Hockey: Blue Jackets season in review

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Dear Blue Jackets,

It's very difficult for me to write this, but I just don't think things are working out between us.

It's not you; it's me. Well, actually, it's kind of you.

Every year, we start off so well. You promise me things have changed. Steve Mason will get back to rookie form. Derick Brassard and Jake Voracek will make a leap forward. Maybe, just maybe, there'll be a second playoff appearance.

And for a while, it was great. My past disappointments kept my expectations in check, and you were a pleasant surprise. Everything felt new and exciting again. There was a new coach behind the bench in Scott Arniel. You started winning again. And I felt that thrill of young love.

Then we tried to spice things up. You started wearing new clothes, with that hot new third-jersey number. You even incorporated a new mascot into the relationship. It was a little weird at first, but I went with it ...

Then your old, bad habits started coming back. You started turning the puck over in your own zone. You stopped scoring goals. You went on another losing binge that threatened to wreck a season.

Then just when I was about to give up, you got hot again. You put together another winning streak and brought in new faces like Scottie Upshall at the trade deadline.

You swore to me you would change for the better. And then it all just fell apart again. Most nights it seemed like Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger were the only ones still trying to make this work.

I just don't know how much longer I can do this.

I'll still remember the good times this season. That 8-1 drubbing of the Blues in November. The Matt Calvert hat trick. Boomer.

Oh, who am I kidding? I don't know what I would do without you. I'll be there next season, with a new hope that we can finally make this work.

Why can't I quit you?

XOXO,

Brad

CBJ stock report

3 up

Matt Calvert

The fifth-round draft pick made more offensive impact than the highly touted Nikita Filatov. I love this kid.

Grant Clitsome

Unexpected boost to the blue-line scoring, Clitsome was a great surprise (though he's not the team's answer).

Jared Boll

He's a fighter, not a scorer, but he finally proved to be pesky at creating scoring chances from the deeper lines.

3 down

Mike Commodore

The shutdown D-man got shut all the way down the minors. Where he's still making $3.8 million.

Steve Mason

Yeah, the D in front of him sucked, but Mason needs to sustain more than flashes of his rookie brilliance.

Jake Voracek

Love the size, know he has the talent, but he has to harness it and get in better shape.