The best start in franchise history (5-1-0) has left some people asking the simple question... WHY?
A year ago, the defensive corps did not have to absorb injuries and the goaltending was absolutely magnificent. The reward was the first ever trip to the playoffs.
Today, the club finds itself with a couple of injuries that have a lot of people wondering what will happen to this team regarding the most important win-loss column... lost are Jan Hejda, Mike Commordore and Freddie Modin, with the thought that #22 will be back sooner than later as he is aboard the team plane to Calgary.
Winning involves a series of facets that are necessary in building any kind of team. Here are a few of the most prominent factors that are reflective with this group:
Structure/ Accountability: being a young team (25.8 years), the group has bought in and is selling what management and the coaching staff professes. Systems and the methodology on how to achieve are in place. Each and every one of the players is accountable for their respective roles or ice time dwindles.
Communication/Leadership: between the staff and the current group of players, lies the core group of leaders, with Rick Nash leading the way as "captain".
Team Unity and Bonding: much was made about how the team would be developed as a team of 23 players. It started in the summer as homework for a select group of individuals. Each of these athletes had there identities checked at the door, before being elevated in areas of need. They accomplished this by in depth readings, attending seminars and getting involved in other activities. In the fall the motto of "On the Rise" was instilled within the team itself. With the assistance of the coaching staff and the West Point Military philosophy, the team began to take shape in training camp.
Depth: two proven goaltenders, a cast of solid defenseman and forwards dot the lineup. Scott Howson and staff should be commended on identifying and signing current and future prospects. For the nucleus of the team, several key players were rewarded with long term deals... the most important of these?... Rick Nash!!
Attitude: from the beginning of camp, this group has been special. The players from past years confirm the fact of a change in attitude has been one obvious difference this year. This took time and patience, and tons of sweat and blood.
Having Fun: the most important aspect of anything we do in life involves the word FUN. This team has more practical jokesters and they want to hang out together. Team functions have allowed the desire to be part of a team that has fun on the ice, but also fun off the ice. The comment by one player about the upcoming road trip said it all... "I can't wait to hang out with the guys on this trip; it is one trip we are all looking forward to."
It has been noted by all in the NHL that success has been part of the formula in this early part of the season for the CBJ. This current western swing will be an important part of the season's worth, come April. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy... we are off to have some fun!
*Throughout the season, AAA will bring you the Broadcaster's Blogs - "Davidge Dishes" and "Rimer Ramblings." The Columbus Blue Jackets radio and television analysts will try to keep you updated on all the season action through their blogs, especially when the Blue Jackets are on the road.