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How will Columbus bounce back from the Flyers debacle?

Nov 5, 2011, 9:43 PM EDT

Scott Howson, Scott Arniel AP

It would have been fascinating to be a fly (or more appropriately, a cricket) on the wall during the Columbus Blue Jackets’ second intermission tonight. What do you say to a team that fell behind 8-0 to the Philadelphia Flyers on its way to a 9-2 loss and 2-11-1 record?

In a way, that depressing locker room scenario mirrors the messy big picture in Columbus. By all reasonable measures of logic, GM Scott Howson and head coach Scott Arniel are on their way out. Jason rightly indicated that could happen anytime between now and their next game on Thursday (and that was before one of the worst beatings in franchise history).

Obviously, we’ll keep an eye out for an official decision during that period (or maybe beyond), but the Blue Jackets face some tough questions regardless of when the inevitable should happen.

1. The Blue Jackets are stuck at five points for the season while no other Western Conference team is below 11. Should they just “punt” 2011-12 anyway and hope for Nail Yakupov or some other top prospect to spearhead a new direction?

2. Steve Mason allowed six of those goals tonight. Is it best to give him time to turn it around under a new regime or should the team cut ties with their letdown in leg pads?

3. Is Ken Hitchcock the best man to do a Jacques Lemaire impression or would it be best to go in a different direction in the front office?

Those questions show why it’s often more complicated than just pressing the big red “fire” button. Still, sometimes the results are so stark that it’s the only thing to do – but how would you try to turn this moribund franchise around once that happens?

  1. philsosexy - Nov 5, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Seriously..just fire both of them, something has to change

    • nhlbruins90 - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:06 PM

      It’s never a good idea to act rashly, but seriously, these guys should have been gone after 10 games. They might have tried their best, but if it goes this badly, your gone. Just the way it goes.

  2. epictron1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    The main problem with the Jackets is Steve Mason. He kills the team by his poor play. I say that they have to fire the GM, at least. The GM built the team knowing that Mason has been a problem.

    Also, Ken Hitchcock is not the answer.

  3. nhlbruins90 - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    Put Hitch in there for the rest of the season. That team needs a good kick in the ass from an old scary mf coach. Then start from the beginning. Trade any and all players and rebuild from block number 1. A season long project. It’s a certainty that they’ll get one of the top superhero draftees. Hopefully CBJ won’t destroy whatever draft pick they get next season. I’d take a 50% pay cut just to get the hell out of there at this point.

    What is it they say about the best laid plans? Too bad really, they had such high hopes.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:19 PM

      They destroyed Mason pretty handily. I wouldn’t put great odds on them getting it right on their next lottery pick.

  4. donttouchthedirtypenny - Nov 6, 2011 at 6:14 AM

    Start packing for Quebec.

    • cannonblast14 - Nov 6, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Guess you missed the memo, Jackets are in Columbus until 2039. Drop the Quebec crap.

  5. govtminion - Nov 6, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    With Hitchcock now the coach of the Blues as of this evening, that means Columbus… well, should have made their move a couple of days sooner. The question is, now what? Even the replacement coach they had in mind is off the table- will anyone want to stick their hand in the blender and risk ruining their career by running this mess of a franchise?

  6. nhlbruins90 - Nov 6, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    You’ll call me crazy, but I’d give Barry Melrose the rest of the year to see what he could do with this bunch. Of course, after the debacle in Tampa, he may not want to step into another sh**storm again. Even so, he must be tired of the obscurity of ESPN hockey, although it’s a solid paycheck.

    This year is a lost cause, but he might be able to get that group to gel a bit with a combination of old school toughness and new age bs. What’s the worst that can happen. Just promise him the full remainder of the season.

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