Hockey

Brandon Dubinksy – Perhaps the leading example of a belcher/grunter/scowler that is held up as leadership and grit for a team when his actual usefulness disappeared somewhere during Obama’s second term. Certainly doesn’t hurt that he has a last name that’s a modern iteration of “Grabowksi,” which the Ditka-philes that make up a majority of NHL front offices cover themselves in vaseline for. Dubes has spent the last two seasons getting his team backed into its own zone while he points and yells at clouds. He’s currently pulling his patented move of being hurt.

Nick Foligno – See above, but with the captain’s “C.” Foligno also has the added bonus of being a former player’s kid, which in the NHL boots your overall rating at least 25%. He’s only ever scored more than 20 goals twice in his far too long career, and for that he’ll take him $5.5M this year and next before the Jackets extend him so he can be the Ohio version of Mikko Koivu.

John Tortorella – This guy won a Cup, folks. While we’ll always stan for a guy who loves and rescues dogs as much as Torts does, you can bet one of the reasons both Bobrovsky and Panarin wanted to beat it out of town as quickly as possible was to get away from this guy. But this is the NHL, where a coach like this can pants an actual forward-thinking coach like Jon Cooper (not that Cooper ever needs much of an excuse to toss his pants aside). Clock must be ticking on this guy as the Jackets head into another rebuild after the monumental accomplishment of winning one playoff series.

Everything Else

Nick Foligno is a fine player. That’s just about it. He’s deified in Columbus as he’s the captain of the team. He had one great season of 31 goals and 73 points, conveniently signed an lucrative extension for $5.7M a year during that season, and hasn’t come close to those numbers since. Strange how that happens. But it happens a lot, and it’s not Foligno’s fault that the Blue Jackets thought he’d shoot 17% the rest of his career. Get it when you can, while you can, as Dennis Hope told us.

Foligno is that rugged winger that teams love to make captains, and it’s all the better if they’re the son of an NHL-er. If you’re the son of an NHL player you basically have to shit your pants for a month straight before the league gives up on you. If Brady Tkachuk’s last name was anything else he’s probably a third-round pick. That’s just how these things go.

The problem with Foligno, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with him personally, is that when Artemi Panarin toddles off to whatever East Coast port throws an oil tanker of money at him, there will be a rush from Columbus front office types and media to declare that Panarin isn’t the type you win with, Foligno is.

On paper, that’s not totally incorrect. No team with Panarin on it has won a playoff series. Panarin himself has floated between dominating playoff games and not even appearing to be in the building. You could make that argument and it would be hard to disprove.

But…the Jackets haven’t won a series with Foligno either. And for a long while he was taking up a top-line winger role that he couldn’t live up to but was expected to because he did once on a fluke and he puts his face first into things. These types are teflon in the league. If you’re Canadian and run face-first into the boards a lot, everyone in hockey assumes you’re a winner and not just a dumbass.

You’d think teams would get it now, as the last four Cup winners were based off the starring brilliance of Duncan Keith, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Evgeny Kuznetsov and not on the graft of a bunch of humps grunting and sweating the puck up the ice. It’s getting better, as teams realize that actual skill is the top priority. But there’s still a long way to go.

Foligno’s fine. He should be a passenger and not the driver.

 

Game #7 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Chief_Blue_Meanie vs oldschool

Game Time: 7:30 Central
TV/Radio: CSN, WGN-AM 720
At Least It Isn’t Indiana: The Cannon

Despite the fact that the Hawks have pissed their pants a little bit over the last week and a half blowing games to non-playoff teams in Dallas and Philadelphia, there is still an outside shot at home ice in the first round given their games in hand. But with Nashville once again beating top teams and the Blues getting Kevin Shattenkirk back, the schedule makes the ascent steeper starting tonight with the Blue Jackets, who while well out of the playoff picture have won four straight and eight of 10.