Union and Blue Roundtable: Columbus Blue Jackets Strength and Weaknesses

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 5: Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a save against Josh Anderson #77 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period on April 5, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 5: Matt Murray #30 of the Pittsburgh Penguins makes a save against Josh Anderson #77 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period on April 5, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Espy with an Epiphany

Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 17: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets defends the net in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sergei Bobrovsky /

What about this Jackets team should scare opposing teams the most?

WE: Definitely the defensive depth would scare almost any team in the NHL, especially with the first pairing of Werenski and Jones when they’re healthy.

The other thing that will give a scare to other teams would be the dynamic Artemi Panarin and his ability to make a play from nothing. Those are the two most important aspects of the team, but they can’t forget Pierre-Luc Dubois and his antics either.

What is the biggest weakness of this Jackets team?

WE: The biggest weakness on this team is consistency. Many skaters play well for a while then go into a massive slump that takes them weeks or months to get out of. Just take a gander back at December and January of last season.

Sergei Bobrovsky is another question mark. He typically has either a great season or a fairly bad season with no in between. Based off of preseason, it’s trending toward a down year for the Jackets starting netminder.

Who will lead this team in scoring this year? 

WE: Oddly enough, since I’m counting on a Panarin trade at some point in the season, I’m not picking the Breadman. I see a Pierre-Luc Dubois break out season planting him firmly at the top of the scoring ladder.

The Blue Jackets should have balanced scoring which means more than likely one player won’t have a substantial lead in points over the others, but PLD should be near the top with Seth Jones right behind him.

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What is your bold prediction for this season?

WE: Brandon Dubinsky bounces back with a 40 point year while Alexander Wennberg continues to struggle. I expect a more motivated and hungry Brandon Dubinsky while Wennberg seems to have become complacent.

Dubinsky will then pass Wennberg on the depth chart and lead the second line. Wennberg will become trade bait before his contract becomes a massive waste of money.