Grading The Columbus Blue Jackets: 8 Games In


The season isn’t even 10% complete this year, the Columbus Blue Jackets have only played eight games, yet here is a way too early look at some grades for the team. I will take a look at the offense, defense/goaltending, and an overall look at how I feel they have stacked up so far this season.

Last year after eight games the Columbus Blue Jackets were 3-5, had yet to make a three game California road trip and were -3 in goal differential. This year the Blue Jackets have mall-walked out to a 4-4 record, made their annual three game California road trip and are a -2 in goal differential. They had played 3 teams that ended up making the playoffs during the first eight games in 2013, while already playing 5 teams this year that made the playoffs in 2013-2014. Being that they have 1 more win, which would have put them ahead of the Flyers last season, and just seem to be an overall better team this year….Grade: C+.

The offense had 17 goals in the first eight games of last year giving them a 2.125 goals a game average, this year they have put up 23 goals in 8 games, giving them a 2.875 goals a game average. That is with three Top 6 forwards being injured to start the season, Brandon Dubinsky, Nathan Horton, and Boone Jenner have yet to log a minute of ice time. They have averaged more goals a game, all while having key pieces of their team injured….Grade: B.

The defense lost Nikita Nikitin, to no surprise it has not affected them negatively. They have continued to show weaknesses, however they are also getting used to new pairings all while not having their stud Ryan Murray in the lineup. Tim Erixon is getting used to logging minutes in Columbus not Springfield, and Dalton Prout has once again found himself in coach Todd Richard’s dog house. Sergei Bobrovsky has only flashed his “BOBness” a few times, to the tune of a 2.81 GAA and a .908 SV% while appearing in all 8 games. Bobrovsky would have definitely liked multiple goals back this season and the defense could use a reset on a few assignments….Grade: C-.

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Overall, this team has made me feel like they are going to win it all as well as making me feel like they could have another first round exit if the defense and goaltending does not improve. Then I think about the injuries they had going into the season, all the injuries they have sustained already during game play, and then take a deep breath. This Columbus Blue Jackets team has talent up and down its roster, we need to give them some time to adjust to new pairings and get healthy, once they do that watch out. However they are only .500 after 8 games, they could be 5-3 with closer loses to the Ducks and Kings….Grade: C.