Posts Tagged ‘game ops


Embarrassment – JACKETS LOSE

PIT 7 – CBJ 2

I’m still in shock.

Yeah we knew there would be lots of Pittsburgh fans, yes our team was coming off of a 5-0 shutout loss on the road, but there’s no way anybody saw this coming.

Before we move past the game itself and commence the griping about game ops, management, and bad fans, let’s talk about the game for a sec.

Steve Mason… what in the wide world of sports was that? 4 goals on 13 shots in less than 16 minutes of game time. Somebody needs to get his head screwed on straight.

While getting thrashed you would expect someone to step-up for the Jackets. It’d have been nice if someone like Rick Nash, RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, ANYONE would have stepped up. But, if we’re going to have to rely on Chris Clark throughout this season… then the hot start by the Jackets will quickly be forgotten. Kudos to Chris in all seriousness, but you can’t be a playoff team when you rely on grinders to carry your team. He was the only player with a positive +/-

After the massacre in Nationwide, usually I’d be able to laugh it off and talk about the “same ole Jackets”, but there was a significant difference between this loss and any ugly loss prior… had my favorite line that captures the whole night in one sentence:

The shots are 16-2 Penguins (after the first period), meaning the Pens would still be winning even without a goalie.

That’s how thorough the domination on the ice was last night, and that doesn’t even begin to describe what happened in the stands.

The real embarrassment of the night came in the stands. During college and years since then, I’ve dealt with opposing fans, and almost always it has been a positive experience of learning and entertainment. None of my personal interactions with Pens fans last night were negative but the handling of their presence was a major issue.

First were the Pens fans riding the zamboni’s prior to the game… see photo evidence (again from ThePensblog):

Unacceptable. Wake up game ops. If some bandwaggoner shows up for their zamboni ride wearing the opposing team’s jersey, you tell them “Take it off or you don’t ride”. Simple as that.

If we’re worried about hurting the feelings of opposing fans then sportsmanship and political correctness has gone too far.

These comments were found on Twitter after the debacle:

From Neal K:

And another from Steve M.:

What a complete mess. I thought it was annoying when Red Wings and Blues fans were participating in intermission on-ice entertainment, and now this.

The real problem in my opinion comes from the sheer amount of Penguins fans. There was no way I didn’t expect there to be plenty, but when your own season ticket holders are sharing the pre-sale code during the summer with opposing fans, THAT IS A MAJOR PROBLEM. The ticketing director needs to plug this leak and now. It may be a lot more work on their part, but to even put a dent in the amount of opposing fans buying tickets early would be a good first step.

It’s as simple as this, assign specific codes for every season ticket holder when the pre-sale is announced, if that code is found being made public, you simply revoke the PSL and slap them in the face.

Light the Lamp and I feel similarly on a lot of things, but there’s another issue to touch on….

Using the excuse that “I don’t want to be surrounded by opposing fans” or “We haven’t proved anything” or any number of lame excuses for not coming out to support OUR team is an absolute travesty.

This was a HUGE game against a regional rival who just happens to be THE premiere team in the National Hockey League.

Leave the excuses to politicians.

Our job as fans is to support the team, without our support, the team does not stay. Without our support what happened last night happens more and more often. When season ticket holders share the pre-sale code, and sell their tickets for big games to try to make a few bucks, this is when hope fades, desire to improve, all things necessary to have a healthy team and fan base, slowly but surely disappear.

Every Jackets blog that I read has a post of either “OMG freak out about everything” or “Strip the Captaincy from Nash” or “DON’T Worry guys, I know better”.

Nobody knows what the future holds.

No one can tell us what Scott Arniel is thinking.

No one knows what Rick Nash has to do to get this team going.

We all must embrace what we have, push through the anger and disappointment and help this team.

When they play hard, the deserve your support and dollars.

When they play hard, the may not deserve your support, but if you already spent the money, the deserve you there watching and waiting for signs of life.

It wasn’t long ago that we had this kind of atmosphere with a much more positive outcome and series of events following the Pittsburgh game.

Even a bad loss doesn’t ruin life, things have to get better and go the right way.

It was a pleasure meeting as many Penguins fans as I did, I just wish Rick Nash would’ve led his team with more than a few big hits.

Go Jackets.


Slow and Steady

The news from Blue Jackets land continues to trickle out, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some Jackets-related news and links to share today, here we go.

As reported this morning by, the Blue Jackets have re-signed Tom Sestito.

Firstly and most pressing are the two recent Season Ticket Holder Meetings with General Manager Scott Howson, Team President Mike Priest, and Head Coach Scott Arniel. These meetings were held for two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday this week) and The Cannon and The View from 210 were able to give a re-cap on each evening. Here are a few snippets:

Howson also took some “questions” (ie: abuse) on not resigning some fan favorites like Jody ShelleyManny Malhotra, and Curtis Glencross, especially after answering a question about how the team is being built by explaining that they are (like most of the NHL) trying to use the Detroit model, and using veteran character players to help develop the younger players.

