...

Definitely not pulling the plug on Hitch or Howson. The season is over though, and it's time to deal and cut some cords for the future.

Shaggy said...

The season was over after the Chicago game, but I'm still not certain that Howson sees it. I still keep seeing lines like "We're only 3 points out!", and that scares the pants off me.