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Keeping The Faith In Columbus

from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,

(Blue Jackets president Mike) Priest gave Howson and coach Scott Arniel votes of confidence, saying they can’t be judged until the full club is given time to play together.

“I absolutely feel (that we can win),” he said. “Time will tell, but we are absolutely committed to winning. We demonstrated that this summer, and we’re not going to rest until we win. We hoped we wouldn’t be where we are. We have to keep pushing through this, but we also need to see our team. We don’t have our team.

“When we have our whole team assembled, and we have time to digest it, then we’ll be able to really take a hard look and evaluate it.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Primis's avatar

Dear Columbus,

Your defense sucks.  Your defense always sucks.  Your goalie coach also sucks and ruins perfectly-good goalies.  Either get a real defense and a goalie coach finally, or prepare to finally be moved to the Eastern conference… as you play in Quebec City.


Rest of the NHL.

Posted by Primis on 10/20/11 at 11:59 AM ET


While I agree that the defense isn’t really NHL caliber, I would like to correct the statements about the goalie coach.  The team has had three coaches in the last four season.  The previous coach was Mason’s choice.  To say that the coaches are ruining Steve Mason is a stretch.  You have to give Mason some credit for his level of play.

But what if the team relocates to Kansas City?  Will they stay in the West?  Or what if this is the team that becomes the second franchise in Greater Toronto?  Then they probably would move to the East. 

But the Jackets won’t be subject to relocation rumors or put up for sale until the end of this season.  They just got their arena deal done and since it involves public money, they have to be careful.  But they cannot stay in Columbus playing the way they have been and drawing no more than 9,000 fans a game.

Posted by BK from Hiding in Columbus on 10/20/11 at 12:50 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

You have to give Mason some credit for his level of play.

By level of play you do mean sucking right?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/20/11 at 03:20 PM ET


@bezukov     You have to give Mason some credit for his level of play.

By level of play you do mean sucking right?

Exactly.  I always try to be positive, so I’ll say it another way:  I’m positive Mason is bad.

Posted by BK from Hiding in Columbus on 10/20/11 at 03:33 PM ET


By the way, Aaron Portzline, who covers the Jackets for the Columbus Disgrace, has tweeted that Springfield has signed Manny Legace to a tryout.

Posted by BK from Hiding in Columbus on 10/20/11 at 03:35 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m positive Mason is bad.

He carried the team as a rookie with the same defense to the playoffs. The fundamentals are still there…his mind isn’t.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/20/11 at 04:40 PM ET


“Carried the team”?  The guys in front of him played a defense first system coached by Hitchcock.  Peca, Malhotra, Modin, and even Torres played good defense.  A much tighter team, more vets, more NHL smarts.

Look, Mason is not a “bad” goalie, but he certainly is having trouble playing at an average NHL level.  The goal he gave up to Steve Ott on Tuesday just let the air out of the team.  He needs to stop 90% of the shots he faces.  He needs to stop the floaters from the blue line.  He needs to play like he understands how fragile the team is in front of him.  If he truly carries the team, then I wish he would lead by example.

The team has all kinds of problems and lack of scoring is just as big an issue as Mason.  I was a season ticket holder for nine years and have seen goalies come and go here in Columbus.  The city is a graveyard for goalies, where they come to get buried.  Many decent keepers have seen their careers stopped here, like Denis and Norrena.  Others like Boucher and Conklin got better as soon as they got on the plane out of here.  Leclaire was overworked until he couldn’t do the job anymore.

There is something wrong here.  I don’t know what it is.  And if I’m Steve Mason, I would try to find another team.

Posted by BK from Hiding in Columbus on 10/20/11 at 05:01 PM ET

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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.

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