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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Know Your Columbus Blue Jackets by @ExcitedBobErrey


The playoffs are finally here after a regular season that saw the Penguins never seriously challenged by the rest of the Metropolitan Division, and with perfect timing the NHL has changed the first two rounds of the playoffs to a divisional format. The first victim: the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Left) Joke organizations usually have joke mascots
Right) BOOM goes the penis-shaped cannon mascot!
If you're not too familiar with the Blue Jackets, it's because they first started play as an expansion team during the 2000-01 season and have remained mostly irrelevant ever since. The team featured a hornet as its mascot for 10 years until someone in the organization finally realized the team wasn't named after a weird colored bee but the blue jackets worn by union soldiers during the Civil War. While fighting that war in this day and age is usually left to the South, I'm sure Ohio is white trash enough to pull it off. Speaking of pulling off, I'm sure the person who designed the new mascot is still laughing hysterically that he managed to get the team to accept a giant penis as its new mascot.

The Penguins play the Blue Jackets at Left) Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh
Right) Nationwide Arena in Columbus
While it's unlikely that you'll encounter any Columbus fans at Consol Energy Center, it's entirely possible that you'll see some at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets play their home games. Due to the close proximity of Pittsburgh and Columbus, and the Blue Jackets awful track record, games at Nationwide Arena have typically played much more like home games for the visiting Penguins. It remains to be seen if the citizens of Columbus will notice, much less care, that the Blue Jackets are playing in the playoffs and attend the games.

Columbus Fans
The Blue Jackets currently are captain-less as they're likely still mourning the departure of Rick Nash, who one day realized he was playing for a crappy team in Ohio and naturally demanded a trade. Columbus has three players wearing an "A" this season: Brandon Dubinsky, who likely got his letter by default from being the best player coming back in the Nash trade, Jack Johnson, who makes some damn good acoustic music in his spare time, and Mark Letestu, a player traded from Pittsburgh because he wasn't good enough to stay in the lineup who is now one of the Blue Jackets' best forwards and still now would be little more than a 4th line player in Pittsburgh.

Sergei Bobrovsky during his 2013 Vezina winning season
Of course, their best player is in between the pipes. Sergei Bobrovsky had a breakout season in his first year in Columbus after spending years in the Flyers organization as the idiots in charge there searched for a franchise goaltender. To make things better for Columbus, they managed to get rid of Steve Mason in the process, pawning him off on the Flyers and actually managing to receive more than a bag of pucks in return.

Jack Johnson plays his guitar
The Blue Jackets defense is unheralded, which of course is just a polite way of saying not very good. Their most well known defensemen are James Wisniewski, best known for pretending to give his stick a blow job during a game, a Jack Johnson, musical talent, and Ryan Murray, who is best known for being the Nail Yakupov consolation prize in the 2012 NHL draft. The team finished middle of the pack in both goals allowed per game (2.61) and on the penalty kill (82.1%), so apparently they were doing something right occasionally throughout the year.


As a team that has never won a playoff game in franchise history, with one previous postseason trip since 2000-01, it's safe to say that the Columbus Blue Jackets have already greatly exceeded any realistic expectations just by making it this far. With their season already a smashing success, it'll be interesting to see how they do with their goals accomplished and nothing more to play for. It seems likely they'll come out wide eyed and in awe of holding a hockey stick instead of a golf club this late in the year, and it'll likely cost them. While it'd be impossible to do a serious preview while predicting #PensIn3, I'm sure you understand the sentiment. This should be a short series that won't interfere too much with the Blue Jackets already scheduled offseason plans.

1 comment:

  1. The first recorded ceremony commemorating Columbus in America occurred in 1792, 300 years after his famous first voyage in 1492. Columbus day Beginning on October 12, 1866

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