The Blue Jackets have managed three losses in a row on a West Coast road trip. The power play continues to baffle me, and it seems no adjustments are taking place. The penalty kill was supposed to be the best in the NHL. They are ranked 24th and ranked 30th in the powerplay.
I no longer fault the coaches, except for the lack of adjustments made. I am now putting equal blame on the players. I watched as much as I could handle of these games before turning them off. Let me just say out of 180 minutes of hockey on TV, I watched maybe 15 minutes. These guys are no longer playing like they can, and it doesn’t take long to see during a game if we’re going to win or lose.
Let’s revisit some phrases mentioned early in the year…
We will be a tough team to play against. My question is where is the toughness and where is the team? We will have a top four penalty kill. My response is how bad to you want it? Because it looks like no one wants it, except maybe the fans.
We traded Z for two defensemen who can really move the puck. My response is why did we let Hainsey go again?
We have some solid goaltending in Leclaire and Norrena. My response is Leclaire gets injured and seems to forget how to play sometimes. Oh and who is this Norrena guy?
We have a good leadership group and the point-man is our captain in Rick Nash. My response: is Nash the right captain? He shows no emotion, and I honestly don’t see him as a leader. Claude Noel, maybe you should use Nash as your point-man on the powerplay, eh?
Last but not least…The Christmas season is upon us, and that means holiday predictions. I have jumped the wagon for this season. Granted, I’ll still watch the boys play and root for them. Basically, I am saying that the Columbus Blue Jackets will miss the playoffs once again.
There are three reasons why: First, there is a lack of urgency/desperation/emotion/heart, whatever you want to call it. Second, your special teams are not even terrible anymore, they are non-existent. Finally, you simply lose the games that you should be winning without a doubt.
Let me end this bit by saying that I hope I can write you all looking back on this and laughing. Maybe I'll even be saying, what was I thinking? Here’s to hoping fellas…Posted in Bluejackets buzz Tagged: blue jackets, blue jackets playoffs, Fredrik Norrena, Pascal Leclaire, powerplay, Rick Nash