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Arace: Jackets require patience from fans

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Old
12-13-2009, 01:33 AM
  #1
Ar-too
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Arace: Jackets require patience from fans

This article is crap.

http://www.bluejacketsxtra.com/live/...2.html?sid=101

The fans require action from the Jackets.

They waited too long to fire Doug Maclean and lost a 1/4 of the fan base in the process. They waited a year too long to get into the free agent market and ended up with Mike Commodore and Kristian Huselius.

Fire Hitch now. Don't wait two weeks. don't wait 6 months. There is clearly no reason to keep him.

Hitch likes history, right? This franchise has a history of remaining loyal to people who don't deserve it. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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12-13-2009, 01:46 AM
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Timeless Winter
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Yeah, just a bunch of crap in hope that people keep coming to the games.

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12-13-2009, 01:48 AM
  #3
skimp
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Arace is right. It's not like we've been waiting ten years or anything.

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12-13-2009, 08:16 AM
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KeithBWhittington
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It was an ill timed article. The team made the playoffs last year, and the whole time since this regime has come in has been "win now"... Remember that interview Priest gave the Dispatch when he assumed the team's presidency?


Either this group is underacheiving or last year group overacheived... which is it Arace?

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12-13-2009, 08:17 AM
  #5
DJAnimosity
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Horrible article. It could have been written at any point over the past 10 years. Dispatch is in "wash, rinse, repeat" mode as of late.

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12-13-2009, 08:53 AM
  #6
Renion
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Summary: the Jackets are learning how to win, 'cause they're young, and stuff.

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Old
12-13-2009, 09:43 AM
  #7
BluejacketNut
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I'll always be a Jackets fan, but my time as a financial backer is on some shaky ground. Note to organization, this is a professional team, not another college team. Its in a league that you're suppose to ice a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup every year, not once every 4 years when you're players finally develop into a level they can truly compete in the NHL and Hitchcock can manage. And then, at that point, you wont be able to keep them together because they'll finally want to get paid or just stop playing "Hitchcock hockey" if there are not positive results..

Of course you have to go with young players because of money, but they need to have the right people coaching them. Ask yourself what description you would give to this team if you were putting out a description of the team. Here's mine:
Low budget team, a young core with mixture of raw, highly offensive skill and young average prospect players grinders. Very minimal veteran presence with a young captain. Young one dimensional defensman with spatter of journeyman defensive dmen. A young goalie that is still not determined what type of NHL goalie he'll be.

Hitchcock is in the top 5, but of coaches I would not want for that team. Along with names like Keenan, Tortorella, and the other taskmasters that demand a veteran type team to drive home their hard style of management.

First it was because Fedorov was an old crusty has been and didnt want to play Hitch hockey when he commented on his time here. Filatov was just a snot nose kid that didnt want to "conform" to Hitchcock hockey. Peca must be that old crusty type as well if he didnt get a long with Hitch. Talk to many top UFA's if theyre interested in playing for Hitch and i'd doubt you'd get many positive responses. Now the team performs like a group of skilled beer leaguers instead of an NHL team. Now Hitch is telling us the answers in the room and it just needs to be discovered.......memo to Hitch, that is your job as coach to discovery that. Why he's still looking for it after having this team for well over a year and half is beyond me.

Stay the course if you will Howson, certainly the ship is not sunk yet, but that is water on the deck. Choose to ignore it if you will, but as stated, these are your Jackets, the players are not changing. So you better sure as hell hope that it just hasnt been discovered yet and not that they know what it is, but just cant/wont play it, cause patience wont fix that. And at this moment in time, Bluejackets tickets, as a Christmas presents look almost more damning then coal....so I dont know how much Christmas money will be flowing into Nationwide for the holidays.

The changing point this season was on Hitch's 1000th game....everyone knows what happened in that game.

