Saturday, January 05, 2008

The First Half

X-Posted on Bethany's Hockey Rants

Well, it’s been a great season for us Blue Jacket fans. The Blue Jackets are for the first time in franchise history, having a legitimate playoff push! Today the Dispatch has the previous halves for the Blue Jackets:


2000-01 13-22-4-2 32
2001-02 11-23-6-1 29
2002-03 15-20-4-2 36
2003-04 11-23-4-3 29
2005-06 12-27-0-2 26
2006-07 16-21-0-4 36
2007-08 19-16-0-6 44

We are off to the best start of franchise history. We are THREE games over .500 and are currently sitting SECOND in the Central Division, behind the Detroit Red Wings. In the Western Conference we are one point out of the playoffs. For a Blue Jackets fan, our hope usually ends around Thanksgiving, but here it is, January 5, and I’m talking about the possibility of a playoff push.

It’s crazy, we have pretty much the same team as last year, but, we added Jan Hejda, Jiri Novotny, and of course Michael Peca. When Peca is in the line up, good things happen, his presence on that bench and in that locker room, is absolutely a key to our success. Of course it’s not just our additions. Nikolai Zherdev, has stepped it up this year, I don’t know what was said in that meeting with Howson this summer, but wow. Zherdev is showing passion, heart, and a true love of the game again. Rick Nash is back in his “Rocket” form. His hat trick on New Years Eve, was absolutely spectacular, it was something the fans, and the team needed, and craved ever since Zherdev passed the puck and let his teammate get the goal. Our goaltenders have stepped up, Pascal Leclaire has been nothing short of amazing and as much heat as I gave him over the summer, and last season, he’s proving me wrong and I couldn’t be happier. Norrena has been spectacular as well, he is a great addition to our club, and we have the fourth-best goaltending tandem in the NHL.

Okay, so here’s what to expect the second half of the season. Peca makes a pledge:

“I’m not going to miss another game unless I’m carried off the ice on a stretcher.”

Sounds good to me, I already love you, so let’s see you more. When Peca plays we are 13-9-4, when he doesn’t we are 6-7-2. Tell me he doesn’t have an impact.

I want Z to get a hat trick. He deserves it, and all the games I am going to, I’m bringing a hat because I felt sad on New Years Eve when I had no hat to throw for little Ricky.

I want a legitimate top line center, will I get it? Probably not until the summer but I still want it.

I want Ole back in the line up. Get your act together buddy.

The team is ready for a playoff push, the fans are ready, and well, Ken Hitchcock is ready.

“We are now in the race,” Hitchcock said. “This is the race, and we’re in it. Every player understands now what’s at stake for all of us. It’s about establishing credibility for the organization.”

One thing is for sure, Jackets fans are getting a real treat. I was expecting a .500 team but this is above and beyond what I wanted, I’m extremely happy with the team, the general manager, and the coach.


Ellie said...

amazing what the addition of a few players can do for a team.

Bethany said...

True that, I can hardly believe it, totally not expecting this.