I could barely sleep last night after I got home from Nationwide (and a few stops in between). A win! Can you believe it? Anyway, a new day has begun and with it, the anxiety over the rest of the season. But I do have some quick thoughts.
-The sellout crowd was nice last night and what made it even better was the low number of Red Wing fans. I don’t think there were more than 5,000 here, a new low for them. The CBJ management got all excited and started making pitches for a sold-out New Year’s Eve game against Nashville. I don’t how they can convince the Detroit fans to stay in town for that one. Come on, Detroit, you’ve always helped fill Nationwide.
-I got my free Subway Blue Jacket 2010 calendar last night and must say that I am impressed. The speed with which the team edited Jason Chimera out of the calendar has to be a record. How do you trade a guy in the afternoon and then hand out thousands of team calendars that evening with his picture gone?
-I’ve read a few bloggers and comments out there complaining about the Chimera trade. Look, sometimes a trade is just a trade. The rest of the NHL knows that the team is desperate and are playing hardball with Scott Howson. We didn’t get a #1 center nor did we get a #1 defenseman who can move the puck and shoot right-handed. But a subtle message was sent to the players that they shouldn’t get too comfortable here and also to Ken Hitchcock. Howson signaled to Hitch that he would not trade away a young player just to satisfy the coach’s craving for another veteran. Instead, he got rid of another veteran.
-Honestly, most of you were just wanted a new cannon last year and better video and music this year. You all thought that Steve Mason would shine like he did last night and that Rick Nash would have 30 goals by now. The team needs deeper fixes and a change in strategy.
Nikita Filatov led Russia (2-0) offensively with a goal and an assist.
Filatov, who played in 13 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets this year before leaving to play with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League, was named player of the game for his efforts.