Columbus Blue Jackets need to make a change


Oct 17, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing

Bryan Bickell

(29) and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman

Cody Goloubef

(29) fight for the puck during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I wrote about my optimistic view of the first four games of the season. Things really didn’t look that bad, the Jackets were controlling possession, while producing more scoring chances than they’re opponents. At the time it seemed like the win-less record was more a result of bad luck and a soon to end slow start in goal for Sergei Bobrovsky, and if Columbus continued to play the same way things would inevitably get better.

Well two games and three days later and things look a little different. Over the weekend, including Friday night, the Boys in Blue were out-shot in both games by a total of 64-50. That moved they’re season long per-game shot differential from an outstanding +5.8 (4th in the league), all the way down to +1.5, still better than the goal differential suggests, but ranked only 14th in the league.

The loss against Chicago was expected, that’s an excellent well constructed roster that has been playing together for years, a victory against them is never going to come easy. But 6-3 against the Leafs? That’s a terrible sign.

We could talk till the cows come home about the talent on this roster, the strength of the process, and all the things that should be leading to better results. I still believe wholeheartedly in each, but at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter, something needs to be done to change things up.

The only thing that remains to be debated is what that something is.

Some people believe it’s the coach, I’m not one of them. From what we can tell on the outside Richards isn’t good, he might even be terrible. Tinkering constantly with the Forward lines is rarely a good move, makes it hard to develop chemistry with the guys your playing with when it’s a different set every week. In addition anyone who follows this team can tell you that the forwards are not the problem.

But firing a coach during the season is just not a good idea.

The candidates to fill in are often not very appealing, most premier coaches want a full training camp to institute their system. Even if you do get someone you like there’s simply no time for them to change anything in a meaningful way. There really isn’t any evidence to support the idea that firing a coach in season helps teams get better

The real solution is obvious when you apply the eye test, Columbus needs to improve the D.

When your forwards are controlling possession and producing scoring chances the way the Blue Jackets have been so far, it really doesn’t make any sense to be 0-6. Until you take a look at each of the goals against and realize that there is never a blue shirt within twenty feet of the shooter (except of course when the team they’re playing against also wears blue).

This needs to be addressed as soon as possible, they’ve ignored it for far too long, and the defense as it is currently simply isn’t good enough if management seriously expects to compete. I’d rather not see a complete pilfering of the forward unit/prospect pool in order to accomplish a trade, but at this point pretty much any asset is on the table if it will bring back a defensive improvement.

Till that change happens keep your head up, stay positive, and hope the scoring chances start turning into goals more frequently. Even with their defensive problems the Blue Jackets are not playing as poorly as their record suggests. Tonight they face the Islanders in Nationwide, who knows, maybe their luck will finally change.

More from Union and Blue