Columbus Blue Jackets Visit Washington Capitals, Still Looking to End Slide


If it weren’t so depressing, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ misfortune this season might be almost comical. After dropping two more games this weekend, the Jackets are solidly in last place in their division with a measly record of 4-9-1.

Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The weekend wasn’t all bad; they at least got one point. Losing in overtime to Carolina was at least an improvement over the previous few games. It was however, not fun to watch the Jackets drop back-to-back games against the Hurricanes. Actually, it was quite painful. And then there was Saturday night. We aren’t going to talk about that.

So let’s move on to tonight’s game:

The Jackets head to Washington to face a Capitals team that is 3-2-3 at home, and 6-5-3 overall, good enough to put them at third in the metro division. The Capitals are riding a high right now, coming off of two wins after having dropped the previous five. They’ve just come back from a lengthy losing streak, so hopefully the tides will turn and the Jackets can do the same tonight.

As always, the player the Jackets will have to watch out for tonight is Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin is the Caps’ leading scorer, with 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points in 14 games.

Those are some impressive numbers, but the Jackets have two players ahead of Ovechkin in scoring in this early season: Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno. Johansen has 6 goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 14 games, and Foligno has 7 goals and 8 assists for 15 points in 13 games this season. Tied with Ovechkin, Scott Hartnell has 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in 14 games as well. They will be the three players the Capitals will have to watch out for tonight, as they’ve been three consistent players on the scoreboard all season.

Only problem: the scoring hasn’t been enough. The Jackets need to find a way to turn those points into wins. They have three consistent players who rank among the NHL’s top 30 so far this season, and yet they find themselves only one point away from being the worst team in the league. Something’s gotta give.

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Hopefully, as the team begins to return from injury, things will turn around, but for now, they need to find a way to scrounge up some points, and it would be nice if they started doing that tonight in Washington. If they can pick up two points tonight, they can then rest for a few days before heading to Philadelphia on Friday and then returning home to face San Jose on Saturday. Of the three teams the Jackets will be facing this week, the Capitals have the least amount of points and will likely be the best chance the Jackets have to pick up two points this week. They need to turn things around, and do it now. Pick up two points in D.C. and move on with this season, leaving this losing streak behind.