My CBJ Epilogue
- Updated: April 29, 2014
I finished what turned out to be the end of the Blue Jackets season, sitting in the back of my truck drinking a pop, waiting for the parking garage to empty. I’m not much for sitting in a line that doesn’t move fighting for every inch of space, so I figured bringing a cooler for a little post game tailgate was a better idea. I even put a “We Are the 5th Line” sign in the side window to my truck so everyone driving by knew who we were representing. My buddy Mike was there, and some guy named Matt yelled out from his truck to ask if we had one to spare. I told him we did, and to pull over and climb on up. We talked about the horrible start to the game, and the comeback, and how great it was to have something to cheer about at the end. I thought about last season and how close the team was to the Playoffs, but probably weren’t really ready for it. Then I thought about how most years the only thing to look forward to at this time of the year is the NHL Draft and how early the Jackets would be picking. I was disappointed as all hell about the season being over, and still am, but I have a quiet resignation about it. Everyone’s season is going to end sooner than later, and only one team is going to be happy about it. After sitting around for about half an hour the garage was emptied out, and we drove right on out of the garage and headed for home.
This entire season has been great in a very Blue Jackets way. We just can’t do anything easy. We probably wouldn’t know how to act if we did. The season started out horribly, Nathan Horton was still hurt, Marion Gaborik played about two shifts for the first 3 months, and Goalie Bob went down for a month of his own. We spent the early season closer to last than we were to first. Then we transitioned to the 8 game win streak, #CBJ1000, stellar backup goalie play, and the debut of Nathan Horton. We started to get some swagger then had to stop for the Olympics, get over some new injuries, and wait to see what our team was going to do at the trade deadline. There was belief from above, with Jarmo talking of “when” this team made the Playoffs and not “if,” and we powered through it all. We capped it off with a strong close, #WeAreThe5thLine, and our first Stanley Cup Playoff wins in team history. We even knocked off one home and one away, so that we won’t have to listen to how this team has never won someplace at some time in the post season.
I think in a few days the fans of the Blue Jackets will feel pretty good about where this team is and how this season went. We can be proud of how we represented the City and just how loud we could make Nationwide Arena. The local and national media gave Columbus respect for how we showed up, and we opened the eyes of a lot of people around Columbus who might not have given professional hockey a chance before. I’ve talked more Jackets hockey to random co-workers the past week and a half than I did for 2 years before that.
I hope the players, coaches & management enjoyed this year too, but I also hope they are pissed off and can’t stand to feel like this. They are all proud warriors with a bright future. This will hopefully be the fire they use off season getting ready, and all next season when they get challenged. Just a taste of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey won’t be enough for anyone.
I want to say thanks to everyone who reads my stuff, puts up with me on twitter, and is a great Blue Jackets fan. We’re a community and we’re all in this together. For the last time this NHL Season, Go Jackets!