Before Ken Hitchcock arrived in Columbus, the Blue Jackets didn’t have a personality. Teams are like that until a strong leader (or talent) joins the crew and the team starts doing spectacular things.
The Buffalo Sabres had a personality the moment Gilbert Perreault swooped behind the net to grab the puck and dash up the ice, whereas the Vancouver Canucks (who came into existence the same day as the Sabres) wouldn’t really have a personality until 12 long years later (courtesy Roger Neilson).
The Jackets are a team on the rise and have spent much of their money wisely in recent years. It’ll be on display tonight as the Edmonton Oilers and their mountain of good copy fly into Ohio.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a personality. Finally.
The Edmonton Oilers have an injury that will impact their depth up front. Despite having a pedestrian start to the season and despite playing out of position for much of it, Fernando Pisani is a useful NHL player and the Oilers will miss him.
Going into tonight the Blue Jackets are ahead of Edmonton by 1 point (both clubs have played 18 games) and there are rumors of a shakeup in Columbus if things don’t go well over the next few days. The situation with the Oilers is so public that I’m not going to bother repeating all of it.
Suffice to say that the Oilers need to win this hockey game tonight.