Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Changing The Coach And... Well, That's Apparently It

So the word on Twitter is that practice is canceled on Wednesday.

I'm sure a few dozen people have already beaten me to the question of, "Ummmm... why?"

Why is a team coming off a 1-3-0 road trip not taking the ice to practice on Wednesday?

Sure, I can understand there's a time difference, and the flight gets them home pretty late.

Fine. Sleep in. Bump practice back a couple hours... but get out of bed, put your damn skates on and get to the Ice Haus.

With a four-game homestand coming, I'd think I would want my guys on the ice... you know, practicing. Working on getting better.

It just doesn't seem like the right message. I don't know... maybe I just thought the whole "let's not practice tomorrow" shtick was an Arniel thing.

Yes, I know... Scott Arniel's gone, and the blame rests on Arniel, sure... but it also rests on every guy in that locker room. And while I'm sure that weighs on their minds a little bit... this isn't a time for a mental break. The Columbus Blue Jackets have had enough mental breaks this season.

Hockey players get paid to play a game. Playing a game well still takes practice, right? Or did I miss a meeting?

Sooooo... let's make a change. Let's go to practice. Work on some things like... oh, I don't know, the power play that went 1-for-14 on the trip... including 0-for-5 in Chicago Tuesday.

No one expected things to change overnight. It would be ridiculous to expect that... but for Gretzsakes, give us something.

There are still 40 games left in the season. Tell the players to do... something that helps the team.

Hint: This game in Chicago wasn't it. The again-lethargic power play that even gave up a shorthanded goal. A pair of goals against in 27 seconds. Giving up a hat trick in a second straight game. Turnovers and defensive lapses that made Chicago goals look easy.

It doesn't take a forensics expert to tell you how painful this debut under Todd Richards was... mostly because it still bears a sick resemblance to the days we wish were much further in the past.

You know... like Sunday.

The culture of the Blue Jackets needs to change. Again, it's foolish to think it can be done overnight.

However, I very much doubt you can do it on a day off.

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