Columbus Blue Jackets: Players Need to Push Through Adversity

The Columbus Blue Jackets through their first eight games are floating at a perfect .500%. Where they go from here is based on the adjustments John Tortorella and his staff make the next few weeks.

So far early in this young season the Columbus Blue Jackets are sitting at 4-4-0 and have looked like a great team with lots of potential at some points, and very shaky and unstable at other points.

In the first game of the season, the Jackets looked great jumping out to a quick lead against Detroit, but faltered hard towards the 3rd. They luckily won in overtime. But that game could’ve had a completely different feel if the Jackets had lost in overtime to the NHL’s worst current team in the Red Wings.

The Jackets second contest against Carolina showed what could happen if the Jackets don’t start out strong and play like how they have in most of the 2nd and 3rd periods so far this season. It was the same in Tampa Bay, and against Chicago and Arizona.

So far this season Sergei Bobrovsky looks shaky at best, and while not every goal has been his fault, he certainly hasn’t helped with his attitude and lazy play when left out to dry by his defenseman.

While the Jackets defensive core is relatively young, there is no excuse for the play from last night against Arizona. Almost all of the Coyotes goals came from defensive breakdowns or turnovers that were unacceptable.

The forward group that came to play last night needs a spark on the bottom end. While shot production is there, nobody can seem to bury the puck. Alexander Wennberg can’t finish, Oliver Bjorkstrand can’t find a way to get shots off. Sonny Milano gets the puck and loses it faster than he can skate with it. Riley Nash has looked like a pylon so far in his time with the Jackets.

The Philadelphia Flyers game showed what this team can truly be when the players are all giving effort and are buying into the adjustments made from coach Tortorella. From starting out strong, to going down in the 2nd period, then showing resiliency in the 3rd to come out on top by pounding through adversity.

Where this team goes is up to the players adjusting to adversity. The change needs to start with the players being accountable for what they do on the ice.