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Old
12-13-2009, 10:36 AM
  #8
Feicht
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That article can kiss my ass. I'm glad I don't live in Columbus like you guys, wasting literally a fortune on this team over the years. This "be patient" **** is just a slap in the face

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12-13-2009, 11:16 AM
  #9
KeithBWhittington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feicht View Post
That article can kiss my ass. I'm glad I don't live in Columbus like you guys, wasting literally a fortune on this team over the years. This "be patient" **** is just a slap in the face
Its really not that bad... NOBODY talks about this team... NOBODY. I got tired of the lack of any kind of opinion about them that i came back to the boards here.

FWIW: I would go see anywhere from 7-15 home games a year as my schedule allowed... I haven't been to one this season and haven't found anybody wanting to go despite my offer to drive, buy food and I paid for the tickets... I had to eat one set of tickets and when I was offered free club level seats by my dad (who is a PSL holder) I couldn't find anybody who wanted to go and I gave them back to him...

The difference between this "be patient" and the "be patient" from before Hitchcock and Howson is that there is more outrage and opinions on this team... the team has pretty much lost the casual fanbase, the goodwill and attention span of casual fans goes only so far.

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Old
12-13-2009, 11:40 AM
  #10
KeithBWhittington
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a great barometer is also this board... at this time last year, you could refresh the page and there would be three to four new comments on every topic... and GDT threads were huge, 30-40 pages over the course of twenty four hours. The team hasn't lost just casual fans, its lost hardcore fans as well... which isn't good for a league that has depended on the "hardcore fan" maybe more than any other major sport.

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Old
12-13-2009, 12:28 PM
  #11
CapnCornelius
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Capn Commentary - Fans Deserve Better

There is something wrong in Blue Jacket Nation. The team's record at the 30-game mark was its best in franchise history. They are nearly an identical team to last year's playoff team.

Yet

In the past twelve games the team has mustered just 2 regulation wins. Their most recent loss? The worst team in the conference. If you add together the plus minus from the team's top two forward lines the number is approximately the same as the national debt. <Insert funny reference disparaging yet another former Columbus Blue Jacket.>

<More of the same. Insert reference to basketball per Dispatch writing guidelines.>

The natives are restless. The Jackets drew just 14,100 (announced) for a Saturday game against a beatable opponent. The Jackets have difficulty drawing for pretty much every game. But, the Jackets beat writers find it easy to make excuses for this--"C'mon, it was the second night of Chanukah!"

Cut through the excuses, and this is what is left: The Jackets are hemorrhaging casual fans and risking losing their hard core fans as well.

Yes, the hard core fans are restless--all 10,000 of them--and the rest of the City has decided it doesn't care. Doesn't care if the Jackets get back to mediocrity. Doesn't care if the team fails to fix its Arena situation and moves to Saskatoon.

But, last season attendance was up. What is going on? Ah, that is the question.

This is the answer: The fans, both hard core and casual need this organ-eye-zation to finally show that it is as committed to the fanbase as the fanbase has been to a largely losing franchise for the last 9 years.

This is not to suggest that Anton Stralman hasn't been a nice little addition on the power play. But the fact of the matter is that Stralman was added because the GM wasn't allowed to spend the money necessary to bring in a real solution for the Jacket's woes on defense on both sides of the ice.

The Jackets also lack veteran leadership because (1) they were too cheap to bring back Manny Malhotra, (2) our coach couldn't stand Michael Peca, (3) we may or may not have botched negotiations with Adam Foote, (4) we ran Ron Hainsey out of town on a rail to replace him with several Hainsey-esque defensemen, (5) we desparately needed to add Teddy Ruth to our organ-eye-zation. Oh, and Modin has been injured, not that this would surprise anyone who has followed his career since joining the Jackets.

