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Blue Jackets Links

Pansies vs. Panzers.

Friday, January 11, 2008
Far be it for me to get in the middle of what apparently is some hemming and hawing of mere different opinions over this particular entry that was written by Aaron Portzline over at Puck Rakers in the past day, but after seeing both Truth's response, and then Bethany's response to AP's commentary, I figured I would chime in as well. Besides, it gives me something to write about on my brand, spanking new desktop (gloat-filled pictures to come later).

I've always been a pretty pragmatic person, at least when it comes to differing opinions. Not exactly on par with "Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, your opinion, man" a la The Big Lebowski or anything ... but you get the idea. In any event, if Bethany could be considered the Id, and ol' Truth could be considered the Super Ego, to take a page from Sigmund Freud, then consider me the Ego in all of this, aiming for the middle ground between irrational base desire and overly rational use of logic and restraint.

Much like Portzline the other night, as I watched Nikolai Zherdev take a near-knee from Blues' player David Backes, I wondered aloud why there was a lack of response from Zherdev's teammates. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for violent retribution, or a line brawl ... but I was looking for something.

In this regard, Portzline is right when he says that this Blue Jackets team can be soft. Although the team may work better together, something seems to be missing. Character guys, perhaps? Or maybe it's a lack of true leadership at the top of the chain, as it pertains to the players? Whatever it is, this team seems to go through spurts of having that fighting, driven, and feverous spirit of energy that we want to see a team under Ken Hitchcock has. As I mentioned in my last post, this team is quite manic.

But Truth's also right; we don't need 19 other players all acting the role of Jody Shelley, looking for fights if a teammate so much as trips over an opponent's skates. This team needs to win, and if that happens, things such as motivation, confidence, drive, and ... dare I say it, "toughness" will come as a result. However I guess it all depends on what sort of person you are: a chicken or an egg sort. Does the toughness bring with it wins? Or do wins bring about toughness?

But this is hockey, not Philosophy 101, so I won't even bother trying to get in to circular logic or paradoxes at 2:22 in the morning.

Ultimately, what I am saying is that this team is being weak at the moment. Back in October, this team would fight, and it would claw, and it would scratch its way to wins. Now, whether that also involved putting up the fists or not, that doesn't really matter ... it was a team mentality sort of thing. A drive to push it to the limit. But right now, I'm not seeing that. I feel like I'm watching the majority of the players go through the motions, or look for ways to do things that don't involve getting their hands dirty, be it mucking it up in the offensive zone, or crashing through the neutral zone. Right now, this team needs people who are going to take more risks when it comes to offense ... how they get those people, or motivate the current players to turn things in that direction, is up to both Hitchcock and Scott Howson.
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Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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