Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch spent his Saturday covering something unique — a 250-person protest slamming Blue Jackets management for its dismal on-ice product.
The protest was emceed by an anonymous figure called CapnCornelius (it’s his hockey message board handle — he won’t reveal his actual name) and featured six speakers, all relaying the same message to irate BJs fans and the hockey world:
We love the team. We hate the management group.
The two primary targets for the day were President Mike Priest and GM Scott Howson. The pair are seen as the primary culprits for Columbus’ woes, something BJs fan Robert Allen explained.
“The current management team has already tried this several times over the years and the results are the same — losing,” Allen said. “Perhaps the ones doing the tweaking are doing it wrong. … I don’t think the same people tweaking in the past should be the same ones tweaking in the future.”
While Priest and Howson received a lion’s share of the criticism, owner John P. McConnell caught some heat as well. Many felt his refusal to connect losing with the front office has hurt the team — McConnell recently told The Dispatch that Priest “doesn’t have anything to do with” the team’s on-ice performance.
It has to be said the protest’s tone was occasionally positive. The emcee stated “We are here today, not of anger, but of love for this team,” at the onset…but given how bad the Blue Jackets have been, there was a fair share of negativity.
Case in point? On Saturday, Columbus received word that it would be hosting the 2013 NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena.
In response, one speaker asked if the Blue Jackets would even have a player on the team.
— Columbus owner knows of “no reason” why Howson won’t be GM next year
— Really? The Jackets are planning to keep Howson?
(Photo courtesy Columbus Post-Dispatch)
There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.
So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.
Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.
(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.
After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:
Record at the end of October: 5-5-2
Record at the end of November: 11-11-3
As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.
The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?
Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.
They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.
The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?
Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.
Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.
That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.
Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.
OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.
For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.
You can watch all three goals in the video above.
It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.