As much as a cheap defense (questionably re-signed to play for the team for the next half decade), Steve Mason's ego and injuries typical of the NHL, the team's nosedive is rooted between the players' ears. More specifically, in the earplugs the players wear when Ken Hitchcock speaks. Meanwhile, pressure built on general manager Scott Howson and Hitchcock, but a stingy ownership has meant that Howson cannot make a trade or fire a coach who has worn out his welcome (and for some unknown reason has a contract wear "Charlie Weiss" and "Notre Dame" were crossed out and replaced with his name and "Columbus Blue Jackets", leaving Ken Hitchcock to continue spouting things like this:

"The problem is also the solution," Hitchcock said.

These are your Blue Jackets. There is no quick fix for their problems...because the ownership is too cheap to do anything that might actually solve the problem.

The alternative -- a simple coaching change -- does not suit the long-range goal of ownership--to let things continue to go down hill to a point that the league will allow them to sell the team to a Canadian billionaire and reap the profits from the appreciation in value of an NHL franchise.

The Columbus Dispatch is left to continue being a PR outfit for the Blue Jackets, doing such things as investigating Mike Commodore's conditioning and drinking habits by...asking Mike Commodore. They are starting to sound like the Iraqi Minister of Defense.

Howson was hired to be a bean counter. Remember that, and remember what it was like back when we were one of the worst team's in the Conference. Oops, maybe not that much has changed.

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Old
12-13-2009, 12:37 PM
  #12
Feicht
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Hey you strike on a very good point there about the ownership, Capn. Namely, the fact that for them, this team is an "investment commodity" just like any other thing billionaires spend their copious amounts of money on. The more I think about it, the more likely what you say is correct: they don't have to do anything, because they don't really care if the team succeeds or not. If it doesn't, they can sell it to someone who does, and make millions.

Pretty sad to think of the team we love this way, but I don't think it's far off the mark. And personally, since I don't live in Columbus it wouldn't really affect me much if these jerks DID sell the team to someone who wants to move them to Yellowknife or whatever; hell, thanks to the way the NHL handles its tv contracts (and the extent to which this state doesn't know/care that it has an NHL team) I'd probably get to see more games if they DID play near the Arctic Circle. And if it was managed by people who actually WANTED to field a good team year in, year out, then it would probably be a lot more fun to be a part of.

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Old
12-13-2009, 12:45 PM
  #13
CBJSlash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithBWhittington View Post
a great barometer is also this board... at this time last year, you could refresh the page and there would be three to four new comments on every topic... and GDT threads were huge, 30-40 pages over the course of twenty four hours. The team hasn't lost just casual fans, its lost hardcore fans as well... which isn't good for a league that has depended on the "hardcore fan" maybe more than any other major sport.
Not to start a fire, but many of the hardcore fans walked away from this board, not the team.

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Old
12-13-2009, 01:13 PM
  #14
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I know many of these comments come from a lot of frustration building up over the last few years, but the idea that if the Jackets don't turn around soon, some billionaire is going to scoop up the team and move them north of the border (or to LV or KC) is a little premature.

The NHL just got done fighting tooth and nail to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, and finally found a group to buy the team that has committed to keeping them there. Whether you agree with that tactic or not is irrelevant. The fact that the league was willing to do that for a team that has more financial problems and lower attendance (not to mention not making the playoffs since around the turn of the century) than the Jackets, then they're not going to let that happen to the Jackets. I'm not saying it's impossible that the team would move, just highly unlikely.

In fact, if current ownership finally decides it can't take the financial losses, and they (or the NHL) find a buyer that commits to Columbus, it could be a blessing in disguise. That person or group might be willing to spend the money needed to attract and sign high worth veterans and ice a competitive team yearly.

I know this is a lot of "ifs" and "maybes", but I don't think the situation is quite as dire as some have stated. Having said all that, I'm as pissed as everyone else about what's happening with the Jackets right now. I don't know what yet, but something definitely needs to be done to turn around this team.

