Looking back now, it was the start of the school year; August had arrived and leaves were changing colors. Only one thing came to mind: it's almost hockey season. (By the way, my Geography teacher is a Thrashers fan.)
Columbus was having a pretty good season in 07-08, with the big #31 guarding a net, numbers 61 and 27 shooting missiles into opponents nets from every angle, and a promising, young #40 who proved he wasn't afraid to fight.
Coming into the 08-09 season, young Zherdev was traded away, as an injury-plagued Leclaire was having a rough time, and eventually was traded away to Ottawa. While Pascy left us, Vermette joined; one of the most dominant face-off winners around. And wait! Just when you thought there couldn't be more, there is! The Jackets also acquired rookie goaltender Steve Mason, who is turning eyes towards the Blue Jackets from all around.
Columbus is most evidently on their way to their first playoff appearance, and has a good shot if the skill, teamwork, excellent goaltending, and coaching under Head Coach Ken Hitchcock stay at or above their current level of play .
If your not a believer of the Blue Jackets squad by now, or just know nothing of them, please, crawl out of your secluded little cave at this time. The publicity the team has gotten has raised since years' past. They have been found in newspaper articles, feature articles in magazines like Sports Illistrated, and segments on Versus, Fox Sports, and Espn. Not only that, but if you've been to your local GameStop in the past five months, you may have seen Jackets Captain Rick Nash (#61) on the cover of NHL 2k9.
Speaking as a hockey enthusiast, and not a Columbus fan, the play by the Jackets is superb; from teamwork, flow, puck movement, and skill, the Jackets seem to be able to do it all. And with players like Nash, Commodore, Malholtra, Vermette, and Mason, it's surprising to many as to why Columbus has not made it to the post-season before. Nash, the young captain, has now had five consecutive seasons of 30+ goals, and rookie Steve Mason has held up for 10 shutouts!
One key thing about the Blue Jackets however, is the amazing talent and depth throughout the bench. Regardless of who is on the ice, the team always has more eager talent waiting to hope over the low front wall. Such talent that also, rarely seems to show much fatigue as the game progresses.
"Carry the Flag..!"