I’m incredibly happy for Jody and Manny. We didn’t “dump” Jody Shelley. We traded him to give him the opportunity to play for a winning team after he wasn’t getting ice time in Columbus….. Jody used it as a chance to unlock his potential…and I know it’s my goal, and his (Mike Priest)’s  that once Jody chooses to end his playing career, we can bring him back to the Blue Jackets and keep him as a big part of our organization.

In Manny’s case, he had a hard decision to make, and I’m really impressed – he went to San Jose, took a lot less money that we had originally offered him, and worked his (tail) off. He played very well and earned a very impressive contract from the Canucks.



Who in the wide world of sports considered Glencross a “fan favorite” besides his psycho-ex-girlfriend who still lives in Columbus for some stupid reason?

I appreciate Howson’s explanation of the Shelley and Malhotra situations. He’s completely right, Jody wasn’t going to play under Hitch, and he did whatever he could to help him be successful in his career.

When it comes to Malhotra I have a different feel. After he was offered a solid contract with Columbus early last summer and instead opted for huge pay-cut to play with the Sharks, he now ends up in a pretty big 3-year contract with the Canucks. Manny is what Adam Foote was, minus all the bravado surrounding his exit.

Fans with a soft spot for former Jackets: I can understand why you may feel the need to be nice to Shelley or Malhotra or Chimera, but face it, those guys were mostly a waste of space on the ice and never won anything that mattered with this team.

The Penguins can have a soft spot for Sergei Gonchar because he helped lead them to the Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks can look at Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg with many positive memories.

Okay. I’ll stop ranting. More info from the meeting:

CBJ ticket sales are down – from an all time high of over 10,000 season ticket equivalents last year (1 full season ticket, 2 20 games, or 4 10 games) to about 7,300 this year. Priest said it’s “an area we’re under pressure, but we’re working on it.”

Not a surprise, but it sure isn’t good. As mentioned in the write-up and by the management, winning cures all.

Game Ops – This topic, on how much it sucked, was brought up. Priest totally agreed, and there will be noticeable differences in what we see this year… old items have been retired. They will be trying new things this year, and are looking for people to provide feedback after the games to let them know how they did. New music will be in store as well. (CBJ) are contractually obligated to play some of the pieces from their Corporate Sponsors, but they are looking into changing when those are played so that they don’t deflate the crowd during those rowdy moments.

Great to see that the Jackets are willing to change.

I suggest copying both Detroit and Chicago’s game-ops as a good place to start:

1. They’re loud

2. They’ve got great “situational music”

3. They’re loud

4. They play good music all around

5 They’re loud

John Moore started blogging for the Blue Jackets about his summer including development camp and conditioning. (Official Site)

The Pepsi Power Patrol wants you! Auditions for the 2010 crew are getting ready to get underway… pretty solid website for this. My suggestion? More “un-fake” girls. (Official Site)

A bit about the Blue Jackets Great Unknowns, Nikita Filatov and Ryan Johansen. (View from My Seats)

This year, two of the highest profile unknowns are property of the CBJ. Both Ryan Johansen and Nikita Filatov are two of the most highly thought of prospects NOT playing in the NHL. One of them started last year as a Calder Trophy candidate only to end up in Russia, while the other started last season as a mid-level unknown prospect. Fast-forward to today and you have two players who could hold the Blue Jackets short-term future in their exceptionally-skilled hands. If they both develop as GM Scott Howson hopes, Columbus will be one of the most potent young teams in the entire NHL. If their question marks start to overshadow their potential, then that potent NHL lineup could turn impotent faster than you can say, “It’s been 4 hours and I’m calling my doctor.”

A brief look at the potential boom/bust values of both Filatov and Johansen. How soon might we see either in a CBJ uniform in the NHL… or on their way out of the organization?

Solid write-up on Johansen and his expectations with the Blue Jackets. (The Province) (H/T to @LoriSchmidt)

ESPN is still making excuses for their shitty hockey coverage. ( (bottom of the page) and Puck Daddy)

If these two articles aren’t enough to make you seethe just a little bit, then I hope you didn’t spend much time watching the ESPY’s last night. Not familiar with the ESPY’s? Think self-serving, “everyone come see how good I look” on ESPN for 3 hours. If you thought “The Decision” was bad… God help the ESPY’s.

The good news? USA-Canada for the Gold Medal won “Best Game”

The bad? Crosby won best NHL athlete

The really bad? Jonathan Toews didn’t win crap (Gold Medal, Best Forward in the Olympics, Stanley Cup, and the Conn Smythe Trophy)

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