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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blue Jackets take opener on the chin 4-3: Observations

For the soldout crowd at Nationwide Arena last night in Columbus, Ohio this was not the result they had expected.

Over 19,000 strong attending the game, and over 2 million across central Ohio have high hopes that their hometown team will not only make the playoffs, but advance beyond the first round as well.

After last night's 4-3 loss to Calgary, the more that expectations change for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the reality is that nothing will come easy for this team.

Fans had to be inspired by the play of the offense, who despite scoring only three goals, had numerous shots-on goal, and a power play goal to boot, courtesy of last season's star acquisition, striker Marian Gaborik. In fact, in the 1st period alone, the Jackets showed the same never-say-die attitude they displayed at the end of last season, scoring a goal each time the flames scored.

Yet it was the play of the defense and fan favorite, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, that left fans wondering what this team will really look like this season. Giving up four goals is never good, and to do so to a team that you nearly dominated the previous season only adds insult to injury.

But it was only one game, and hopefully a contest that Jacket players have by now forgotten. A strong start will be essential to the Jackets making a successful playoff run, especially now that they are in what might be the toughest division of the NHL. Being able to bounce back from adversity, like they did toward the end of last season, is crucial for any pro hockey team looking to take the next step.

Prior to last night's game, I pondered what would be the Jackets' new slogan or theme song. You know, something catchy like the Clippers' Our Team, Our Town, but with the edge of  AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck', the song that blares over the PA during Ohio State football games. As I am sure there are many diehard fans who would be content with 'Feel the Power'/'Machinehead (the song by rock group Bush that blares over the PA at Nationwide Arena, for those of you who haven't been to a CBJ home game), it is a new season with new expectations. It's high time that the CBJ show the rest of the nation they mean business.

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