Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Seth Jones Jersey Card

I boldly predicted the Columbus Blue Jackets would beat and eliminate the Tampa Bay Lightning late last night, and Seth Jones' powerplay game winner continued his clutch play for his team as the first of four steps in in that direction.

It'll be a long and hard-fought series, but the Bolts - who this year tied the NHL record with 62 regular-season wins - have never faced an adversary like this. Don't get me wrong, they've played against great teams - last year's Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals, for one, and the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2014-15 Final - but this team is a different beast altogether.

You've got no less than five key players (star winger Artemi Panarin, star center Matt Duchene, skilled winger Ryan Dzingel, defenseman Adam McQuaid, and the only active two-time Vezina-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky) performing to earn their career-defining contracts on July 1st; a top-quality defense that nearly matches Tampa's, with Jones as the centerpiece, accompanied by McQuaid, 2012 second-overall pick Ryan Murray, All-Star Zach Werenski, Team Canada alumnus David Savard, and as depth pieces, former second-rounders Adam Clendening and Scott Harrington; also a forward corps that includes legitimate first-liners Pierre-Luc Dubois and (captain) Nick Foligno, heart-and-soul checker Brandon Dubinsky, 40-goal man Cam Atkinson, rising star Oliver Bjorkstrand, tough rookie Alexandre Texier, and a bunch of solid soldiers; and last but not least, head coach John Tortorella.

There is simply no other coach like Torts. Oh, there are far better tacticians, but no better motivator when he actually has enough time to get to know his players. It's not just manipulation on his part (like, say, Guy Boucher), nor tough-for-toughness'-sake like Claude Julien or Ken Hitchcock; no, Torts has his players' trust that he will defend them if he senses a will to sacrifice towards the team's goals, and he rewards effort. And he makes speeches like these:
That's after the first period, which saw Tampa build a 3-0 lead. Full disclosure: I stopped watching the game live at that point.

Again, he's a different beast.

And when Jones plays like the guy who finished fourth in Norris Trophy voting last season, the Jackets know any game's within hand.

Here he is wearing the magnificent Blue Jackets' alternate uniform, on card #GJ-SJ from Upper Deck's 2017-18 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
It features a white game-worn jersey swatch. I found this card so pretty that I paid $5 for it on Ebay (plus shipping).

No comments:

Post a Comment