Well, Jackets fans finally got our long awaited chance to get out our collective anger at Adam Foote over how he left Columbus. And he was booed pretty consistently whenever he stepped on the ice or handled the puck. A guy in 213 had a sign that read “Adam Foote Traitor Douchebag” to which he had attached flashing Christmas lights.
Sadly, that was about as exciting as it got last night. The first period nearly put me to sleep…ten minutes in and the SOG were something like 2 to 1. Not a “2 to 1 ratio,” mind you, two shots to one shot. Which is a “2 to 1 ratio,” but you get my drift. It was one of those dull as dishwater affairs where neither team is getting many chances or playing particularly well, and it feels like the first random flukey goal might be enough to win it.
It ended up being Colorado that got that opening goal. And it wasn’t quite enough to win it, but they added a couple more for insurance. The Jackets did get on the board at last after a puck, appropriately enough, bounced off Foote’s skate and past Budaj. Voracek added one in the third, and with the Jackets showing some signs of life in the closing seconds, it appeared Chimera had scored to tie it up, but the goal was called back. The consensus of people who watched the game on TV was that it was the right call, so I will not dispute that.
So, another disappointing outing for the Jackets. They played somewhat better than against Toronto, but there was still a lot of sloppiness and just long stretches of uninspired hockey. I’m not someone who’s been calling for Hitchcock’s head, in part because I’m not convinced a coaching change qua coaching change will fix what’s wrong. But with every loss and as they spiral down the standings — currently eleventh in the Conference — it feels more and more like Howson’s going to be pushed into doing something dramatic to shake things up.
Disappointing crowd for a Saturday night, but, honestly, what do we expect at this point? It’s the holiday season, with the attendant demands on time and money. It was pretty cold out yesterday. And there were a bunch of consequential and exciting college football games on TV (how about that UC-Pitt game, eh?). With all that, the Jackets would need to be making a pretty compelling case for people’s time and money, and they’re just not doing that right now.
The only real upside of the game for me was that I’d not planned on staying for the post-game autograph deal. Unless Brassard or Voracek or Russell were handy to where I was sitting. And, as it turned out, Voracek and Russell were at the station closest to where I was sitting. So I did stay. Some fans seem to be able to discern all sorts of things about players’ personalities and character based on these 15 second interactions. Can’t say I have that ability, so I will just say they were both very polite young men.
Panthers in town on Wednesday. Time to win a frigging game.