"Please welcome back YOURRRRRR Columbus... Bluuuuuuuue JACKETS!!!!!"
Sure, the voice was familiar. The surroundings were familiar. It is a phrase I've heard many times.
And yet, somehow, I was caught off guard
What the hell did he mean by "welcome back"?
The scoreboard on the Dispatch Media Center read that St. Louis was up three to nothing. I honestly thought I had been watching a Blues practice during what was supposed to be the first period...
...because the home team clearly was not in attendance during said first period.
A bit cold, you say? A bit brutal, and perhaps even a little unfair?
You watch the first period of that game and tell me that the home team showed up. I bet you can't.
This game was ugly. The blues ran roughshod over the Jackets for the first period, plus about five minutes of second.
It wasn't until Nick Foligno (Nick Foligno!) dropped the gloves at 5:20 in that I was even aware that anyone in a Blue Jackets sweater had taken the ice.
Then Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves, charged the paddles and shocked the Blue Jackets into existence for the first time all night. I don't know how many colors Dorsett's face turned during that fight, but the fact that he took a seat in the penalty box, and then still got up to jaw at Chris Stewart some more gave me a good feeling about this game.
However, that is the nature of the Blue Jackets-Blues matchup these days... they get physical, they get nasty, and the visiting team really likes to assert itself in the home team's barn.
That's pretty much what happened tonight.
Apparently confident that they could bounce back and find the adequate will needed to come back and perhaps salvage a point, the Blue Jackets promptly spotted their opponents not just two, but three goals in gruesome fashion.
Foligno's fight produced a spark, Dorsett's fight fanned the flames, and a pair of fights involving Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll with a couple minutes left in the second provided to fans a demonstration that at least the Jackets perhaps would not be beaten down by the Blues.
The damage, however, was already long since done. They may have found some motivation after the Blues chased Bobrovsky, and for once they did not leave Mason out to dry. Hell, Mase was perfect in relief.
But the Jackets were far from it. In fact, the word "godawful" comes to mind.
The only other thing that comes to mind is the endless repetition of the same tired postgame soundbite: "We didn't play 60 minutes. We have to learn to play for 60 minutes."
Players can tell fans that all they want. Shut up and actually change it.
Or else games will be meaningless starting in about mid-February.
And that is not how you welcome fans back to this game and this team. And fans in Columbus came into this season pretty damn pissed at the NHL to begin with. You don't want that ire to turn on the team.
Hell... this poor S.O.B. behind us couldn't even bear to finish his beer before he bailed.
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