An Objective List Of Things You’ll Hate About The Blue Jackets
The playoffs are upon us and with this territory comes a new level of hatred few sports provide. Playing a potential seven games against the same opponent compounds the little annoyances along the way until you reach the point you’re cursing up a storm about a certain player or play during breakfast the next day. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks to the sometimes quirky playoff format two of the best regular season teams are facing each other in the first round in the Metropolitan Division. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets ended the regular season with the 2nd and 3rd best records respectfully and are fighting for the right to probably play the Capitals in the second round. The Penguins, are the reigning champs and are assumed to be the favorite. The Blue Jackets come into this series having won the exact same number of NHL playoff series that I have (zero) so they have something to prove. Here’s a totally non-biased list of things you will likely hate as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round.
5. Sergei Bobrovsky
Arguably the Blue Jacket’s most important piece, Bobrovsky helped this team get to where they are by supporting them when the offense was struggling. He’s a strong candidate to win his second Vezina (best goalie award) this year after leading the league in both save percentage (.931) and goals against average (2.06), and landing third in wins with 41. A goalie of this caliber is likely to steal a game or two and frustrate his opponents along the way which is more than deserving of fan hatred. The only thing that doesn’t place him higher on the list is the joy I experience knowing the Flyers traded away a likely multiple Vezina winner for a handful of draft picks that became Anthony Stolarz, Taylor Leier, and Justin Auger. Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize those names, nobody does.
4. Brandon Saad
Hey did you guys know Brandon Saad was a Pittsburgh kid? And that he played right up the road in Pine-Richland? Well if you didn’t, be prepared for constant reminders by every Paul Steigerwald and Pierre McGuire looking to add talking points during breaks in the play. Add on the fact Saad, although still young, has more playoff experience than many of his teammates combined from when he won two cups with the Blackhawks. This should allow him to be one of the more offensive threats out there which is sure to get under the skin of Penguin fans.
3. The Fans/ "The 5th Line"
Imagine you’ve spent years enjoying a hobby or interest, learning as you go, and earning a well-rounded understanding of that topic. Now imagine the guy who just jumped on that bandwagon and insists he knows everything there is to know about the subject. Now imagine an entire city of that guy. Throw in a chip on their shoulder because Pittsburgh fans have been invading their arena for years. That’s the Columbus fan base. Take their self-proclaimed “5th line” moniker for instance:
What does that even mean? Do they play 2-3 minutes a game in low risk situations? Are they made up of has-beens, call-ups, and players on the coach’s shit list? Maybe they provide “a little energy” now and again but are ultimately forgotten about in two seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the city and their fans. Good hockey rivalries are surprisingly hard to come by and being our geographically closest team this rivalry will pick up a lot of steam. Since most rivalries end up being more between the fans I know they’ll do their part to earn your hate.
2. Brandon Dubinksy
The quintessential “you’d love him if he was on your team” guy, Dubinksy has made himself a career out of being a pain in the ass to players like Crosby and Malkin. Just looking at him stirs the hatred. Now I don’t know him personally, but just watching him I think you can get a good grasp on who he is. He’s probably the kind of guy who thinks everyone wants to wrestle after he’s had a few beers. He’s probably the kind of guy who makes guitar sounds when classic rock songs are playing but in the wrong spots and out of tune. He’s probably the kind of guy who asks you for an extra piece of gum then puts it in his pocket for later. He’s probably the kind of guy who insists every waitress/bartender wants to hook up with him. He’s probably the kind of guy who still gives his male associates “crotch shots” late into his thirties. All I’m saying is he’s a terrible person and you will hate him.
1. John Tortorella
You may remember him from such failed coaching jobs as The New York Rangers or the Vancouver Canucks. Tortorella did win a cup with Tampa Bay 13 years ago, so only slightly more recent then when the Blue Jackets became a franchise. In recent years he’s developed quite the reputation in the press briefings where he repeatedly whines about the Penguins whining. Expect to see more of this as he rarely misses an opportunity to go in front of the microphone to play the part of victim.
Honorable Mention: Their Mascots
Fun fact, the Blue Jackets mascot is a green yellow jacket. The rationale behind this is that blue and yellow make green. I'm serious. I guess that’s a step up from their old, albeit short-lived, mascot “Boomer”. Boomer was soon discontinued because it resembled a certain…part:
There you go folks, five totally unbiased reasons to hate the Columbus Blue Jackets. I will remind you this list is not all inclusive and I would encourage you to explore your right as a fan and hate on anything and everything you notice in this series. I guarantee your options will be plentiful.