Men of Tin

by Rich M on November 9, 2013 · 0 comments

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At the beginning of the season I wrote that this was a season of great expectations. There were many pieces in place for this franchise to take the next step to being a legitimate contender. After such an amazing run at the end of last season it was realistic to expect a step forward. This has not happened and this team looks so mired in futility and mediocrity that I feel quite idiotic making such a bold prediction.

After the game on Thursday against the New York Rangers, it was very apparent that many within the locker room are very dissatisfied with the effort. Todd Richards said, “That was embarrassing hockey tonight. And to me, that’s losing hockey, the way we played. We got exactly what we deserved. It could have been 7-1 going into the third period but our goalie was great. Not enough battle, not enough compete. It’s as simple as that. I’m really disappointed in our group.” Richards has been in Columbus for 3 years now and has a pretty good pulse on the team and the city. He’s seen some low points in Columbus and this has to rank right up there as one of the worst. For a coach to publicly chastise his team says there are some major problems in that locker room.

The season is far from over after 15 games. A bad start is one thing, but playing without pride and urgency is something completely different. For many this brings back memories of the 2011-12 season when Jeff Carter was looking to get out, Rick Nash requested a trade and the whole organization was viewed as a joke. They’ve come a long way since then, but it’s much easier to be bad then it is to do the little things that make a team great.

The only analogy that comes to mind to me to describe this team so far is the Tin Man. It’s very odd for a grown man to have visions of The Wizard of Oz, but it’s all that comes to my mind. If you remember the Tin Man was looking for a heart, so somehow a children’s classic made me think of this fictional character. Even though it’s an odd comparison, in some respects there is a lot to be learned from that. Where is the heart and passion that this team displayed last year? Where is the fire? They haven’t shown either of those and look like they’re going through the motions on some nights.

The Jackets are 5-10-0 and sit only 6 points out of 8th place after Thursday’s game. They have a game Saturday night against a team that is struggling as well in the New York Islanders. It won’t get any easier after that with trips to Washington and Montreal. This is a time where a leader needs to step up and take the bull by the horns and carry this team. Will this team persevere and right this ship or will they run for the hills and let a lack of heart get the best of them?

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