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Old
12-13-2009, 01:59 PM
  #15
CBJSprague24
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We've been patient for years, Arace. I've only been around a few years, but, after being spoiled with the team of last year, I'm getting irritated at what I'm seeing on the ice. It's 2006-07 all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
The Jackets also lack veteran leadership because (1) they were too cheap to bring back Manny Malhotra, (2) our coach couldn't stand Michael Peca, (3) we may or may not have botched negotiations with Adam Foote, (4) we ran Ron Hainsey out of town on a rail to replace him with several Hainsey-esque defensemen, (5) we desparately needed to add Teddy Ruth to our organ-eye-zation. Oh, and Modin has been injured, not that this would surprise anyone who has followed his career since joining the Jackets.
-Malhotra & Peca wore the "A" for a reason last year. Mike Peca's watching games like all of us this year. Heck, if he'd be willing to take a lower salary (because some money is better than no income, right? Right?), I wouldn't be opposed to bringing him back.

-We could have offered Adam Foote $40 million/year and it wouldn't have mattered. His mind was made up, he was going to do what it took to get what he wanted. I've said all along that even had GMSH caved & given him his $4M, he'd have looked for an excuse as to why it wasn't enough.

-I still hate the Fedorov/Ruth deal.


Last edited by CBJSprague24: 12-13-2009 at 02:04 PM.
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Old
12-13-2009, 02:03 PM
  #16
Timeless Winter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJSprague24 View Post

-I still hate the Fedorov/Ruth deal.
Me too, 5 points out of a playoff spot, we think we're adding Brad Richards and keeping everyone else, end up trading away 2 roster players and not getting a single body back. Team nosedives in the standings as expected. Ruth may or may not even make the NHL in his career.

If we had gotten Richards you can guarantee we'd be alot better than 14-12 right now. He's having a career year this season.

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Old
12-13-2009, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
Not to start a fire, but many of the hardcore fans walked away from this board, not the team.
Aww, come on, we haven't totally walked away from the board. When things are going really well in our lives, and we need a dose of depression to balance things out we come back and take a look.

I've been tempted a half dozen times to post stories to Interesting Info, but as they aren't all doom and gloom stories, I knew what type of response I'd get here.

Oh no, some people have waited almost 10 years for a Stanley Cup!!!!!!!!!!

In case math eludes some of you, there are 30 teams in the league, and since they hand out the Stanley Cup once a year, If each team took it's turn winning the cup, we'd still have to wait 20 more years for our turn. Throw in teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Montreal winning more than their fair share, and the wait may be even longer.

Ask Browns fans
or Indians fans
or Cavs fans
or Bengals fans
or Cubs fans...

The team is exactly where it is. The youngest team in the league (maybe we're #2, I can't remember) making rookie mistakes occasionally, fighting through sophomore slumps, and in need of veteran leadership.

But Hitch only plays veterans, and doesn't give rookies a chance FIRE HIM

Um, look at what he has to work with. When you're bad for so long you end up completely re-building your team from scratch. Yes, look how well other rookies are doing around the league. You all attribute it to "Their coach trusts them more than Hitch does FIRE HITCH" When in reality, they're playing with veteran linemates covering their mistakes. Something we don't have the luxury of. Of course Hitch is going to favor playing veteran players, they know what the hell they're doing. If you "Play to Win the Game" those are the types of players you want, the ones you can depend on.

We've taken players like Anton Stralman who had played only 80 NHL games and made him our #1 PP pointman. People blame the coaching of our D, but the oldest Defenseman we have at age 31 barely has 4 years NHL experience.

This team is still all kids, but you all love to complain because Hitch prefers to play the guy with 150 games played vs the guy with 15.

Given time for all these players to grow and mature together, this is going to be one bad ass team when these players develop. Some of us like me had high hopes for this season, and others had unrealistically higher hopes. Neither group is getting the team they thought they were, so the frustration is understandable.

I feel bad for some of you that you don't have the patience, but at least you have the Buckeyes.

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Old
12-13-2009, 03:43 PM
  #18
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Skraut, that was well said and true. Your take on things is undoubtedly right.

