Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shot Through the Heart...

And You're to Blame...
You Gave the Fans a Bad Game.

Friends, I have never pretended to understand the nuances of the game of hockey. But we have come to desperate times, and I'm going to give you some stats, because when I see something, you know its bad.

So here we go.
(and for the record, I saw this mid second period, but my twitter feed tells me we're all seeing the same ;) )
  • Shots on Goal: 18 (TOR)  39 (CBJ)
  • Power Plays: 2 (TOR) 4 (CBJ)
  • Face Offs: 21-51 [41%] (TOR) 30-51 [59%] (CBJ)
  • Hits: 12 (TOR) 28 (CBJ)
  • And don't think we didn't try to find the time in the offensive zone stat but I still have to pack and work before an early flight tomorrow
My point is this, the Blue Jackets controlled the majority of that game and for 39 shots, we scored once. ONCE. And that goalie was no Calder contender, our shot quality was beyond awful. I was shocked to see that Scrivens even had a logo on the front of his sweater by end of the game we hit it so many times. Back when I used to help keep stats for basketball (don't ask) we had a shot chart to track from where every shot was taken, had I access to such a chart that showed where every shot went from the Blue Jackets I'd wager a LOT of money (that I don't even have) that 90% of our shots went right at that logo. Its not a bullseye, boys. We are not playing darts.

And so - with too many literal "shots to the heart" our team shot us fans "through the heart". Once again, we leave depressed, frustrated, angry, and up in arms with what to do. Honestly, I doubt team leadership knows any better...and that is not a "shot" at them. How can we guess which Blue Jackets Team is going to show up any given night?

But this is not a night for all that. This is a night to point out that we. cannot. shoot. the. puck. effectively. Look, there are a million and one sports colloquialisms about scoring...

"Follow Your Shot"
"Wait for the right opportunity"
"Don't pass up a shot" 
blah blah blah

At this point, I don't care what philosophy we employ but perhaps some, no, a LOT of shooting drills, boys? Perhaps that fun drill from the All Star Game where you shoot until you hit all the plates in each of the four corners? And, just throwing this out there, when I wanted on the varsity lacrosse team, I went out, every day, and shot on goal and passed to myself (off my parent's roof mind you - god love 'em) until my skills got better. Go shoot boys. Go shoot often, and let me know when you're getting better. Its not just gonna happen without some hard work...

And, I offer this for your consideration - with this level of "quality" in our shooting, if this is what Mase faces in practice day in and day out, how ready can he be to face the snipers of the Western Conference? That, coupled with confidence issues and youth is certainly a combustible combination.

I know I am oversimplifying part of a larger issue, but you can't argue that this isn't a huge part of the problem. I continue to believe that right now we have significant issues on the ice. And I'm even more frustrated because this was the year to do something positive...we had room on the Columbus radar, and hockey is getting attention on the national sports radar (what will ESPN do without the NBA...pray we find out!) and we're squandering what appeared to be the best opportunity yet.

Stay Tuned for Future Entries in this Series...
Hey Now, Hey Now! Don't Dream its Over
End of the Innocence
Whisper to a Scream
What Have I Done to Deserve This
Ain't Too Proud to Beg

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