Sunday, January 20, 2013

Home Opener 2013

On Saturday night, the Jackets laid out a dirty win with some ugly moments. Under the circumstances, I'm sure every Jackets fan who saw the game ended up pleased. I personally was out of town and watched the shootout come up live on the NHL network at a bar. From what I can recall, there were a lot of "woooo"s on my part and a lot of "why is that guy cheering?" on everyone else's part.

The Red Wings forwards can tell you the preferred cologne of every NHL goaltender.
Justin Sabau/Getty
The team's performance leaves me even more excited for the season opener Monday against the Red Wings. If you're reading this blog, live in Columbus and have an extra $20, I'd encourage you to go down to the Arena District tonight. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 and although it's sold out, there should always be scalpers there, ready to negotiate. If worse comes to worse, you could just watch the game in the industrial liquor dungeon also known as Rbar. The over/under for godsmack songs played before and after the game is currently at 7.

We have tickets ready to go and plan on patronizing a few of the Arena District businesses that we've neglected for the past few months. I'm anticipating a good time.

The only wrinkle in the whole equation is the Red Wings. Historically, they've always been dominant over Columbus and their fans are a giant pain in the ass. But I'm not going to sit around and begrudge success. The historical dominance and the annoying fans would also make a potential win that much sweeter. It only makes it more compelling for one to be there.

The reasons to believe that the Jackets will get blown out are existent: history is one. Talent level is another. The fact that the Red Wings got their dicks cut off and served to them with a garnish by St. Louis on Saturday is probably the most compelling reason to believe we will get slaughtered.

But don't despair. This year's edition of the Red Wings brought to you Amway are a serious downgrade over recent years' releases. They've lost some guy named Lidstrom who was apparently pretty OK. They also lost some guy named Holmstrom who never got into a fight. And they've also lost Brad Stuart, who was a solid Dman during his time there.

The Red Wings' lineup is a confusing mix of low draft picks from recent years (Abdelkader, Helm, etc.), old guys winding down their days (Franzen, Datsyuk) and a few projects (Bertuzzi, Cleary, Coliacovo). The team was supposed to have been cut off at the knees after the last lockout but due to the good management, coaching and scouting they'd done over the previous decade, were able to keep the reign going for another seven years. With the retirement of Lidstrom and Holmstrom this year, the tide may have finally turned.

In any case, I will be happy to see NHL hockey back on, and to hopefully see a group of guys representing the Columbus Blue Jackets who don't just bow down to the opponent and let them have their way.


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