Friday, April 1, 2011

Rough Loss... But Moving On...

Jason Chimera.

Why did it have to be Jason-freakin'-Chimera?

A guy known to not-just-once miss an open net for the Blue Jackets... is suddenly tapping in easy rebounds in the clutch against the Blue Jackets?

Harsh.

Still... the Jackets made for an interesting game against the Washington Capitals. Antoine Vermette and Scottie Upshall tallied goals for the second straight game, along with Fedor Tyutin.

However, perhaps the most encouraging items to draw from this game -- at least in terms of looking to the team's future -- were the two assists each from Matt Calvert and new call-up Tomas Kubalik, who made his NHL debut.

Now, the Jackets' focus turns to tonight's home game against Chicago.

Early this season, it looked like the Blackhawks' woeful lack of prowess in salary-cap era economics would make them miss the Playoffs this year. Now, with six games remaining, the Hawks are clinging to the eighth spot, although they do have six games to make a climb, perhaps even avoiding red-hot Presidents' Trophy winner Vancouver, and start out the first round in Detroit. Then again, the next week could be a total disaster for them, and Dallas or Calgary could catch them.

To an outsider, the Columbus Blue Jackets are simply playing out the stretch (and mathematically, the good guys are out as of last night), and maybe getting some kids in to get some playing time. But the diehards don't see it that way. Yes, we get to see some young players get some valuable NHL experience… but we're also still counting on seeing some good hockey before the season is over. The Blue Jackets must not go quietly.

Plus, I want to see if Kubalik can duplicate last night's impressive debut on home ice. Love to see a good game from Calvert, too.

After all, while it is important to focus on the present, it helps to fans and get a glimpse of the team's future as well.

There is still hockey to be played in Columbus. Go Jackets!

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