Why are the New Jacket Forwards Limited to ~ 20 Goals?


Here is a tiresome question, and sorry for the Nash utilization still. How many times over the years have you heard something to the effect that Rick Nash’s goal production is limited by his centers that he’s played with in Columbus? Being only a 3 year fan, I have heard it, and heard it, and heard it. Some of you may have ear sensitivity having heard it so often.

But let’s apply the same logic in a more practical and current way. Columbus now has a stable of forwards that are projected to score about 20 goals per season.  Headlines– Columbus will have to score by committee. Etc., Etc.. Applying the same premise as above, with the right center, couldn’t some of these “20 goal scorers” become 30-40 goal scorers? Could someone[s] break out and become a prolific scorer with the proper center?


What I am saying is that the development and chemistry of the Blue Jacket center corpse could make a huge impact on the goal production in Columbus. Currently on the Blue Jacket roster there are about 6 centers. Sorry for the about, but so many are multiposition players. In the middle of the summer there is not much else we can do but to go back to the good old statistics from last year and see what we can find.  The centers are supposed to be the master distributors of the puck and therefore assists, let’s look at the centers and their assists for last year.

CenterassistsageNHL games
Brandon Dubinsky2426424
Derick Brassard2725275
Ryan Johansen122067
Mark Letestu1427136
Derek Mackenzie731193
Artem Anisimov2024270

Sorry, at first glance, there does not seem to be a lot here. But it is safe to say, that in part assists are a product of: on ice assignments, experience, and teammates. MacKenzie spent most of last year on the 4th line, a checking line, which included such prolific scorers as Jarad Boll. Johansen spent most of his year out of position as a winger, learning to play in the NHL, as a complete newbie,  and floating between lines, most of which were not the top 2 lines. Letestu became a center after the trade deadline and the other centers departed. Brassard played wing, played lower lines and was reinstated as a top 6 enter after Todd Richards became coach. His game progressed exponentially at that point.

I’m not sure what to say about the 2 ex Rangers. They supposedly had down years. But this year, with a different coach and a different assignment and responsibilities?????

There is nothing that says the forwards are about 20 goal scorers. Hopefully we will see some breakout playing.