Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Nicholas Lorenzi on 07/29/11 at 01:12 PM ET
Yea, you and everyone else thinks it’s both hilarious and clever to say the BJ’s or Blow Jackets and sometimes plainly as the Blow Jobs. In 2000 I was a teen in the crowd saying those things so please come up with some new ways to use BJ to attack Columbus. I can still take this because I’ve seen this team fail over and over again. Let me explain.
Making the right moves in the wrong way is what has been happening for the past 10 years. First it was Odelein skating onto the ice in the inaugural game wearing the C for the Jackets. Later that thug left for an unsuccessful career. Dave King followed and Rick Nash became a name. Then came Doug MacLean acting as the coach. With that came a fall into piss smelling mud so they gave Gerard Gallant the wheel for a spell. It has taken years to shake the confusion of multiple coaches and interim coaches. So in the same spirit they hired Hitchcock. This guy lost breath in 1999 when he hoisted the cup over his head after coaching Dallas for 4 years, but why did he get canned by two teams? It’s not a bad idea on paper to hire a guy who has eight 100 point seasons. Hell it better have been since he was unemployed for a month before he was picked up. We saw a glimmer of hope shine in Stinger’s eye but let’s fast forward.
Columbus went downhill in the Central division but increased their regular season points. The people of Ohio started going apeshit during games in our favor. After a loss we stared at Ken like a father apologizing for walking in on you the first time you greased your biscuit. Things started to make sense and the building blocks of draft picks and trades were working for Hitchcock. Eventually Canada spread its cheeks and birthed Steve Mason who gave Ken the ride of his life. Moving along…
Mason carried the Jackets to the Stanley Cup playoffs and Detroit swept them under the rug. I ruined my dv-r after watching the last period of Game 4 too many times. I’m willing to debate this but I imagine the Jackets would have made it to game 6 if “too many men on the ice” wasn’t called. So there we saw it, it was possible to have a post season.
After the next season in 09-10 Klesla was on the bench taking out an important defensive element with him and Mason succumbed to the sophomore year curse. The Jackets were falling quickly and GM Scott Howson was getting impatient. Thoughts of Hitchcock calling Mason in the middle of the night crying to him and telling him he’s destroying his career came easy after seeing his performance. Ken was fired with Claude Noel as interim coach for the rest of the season. The only thing on our minds at this time was what city the Blue Jackets would be moved to and we still couldn’t get that taste of the playoffs out of our mouths.
So began the season that marked a decade in the NHL with new coach Scott Arniel and the hopes of Mason getting back on the horse. This wasn’t appealing enough for the organization. Maybe it was the amount of debt they were in or it was to commemorate the tenth anniversary but a third jersey was released. Everyone thought the jersey was amazing and it had the feel that the Jackets were vintage; maybe to trick them into thinking that they were once an amazing team way back when. Well good people of KK it didn’t. Like many teams before the Blue Jackets they lost so many games in their alternate jersey that my friends and I couldn’t keep count. On top of that they decided on a new mascot.
I would have been less distracted by a nude Megan Fox sliding down the ice in overtime than an 11 foot mascot that looks like a dick with a mustache. There is nothing you can do to convince me otherwise.
Regardless that season started with a bang with Kristian Huselius leading the charge in points and goals. Before we knew it the Jackets placed 1st , for a day… 3 Hat tricks came easy with rookie Matt Calvert notching one himself but it still didn’t stop the descent that came injuries and spotty defense, including goaltending.
So here we are. A questionable backup goaltender was picked up which will further put pressure on young Mason. Two big centers were picked up to help the already big forwards we have. But the biggest player acquired would probably be Wisniewski for the help on the power play and in front of our own net. Goaltender coaching was handed to Ian Clark, who signed on fulltime, in hopes that Mason will get back to the butter zone. Scott Aniel promises different “speeds” for us to be in as if we were a 1985 Nissan Stanza that couldn’t quite make it up the hill.
You can keep saying Blow Jackets and hell I will too when we’re down 5 goals but know this is a new era where most of the right moves were made and the only thing that is a gamble in Steve Mason getting in front of that puck.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org