The Columbus Blue Jackets are hoping that December will be as good for the team as November was.
November started and ended on a high note for the Columbus Blue Jackets. There wasn’t much of a dip in between either as the team finishes the 11th month of the year with a record of 9-3-2. Sure there were some down moments but the month on the whole was a success.
The Jackets sit one point out of first in the division just behind the Washington Capitals who needed a seven game winning streak to take over the Metro mantle. The Jackets did win the only matchup of the top teams on November 9th in the nations capital. It was one of many big wins the Jackets had in November.
Offensively the Jackets were great. The CBJ score 50 goals over 14 games. Leading the charge was Cam Atkinson who scored 10 goals in November. That includes a hat trick against the Carolina Hurricanes which came in the middle of a franchise record seven game streak with a goal. Cam also had five assist for 15 points in 13 games.
Columbus Blue Jackets
His fellow Jackets on the top line also played exceptionally well. Although Artemi Panarin went through a double digit goalless streak, Panarin racked up the assist. The playmaking winger deserves a lot of credit for Atkinson’s streak and of course, Panarin got off the shnide with a goal against Detroit on November 26th.
Pierre-Luc Dubois is rolling as well. Eight goals and eight assist in November for the 20 year old was great for the Jackets and all of the fantasy owners out there who drafted PLD late in their drafts. Dubois has fully emerged as a top line center on a top five line in the NHL this season.
The depth is still producing but not at at an elite level. The line of Anderson – Jenner – Foligno has been good and is a solid second line option but not as good as the five or so Stanley Cup contenders.
The real disappointment is the lack of production from the third line centered by Alexander Wennberg. The team is still looking to find the proper combination to join Wennberg and Brandon Dubinsky. Both Oliver Bjorkstrand and Anthony Duclair have been healthy scratched in November for their lack of checking. They also frankly haven’t been scoring like a skilled winger should with a playmaking center like Wennberg.
The defense has been providing a nice punch though. Seth Jones had two goals and nine assists after coming back from his injury in late October. Zach Werenski, after being a split up from Jones has rejoined him on the top pair and it is going well. Nutivaara and Murray have cooled off but aren’t a complete drag on the system.
Overall the offense did it’s job. 3.57 goals per game will win you a ton of games especially when you have a two time Vezina winner in net. It was a solid month for the offense.