But how can you explain the lack of effort? The seeming nonchalance and lack of urgency? I watch and/or go to every game and I don't think I'm imagining these characteristics of this team.

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12-13-2009, 03:49 PM
  #19
CapnCornelius
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Aww, come on, we haven't totally walked away from the board. When things are going really well in our lives, and we need a dose of depression to balance things out we come back and take a look.
You know, the same reason casual fans go to Jackets games these days.

Quote:
Oh no, some people have waited almost 10 years for a Stanley Cup!!!!!!!!!!

In case math eludes some of you, there are 30 teams in the league, and since they hand out the Stanley Cup once a year, If each team took it's turn winning the cup, we'd still have to wait 20 more years for our turn. Throw in teams like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Montreal winning more than their fair share, and the wait may be even longer.
Yeah, and unless my math is off, more than half of the teams in the league make the playoffs every year. And yet we've made it all of one time.

Quote:
Ask Browns fans
or Indians fans
or Cavs fans
or Bengals fans
or Cubs fans...
Yes, those are the franchises I want this club modeled after.

Quote:
The team is exactly where it is. The youngest team in the league (maybe we're #2, I can't remember) making rookie mistakes occasionally, fighting through sophomore slumps, and in need of veteran leadership.
And yet the younger LA Kings are first in the conference while one of their best players, Ryan Smyth is injured. This excuse is getting old quicker than Freddy Modin.

Quote:
But Hitch only plays veterans, and doesn't give rookies a chance FIRE HIM
Time on Ice
Jake Voracek--17:09
Kristian Huselius--22:53

Which one is more defensively responsible? Tell me our coach isn't talking out of both sides of his mouth.

That first line has been HORRIBLE. And yet he keeps running it out there. Even when we control the matchups he's sending it out there against the other team's best line. How is that working out for us?

Quote:
Um, look at what he has to work with. When you're bad for so long you end up completely re-building your team from scratch. Yes, look how well other rookies are doing around the league. You all attribute it to "Their coach trusts them more than Hitch does FIRE HITCH" When in reality, they're playing with veteran linemates covering their mistakes. Something we don't have the luxury of. Of course Hitch is going to favor playing veteran players, they know what the hell they're doing. If you "Play to Win the Game" those are the types of players you want, the ones you can depend on.
Hitch didn't trust Brassard with veteran linemates as I recall. And, is Kristian Huselius really proving to be dependable enough to get the type of minutes he's getting, or should Hitch think about playing a guy like Torres a bit more and putting Juice lower in the rotation?

Quote:
Given time for all these players to grow and mature together, this is going to be one bad ass team when these players develop. Some of us like me had high hopes for this season, and others had unrealistically higher hopes. Neither group is getting the team they thought they were, so the frustration is understandable.

I feel bad for some of you that you don't have the patience, but at least you have the Buckeyes.
Unrealistic higher hopes? I figured they'd miss the playoffs because of the guy we have coaching them. They are trying to do even worse and make the draft lottery.

I feel bad that some people are willing to let management and the Jackets PR machine pee down their back and tell them its raining. How is this version of "they are a young team that still hasn't matured" any different from when we were hoping Gilbert Brule and Nikolai Zherdev would mature into the second coming of Crosby and Malkin? At some point you have to win NOW. Wasn't that what this coach and GM started preaching 3 years ago? If there aren't enough veterans in the locker room, perhaps its time that our GM also feel a bit of the heat for failing to address this in the off-season. But that doesn't change the fact that this team is tuning out Hitch's teachings. To the extend they are even hearing them on the rare occassions they have practices.

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12-13-2009, 04:02 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
I feel bad for some of you that you don't have the patience
I don't think that is really the reason. At least for me personally, I'm frustrated because we are going backwards fast. You can literally see the frustration in the players and how horribly our strategy is working. Right now the Jackets are probably the easiest team for the opponents to scout and just blast through them.

