Jackets 2, Avs 5

You know, if you took out the first ten minutes of last night’s game, the Jackets didn’t play badly at all. Unfortunately, the Avs scored four times in those ten minutes, putting the game out of reach. The Jackets scored a couple in the second to make it look respectable, but they were done when this one was just beginning. At least it’s a new spin on losing — we were all getting sick of watching them take the lead and then give it up late in the game.

Jackets are sitting in 13th in the West. “Only” six points out of a playoff spot, but only two points from the basement (currently occupied by St. Louis, another young Central Division team from which more was expected this year). It’s true that they’ve looked somewhat better of late, so there’s some hope they could turn the corner, but with each loss that piles on, the playoffs look less and less likely. Or even if they do manage to make the climb up to eighth, unless they start moving up the standings soon, they’ll once again deplete their physical and emotional reserves just making it to the postseason, and go out with a whimper. So something needs to happen soon in order to salvage this frustrating, maddening season. Gets no easier this week, with three straight road games.

Meanwhile, this Arace column in today’s Dispatch has got everybody all het up. I think there’s some sense in what he says, especially with respect to some of the more crazy suggestions bubbling up from the Puck-Rakers comments (I assume the column is mostly a reaction to those). But the use of the word “imbeciles” seems to have thrown gas on the fire.

What a joyous holiday season we’re having here in Columbus!

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