Dear Columbus Blue Jackets,
I’ve been an avid follower of your hockey club since you came into being ten years ago. It’s been one heck of a ride. I’ve gone through the emotional highs and lows with all of the other fans. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if you have what it takes to succeed in the NHL. I want to believe. I really do.
After the letdown of last year, I thought this season started with so much promise. I began to think that this season might be the year that we make a deep run in the playoffs. I know you’re not going to win the Stanley Cup this year, and I’m fine with that.
And then, the end of November rolled around. The bottom seemed to fall out and the rollercoaster of emotions came back full-force. You went from contending for the lead in the Western Conference to being on the outside looking in, once again. It’s not the blowout losses that have me so concerned. Not by a long shot. It’s the way you seem to give up and stop playing the game at times that really frustrates me.
It wouldn’t hurt as much if you played a full sixty minutes of hockey and lost. At least then, you could hold your head high and say “we gave it our all and got beat by a better team”. But, when you give up… I lose a little more hope that you can compete at this level. It’s not something new, as we’ve seen you do this before. I really feel bad for your coach, Scott Arniel. He must be pulling his hair out with frustration, too.
All I ask, along with everyone else, is that you give it your all every night. We, as fans, know that you won’t win every game. But, if you show us and yourselves, that you are willing to compete for sixty minutes, we would be somewhat satisfied.
I’ve read that you have a high boiling point. While that may be true, it’s time to get angry at the state of your play. Trust me, I already am angry. I want you to do whatever it takes to light a collective fire under your rear ends and tell yourselves that “this stops now”. It’s up to you, as players, to change the culture in your dressing room.
As you get ready to begin the second half of the season, all I ask of you is to show some fire. Compete for sixty minutes a night. Hold your heads high, knowing you gave it your all. If you do that, you will be victorious. I know you can do it. More importantly, you should know that you can do it.