As we slid down the standings, just being patient is not always the option. If you just stand still waiting something to happen, you'll just might end up drafting first - for an empty arena. What makes Jackets situation more complex than some of the other crisis teams is the fact that if this trend continues, the relocation talks start. There ain't enough hardcore fans to stick if we keep sliding down and that's a catastrophic thing for this franchise. Toronto can suck year after year and they keep being a profitable team, we don't have the same luxury.

I sure hope things turn around, but hearing long time hardcore fans saying that there is no feeling anymore to go to the arena makes me seriously worried. I have gone through a really bad stretch with my hometown team, where I had tough time to get myself to the arena and basically didn't even watch what happened on ice. I eventually did go through it, but it only changed around when we did major changes to our organisation and made our team a desired place to play for. Few seasons later, now we are the reigning champions and our arena has been three seasons very near at full capacity.

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Old
12-13-2009, 04:06 PM
  #21
Crossbar Ping
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There isnt a better coach to pickup than Hitch right now though.

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12-13-2009, 04:23 PM
  #22
KeithBWhittington
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There isnt a better coach to pickup than Hitch right now though.
the problem is two-fold....

There arguably isn't a more experienced coach available and any inexperienced guy is going to be a dice roll...

That said, I still think that having a coach behind the bench that can't get "his" players to play "his" game and having people defend it is similar to the Old days when MacLean and Gallant were defended by simply playing the "Don't change horse in midstream" argument.

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Old
12-13-2009, 04:25 PM
  #23
CapnCornelius
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There isnt a better coach to pickup than Hitch right now though.
Define "better." Listen, if you believe the hype "1000 games, Stanley Cup, yadda, yadda, yadda," that may be correct. But we need a better coach that fits the team that we have, not some hypothetical team of veterans and future HOF'ers.

Just because Hitchcock fit the bill in Dallas 10 years ago, doesn't mean he fits the bill here.

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Old
12-13-2009, 06:33 PM
  #24
Timeless Winter
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I don't know if Skraut has watched a game in the past 4 weeks or not, but the team is regressing at a fast pace, and the team is playing the opposite of "Hitch hockey". The effort says they've tuned him out. Which isn't really an argument anymore. I think the board is dying because people are realizing this and don't want to admit it.

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Old
12-13-2009, 06:53 PM
  #25
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Skraut is right on point.

Two things at work here -- young players going through the ups and downs that young players go through, and Hitch having a hard time adjusting to a)not having a lot of veterans and b)how to adjust his neutral zone trap game to the NHL.

The players are putting forth effort -- they are playing tight right now, because Hitch is unforgiving of mistakes, and young players make mistakes. Players like Nash then try to take the whole load on themselves. Hitch's discipline is a good thing, but his double standard toward veterans and young players is not good.

Columbus has to get used to rooting for a professional team that plays 82 games -- not 12. There are lots of ups and downs, no matter who you are. Howson has done a fantastic job of locking up a talented group of players, and has some room going forward to do additional things. Watch Chicago explode next year when they have to do some major things to cure their salary cap ills.

Howson has taken the right approach -- build through the draft, lock up the players while they are young, and leave enough room to add veterans. There is too much parity in the NHL to guarantee yourself a winner through spending. Ask the Rangers -- and the Blackhawks will find it out.

Whether Hitch stays or not, he has been the right coach at the right time, providing a system and a structure. He may not be the guy to take us to the next level in the new NHL, but it is too early to pull the plug. Rest assured that Howson has his fingers on the pulse of the team, and if the players start tuning Hitch out, he'll step in.

I can see why so many have been driven away from these boards. The same mindset that has people calling for Tressel to be fired every time OSU fails to win a national championship prevails here. Hockey is all about chemistry, and patience. The Jackets have more talent than they have ever had, thanks to Howson, but they have only been together for about a year. They need time to mature together, and if they don't pan out, Howson will find someone who does.

The fact that there is so much *****ing and moaning when we are still over .500 is a big improvement over expectations in prior years. Take your doses of Ritalin and chill out.

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