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House cleaning by Jackets should include GM Howson

By Peter D. McAlister

The Columbus Blue Jackets continue their downward spiral and are closer to the abyss than ever. After Tuesday night’s embarrassment at Vancouver in a 7-3 loss to the Canucks there is absolutely no excuse what so ever for head coach Ken Hitchcock to keep his job. He should have been out prior to the last extended road trip that began December 19 in Colorado. The Jackets’ ownership and organization needs to go one step further and fire general manager Scott Howson for his total ineptness in dealing with a disastrous losing streak that put the team out of the playoff race, regardless of the feel good stories in the local media that portray otherwise. To allow this situation to go on is unconscionable.

Just look at the numbers; please. The Blue Jackets have won 9 of 21 games at home this season, 6 of 23 on the road and have only two wins in the Central Division after nine contests. In any other NHL city there would be all out mutiny. Columbus has scored 34 less goals than the league leading Washington Capitals and given up 61 more goals than the New Jersey Devils at the half way point of the season. Don’t get me started on the team’s goals against average and save percentage because they are an absolute joke.

What does Howson do? He sits back and tells the press and Jackets’ nation that Hitchcock is on solid ground and all will be well in the future. That this is a building process and the younger players in the locker room need experience and the veterans need to show leadership. There is no leadership on or off the ice with this team and the younger players perform at an AHL level so how in the world can fans expect a turn around anytime soon.

During the past three home games the Jackets averaged 18,000 fans to watch a team with no heart, no guts and an excuse vocabulary that rivals a Webster’s dictionary. Granted the games were played over the holidays when fans had nothing better to do than watch a bad hockey team play bad hockey, but they showed up in mass and the organization should take notice. In these tough economic times this blind loyalty will not continue. Columbus will not make the playoffs this season but they must be competitive unless the goal is to see six thousand or more empty seats at Nationwide Arena every home game from here on out.

Let’s face it, Scott Howson’s roadmap has hit a dead end and he is responsible for this entire mess. When you look at the Western Conference there is only one team in the point standings that happen to be behind the Blue Jackets and it is Edmonton. The Jackets and their GM face the Oilers on Thursday night in a frigid Alberta and back to where this entire fiasco began. Gee, didn’t see that coming; or did we?

21 comments:

  1. Right on Peter, I wish the Dispatch would be objective like you are being!

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  2. Enough is enough. When will the jackets reward their loyal fans with a team that even cares.

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  3. I do not think Howson is the problem. The players that he trusted to carry this team has failed. Nash is a no show in both action on the ice and leadership!

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  4. I paid 88 dollars for two seats in the upper deck for new years eve. It wasn't a total waste because my boy had a ball. But things must change.

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  5. Hey jerk you do not know what you are talking about

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  6. all your posts are negative and try writing something positive for a change go jackets/ jimmy

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  7. The Jackets will move to a Toronto suburb soon so who cares

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  8. To the idiot that did the Toronto crap go jackets as in Columbus

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  9. it is sad but I agree with everything

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  10. Are you nuts? Ken Hitchcock took my former North Stars to the Stanley Cup in Dallas. Give him time. Gerald

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  11. After watching the Columbus Blue Jackets on FSN Ohio I have one question, what low budget organization would hire those clowns

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  12. The culture of the jackets is the problem. Overpaid players with a sense of me me me. Collect a paycheck and skate - no pun intended.

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  13. You make good points but I don't think getting ride of Howson is the answer. Hitchcock must go though.

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  14. jackets lose tonight and they are dead last and i am leaving them for dead until things change / richard

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  15. Maybe the problem is not Hitch or Howson but the bums they put on the ice in Columbus and Syracuse

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  16. The organization isn't the same without Mr. Mac. Something tells me his son Jr. does not have the heart or dedication to the franchise that his dad had. Things will not change anytime soon.

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  17. have you ever played hockey or can even skate this team is building for the future and all reporters like you are just trying to tear them down

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  18. Gee, what do you know? The Jackets won again tonight for 3 in a row. Maybe you should be fired instead. Gerald

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  19. Hey, time to admit you were wrong clown. Smack downs of the Oilers Flames and Stars prove it. Any team with this many olympics players will find a way to make the playoffs.

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  20. will you write something finally positive after the last three games or will you continue to attack hitch/jimmy

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  21. sorry i wanted to include howson in your trashing also/jimmy

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