Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

I'm sure that title won't be used anywhere on a blog today...

Yeah, last night sucked. The Jackets threw their biggest stinker of the season out there on Thanksgiving-eve to turn more stomachs than today's overeating will provide. They barely went through the motions. I hate to use the, "It's a long season," excuse here, but it is. However, recent trends are making you wonder if the hot start was the fluke rather than the current down time being the fluke. We'll have an answer to that by Christmas, probably.

But for today, there are a few things to be thankful for here in Jacketland.

Most importantly here I sit on Thanksgiving day and the Jackets aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. The current string of bad play has bumped the Jackets to last in the Central, or tied for third depending on if your cup is half full or half empty. In the conference chart, the Jackets show up at 11th, tied with the same Preds and Blews that they are in the division, one point out of playoffs. For all intents and purposes, the Men of the Neon Bug are hanging in there. (Need to step up and take charge again, though.)

Next up on the thankful list is that Hitchcock has the guys believing in themselves and playing as a team. No more of guys taking themselves out of position and end up leaving gaping holes all over the defense. They believe in themselves, and that will carry them further than any Jacket team before them.

On the backend, Pascal Leclaire has given us plenty to be thankful for, too. Of late he's coming back to earth a bit, but,'s a long season. (Sorry.) Beyond his play, I'm pretty thankful that he's still healthy, as I'm sure he and his teammates are too.

Other random thankfulness things for Thanksgiving day:
  1. Rick Nash - [pick your own reason here, he's given a few hundred to choose from]
  2. The emergence of Zherdev.
  3. The fun of watching Jared Boll run into things.
  4. The pairing of Foote and Hejda shutting down most opponents.
But, still at the top of that list is that the Jackets are still in the thick of things, and ship off to Minny tomorrow night to see if they can take another step forward. Hopefully they do...and then the rest of Columbus takes notice and we can be thankful for a full barn again.

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