Kings 5, Jackets 3

I only watched the first period, then retired to the bedroom and listened to George & Bill on 1460. It was 5-2 when I finally fell asleep for good. Jackets gone one back after that, but it wasn’t enough.

And with that, the Jackets are now officially out of the playoff race. And now we only have three weeks until we can put this nightmare of a season to bed. I don’t know if it’s because my expectations were higher going into the season, or because they finally hired a real coach but have still struggled, or if with politics in Ohio finally going my way for once, I was more free to focus my despair on the Jackets…but this season has just felt worse than the others. After they stunk up February, it just felt like they could run the table in March and April and that still wouldn’t get me excited about this team. Last year when they went on their late season meaningless run, it at least felt like they were building something for the next year, that 2005-06 was going to prove to be the year that the Jackets finally turned the corner and became a playoff contender, even if they had to wait another year to actually get there.

I don’t feel that way this year. They’ve been better since Hitch took over, but still maddeningly uneven enough, and with too many supposed star players underperforming, that it just doesn’t feel like anything’s going to get better unless they blow it up and pretty much start from scratch. That’s a depressing place to be in going into Year Seven.

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