For the first time in probably close to ten years, I have found myself in a playoff lull. I spent the year immersed in Blue Jackets culture, surrounded by speculation, disdain, celebration, and inevitably disappointment, and I have to think that it directly contributes to the sense of numbness I feel towards the current playoffs.
Sure, I will take satisfaction in seeing Columbus' divisional rivals slowly get eliminated, cheering for teams a conference away, or those who have fought for forty yeas without a cup to show for it. Sure, I will enjoy the extremely tight games that sneak into overtime, fate twisting around every rebound. But I just cannot seem to get emotionally attached to it. I have yet to anticipate game time, but more so turn on the game already in progress. I have taken advantage of the nice weather over reading the team coverage on some of the major news sites.
But I wonder if it is really a matter of dealing with the inability to find a team to get behind and root for, or if the idea of playoffs has been somewhat muted from my mentality after another disappointing Columbus season. Certainly there is optimism to be had. The Jackets will continue to drop their dead weight year after year, replacing the positions with prospects budding in the minors, and better free agents... and maybe that level of expectation has me stricken of interest for that purpose, to simply wait out another year or two so that I may finally enjoy and extended playoff run by the Blue Jackets.
While the playoffs will heat up and my interest level will likely rise with it, I have a lot of excitement for the World Championships. Columbus is well represented by Canada with Methot, Nash, and Vermette accepting roster positions, although I am certainly disappointed that Mason opted out. The first games begin on the 29th of April and I am optimistic that many will be televised on NHL network or at least somewhere online.
Finally, CTFs scouting analysis will continue later on this week with the 2007 installation, which included the city hosting the draft, and Scott Howson's first presentation to the crowd. Stay tuned for that and the final piece reviewing the 2008 draft.
Carry the Flag!