Columbus Blue Jackets Week 4 To-Do List

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 21: Zach Werenski
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 21: Zach Werenski /

The Columbus Blue Jackets had their first rough week of the NHL season. Here’s what they have to do to bounce back.

Last week the Columbus Blue Jackets went 1-2-0 as they hit their first rough stretch in the season. The to-do list for the Jackets included scoring on the power play, integrating Markus Nutivaara into the d-corps, and pile up four points over three games.

The Jackets did score on the power play but most would agree problems still exist. They were a putrid 1-9 on the power play last week. 11% isn’t anything to brag about.

Markus Nutivaara did play although he didn’t look spectacular. Nuti saw his playing time significantly decrease as the week progressed. He played 16 minutes against Winnipeg, 12 against Tampa and only 10 against the Kings. I think this points towards Nutivaara being replaced by Gabriel Carlsson this week. Gaby should return from injury in time to play against the Buffalo Sabres.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets /

Columbus Blue Jackets

Finally the Jackets failed to take home four points this week. After a nice win in Winnipeg to start the week the CBJ fell to the top two teams in the NHL at home. Not getting any points at home was especially disappointing against the Kings on Saturday. That game should have at worst been an overtime loss for the Jackets.

Win at Home

The first thing on the Columbus Blue Jackets to-list is to get back on a winning streak at home. The Jackets entertain the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets at home on Wednesday and Friday respectively. There is no reason the Jackets shouldn’t take it to these two below average teams.

Following three off days the Jackets should be rested and healed up for the game against the lowly Sabres. Boone Jenner will have had two more practices with the team at full strength and Gabriel Carlsson will return to the third pair. Winnipeg should be another win as they have serious goaltending issues.

Winning these two games at home following two losses is at the top of the to-do list for week four.

Power Play Success

This is going to be on the to-do list for a while. Scoring on the man advantage is something that should come at a regular frequency for this team. 20% is well within the realm of possibility.

The power play goal against Los Angeles on Saturday is promising. The CBJ also manufactured some decent opportunities on one of the other man advantage situations they had against the Kings. Shots are coming at a better rate and the goal is a sign of hope.

The Jackets have been averaging around three power play opportunities a game. They should aim for two power play goals this week.

Top Line Chemistry

I don’t see Torts breaking up the top line anytime soon but there has been chatter about shaking things up. Cam Atkinson could be a candidate to move down a line to try and disperse some scoring opportunity.

The top line does need to shake things up though and get things rolling offensively better than it has been in recent games. I hope this week things continue to get better and 9-10-13 start playing better together and continue to figure each other out.

Next: A Winnable Three Games Ahead

Whether they play better together or a shake up is needed, this week will tell us if that line stays together. The Jackets need to figure out how best to deploy these three great skaters.

The Jackets failed to check off any of their to-do’s from last week and it showed going 1-2-0. The Jackets must check off two of the three action items on this week’s list in order to get back to their winning ways.