Monday, September 22, 2008

Training Camp

At long last, the Blue Jackets (and the 29 other teams in the NHL) have begun training camp. Rick Nash will wear the captain's "C" for the CBJ as they head into their eighth season of competition. Thus far, the playoffs have eluded the Blue Jackets. Their shortcomings can be attributed to lack of talent, lack of leadership, and lack of identity. Since the long-overdue firing of deposed president/general manager/coach/dictator-for-life Doug MacLean, new GM Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock have worked to find identity, leadership, and talent for the team.

One subtle area I would like to see the Blue Jackets address is defending their ice in warm-ups. I believe that if the Blue Jackets are to have success this season, they must take pride in their ice. The Blue Jackets must not let the opposition cross Center Ice in warm-ups (a serious affront to The Code). The Blue Jackets must be the last players to leave the ice in warm-ups, especially at home. While this may seem frivolous, defending one's ice and being the last person off the ice speaks to the tenacity of the team.

All summer, I've waited to hear the sounds of skate blades on ice, the clean crack of a stick passing a frozen puck. The puck drops in 18 days. Go Jackets.

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