Columbus Blue Jackets

Is there a reason to be worried in Columbus after starting their season 0-7-0?

Stats for the past 3 seasons:

Year7 game recordEnd of season recordNote:
2012-132W 5L24-17-7      55 ptsTied for 8th in western conference, but lost to Minnesota on tie breaker
2013-142W 5L43-32-7     93 ptsMade the playoffs
2014-154W 3L42-35-5      89 pts-After first 7 games, lost 8 in a row

– 508 man games lost (most in NHL) to key players

The Columbus Blue Jackets are renown for starting off the year slow. What differs this year from past seasons? Team defense has been awful. The Jackets are constantly turning over the puck over and are having trouble putting the puck in their opponents net. Columbus has only scored 13 goals (1.86 goals per game) and given up 34 (4.86 goals against per game) a differential of -21 in their 7 games played.

Given the lack of enthusiasm from the Blue Jackets and a lack of responsiveness to head coach Todd Richards, it was only a matter of time before something had to give.

After their 7th loss in a row to the New York Islanders on October 20th, 2015, Team president John Davidson and General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen decided a change was necessary. That’s when they reached an agreement with Vancouver Canucks previous head coach John Tortorella.

John Tortorella trying to get to Bob Hartley
John Tortorella trying to get to Bob Hartley in the locker room

Tortorella is best known for his off ice demeanour. Whether it be getting into shouting matches in the hallways or arguing with reporters, Torts is always good for a quote. On ice, he demands a lot from his players. In the short term, I expect them to turn the season around. I do not believe his coaching style is one that will work for an extended period of time in the new NHL.

 

Internally, the Blue Jackets had high expectations going into the season and the o-7-0 start this year is not what they were expecting. Tortorella should be able to spark his players and make them competitive for the rest of the year.

It may sound crazy so early in the season, but with the league’s parity, we can only hope that their slow start does not cost them a spot in the playoffs.

Daniel Pancer

Spark Sports NHL Analyst

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