Who’s to Blame For Columbus Blue Jackets Mess Part 2

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When I wrote Part 1 of my 2-part article outlining the ills that plague the Columbus Blue Jackets, they possessed the worst record in the National Hockey League (NHL) with a record of 0-6-1.  Since Part 1 was written, the Blue Jackets have descended to even lower depths, with a record of 2-12-1.  While the Blue Jackets did win two games since that point, more recently they have been pummeled by their opponents by a cumulative score of 19-6 over their last three games.

The Blue Jackets are a team in disrepair.  They are a team with no identity, no direction and no grit, a fragile team who shows no signs of turning around the malaise, this for a team with the 5th highest payroll in the National Hockey League (NHL).

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Columbus Blue Jackets Make Major Statement with Carter Acquisition

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In my most recent article, I expressed the belief that a trade for Jeff Carter could be the very move that could save the Blue Jackets’ franchise.  On June 23rd, GM Scott Howson traded for the former Philadelphia Flyers sniper, offering in return Jakub Voracek and Columbus’ 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

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A Plan for Complete Columbus Blue Jackets Overhaul

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In my previous article, I expressed my skepticism over whether a much-needed overhaul of the Columbus Blue Jackets would take place:

However, if Blue Jackets On-Ice personnel–Scott Howson and his staff–were truly ardent and sincere in acknowledging this dire need to change the landscape and foundation of this organization seemingly and perennially stuck in limbo , I wouldn’t have this skepticism:

They need to make sweeping changes to the organization.

As has been said, “If you want big rewards, you have to take big risks”.

The current landscape of the organization still does not possess the following:

By Ed Cmar

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Columbus Blue Jackets Season in Review

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Mr. McConnell, who unlike his father, the late John H. McConnell, has, to date, preferred to avoid the spotlight and quietly allow those entrusted to run the organization to perform their duties. That is, until now.

Another season of great disappointment from the Blue Jackets, the result of an ill-timed freefall at the worst possible time of the season – a 3-12-7 record in their last 22 games, at a time when they previously were in contention for the Western Conference playoff race, along with mounting financial losses and an almost certain, material drop in season ticket sales (Full Season Equivalents – FSEs), has prompted the quiet owner to proclaim that every aspect of the organization will be evaluated.

By Ed Cmar

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Columbus Blue Jackets’ Improbable Push for the Playoffs

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Just when it appeared that the Columbus Blue Jackets were playing themselves out of any playoff possibilities and into another NHL lottery countdown, the Blue Jackets reeled off an impressive 11-3-3 streak.  However, just as soon as the Blue Jackets were back in the playoff hunt, they continued their schizophrenic ways with a disastrous 0-3-3 meltdown and now find themselves needing an improbable finish to make the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

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Columbus Blue Jackets 3rd Qtr Report Card

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During the past two seasons, I assessed how the Columbus Blue Jackets performed as a team at the first quarter of the season. Sadly, as the Blue Jackets’ performance plummeted during the remaining three quarters of last season, and as the Blue Jackets nearly repeated that ignominious feat during the second quarter of this season, I honestly didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to assess their performance for the third quarter of this season.

But, boy was I wrong!

By Ed Cmar

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Is Columbus Blue Jackets Recent Surge too Little, too Late?

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Just when it appeared that the Columbus Blue Jackets were headed for a repeat of their late November-late January swoon (a 6-14-3 run which was eerily similar to their 3-14-7 debacle during the same period last season) they have rebounded with a stirring 10-3-3 run which has put them right in the thick of the Stanley Cup playoff race. While the Blue Jackets are four points away from the eighth seed, they have some games in hand to those teams who are currently ahead of them in the NHL Western Conference standings.

Coupled with the NHL trade deadline which is merely four days away, it begs the question: Is the Blue Jackets recent successful run a good thing or a bad thing?

Before you question my sanity (don’t worry, it’s been done before) let me explain why this somewhat crazy notion may have some merit.

By Ed Cmar

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Five Players Likely to Be Moved at NHL Trading Deadline

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The NHL’s Trade Deadline is just a little under two weeks away (February 28th, 3 P.M. EST).

There have already been four intriguing trades, to date:  Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators for Nashville’s first round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and future considerations in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft; Michael Frolik to the Chicago Blackhawks in a five-player deal, to include Jack Skille; Francois Beauchamen returning to Anaheim in exchange for Joffrey Lupul, a prospect and a conditional pick; and Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers for a pair of draft picks, one of which is a future first round pick. Add to that the ultra-tight races for the Stanley Cup playoffs, and you have the makings of a very interesting trade deadline season.

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Did the Columbus Blue Jackets Lose Their Opporunity?

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Given the Columbus Blue Jackets ignominious descent toward the bottom of the Western Conference rankings—the sad reality of a recent 6-14-3 free-fall, the second in as many years following a stellar start—Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson has been actively burning cell phones around the NHL in an attempt to salvage yet another disappointing season.

While you would struggle to determine where to start in fixing this team, its most glaring need is the lack of offensively-minded defensemen, those adept at puck movement through all of the zones, quarterbacking the team’s power play and having a slap shot capable of both getting to the net and creating the opportunity for the Blue Jackets’ forwards to crowd the areas around the opposing team’s goal.

By Ed Cmar

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Explaining why Rick Nash Never Draws Any Penalties

After Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash was once again mauled, held, received several opponent’s high-sticks towards the end of a game against the Los Angeles Kings, his head coach, Scott Arniel, could no longer sit idly by and witness this continue to go on.

By Ed Cmar

Here are some of Arniel’s post-game comments:

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Columbus Blue Jackets 2nd QTR Report Card

Earlier in the season, I provided a first quarter assessment of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That was a quite easy task as the Blue Jackets stormed out of the gate to a franchise best 14-6-0 record.

But ever since the Jackets’ historic start, they have gone 6-11-3 through the next 20 games and have fallen to 13th in the Western Conference

I tried to be optimistic that a repeat of last season’s debacle under former head coach Ken Hitchock wouldn’t happen again, but I’m sad to report that while not a free-fall to that level, the Blue Jackets have once again struggled into the halfway point of their regular season under current head coach Scott Arniel.

In a manner similar to last quarter’s assessment, I offer my insights both for the season, to date, as well as how the Blue Jackets have fared during their most recent 20 games of the season (Games 21-40). And while their overall mark is better than at this time last season, the ghosts of late-November’s, December’s and early January’s have resurfaced once again.

By Ed Cmar

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Patience in Columbus Wearing Thin as Blue Jackets Swoon Continues

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are in full-blown “December Swoon” mode, having gone 3-9-3 since their historic 14-6-0 start.

While this is taking place once again, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson is continually preaching the same themes:

“Patience”
“The fix is from within”
“I believe in this team”
“We have an entire new coaching staff” (in response to criticism that only one roster change was made over the summer)

By Ed Cmar

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