by professor ggrib
Over at The Union Blue they are doing a series of post season awards but within the Blue Jackets. Currently they just posted one on leadership. Branden Dubinski got the award, with Boone Jenner and Nick Foleigno getting 2nd and 3rd. I agree with their comments. But it set me to thinking about the team as a whole. They can play “give it all you got, 100% hockey”. And sure not everyone can do it every nite every game every shift, but the team as a whole plays pretty much that way.
A few years ago, that’s all the Blue Jacket fandom wanted, a competitive team that tried. Now… it’s “we want the cup”
Many of the current players were not with the Jackets a few years ago. As they were obtained, we heard reports of being “hard nosed” etc. Much of the PR hype turned out to be true and them some. When JMFJ and the Wiz came to town, we got experience and toughness. Turned out we also got leadership. When Foleigno came to town he was hard working. I see the difference he makes when he is out of the lineup and then returns. And Dubinski…… well he’s Dubinski. He can be counted on to put the Jackets on his back if he has to and go forth. Mark Letestu is a rather unsung hero. But talk about a PK offensive threat. Scott Howson [remember him] got Mark for a song. He plays any role you give him and can play on any line and oh yea, he’s good on the PP also.
How about one of the “old timers” Fedor Tyutin, a quiet guy [world class and the Olympics prove it] just looks adversity in the eye and goes to work. Mattie Calvert a young un, is getting the name Mattie Hustle for a reason.
Then we get to the most improved player, Ryan Johansen. He had 5 game winning goals and many were in clutch situations. As Johan matured over the year, he acknowledged he wanted the puck on his stick at the end of the game. And I haven’t mentioned the not so well known players like Derek MacKenzie who gives it all, all night long or Blake Comeau, with lotsa hit and speed and some skills.
It’s a big list and it’s obvious that John Davidson may be building the Blue Jackets one brick at a time, but the composition of those bricks is also what is making Blue Jacket Hockey exciting.