After signing Riley Nash in the offseason to a three year, $2.75 million a year contract, the expectations were that Nash would come in and push Alexander Wennberg for the second line center role. That has not come to fruition. In fact, Nash is now on the fourth line as a winger and still struggling.
There are no obvious reasons for the 29-year-old’s struggles but answers need to come soon. He has only four points in 38 games for his new team. Often it can take time to acclimate to a new city and team but after 38 games you expect to see some progress and none has been shown.
Another offseason signing that started off the year well has had his season since turn sour. Anthony Duclair started off the year hot and had one of the goals of the year early on agains the Flyers.
Since he has gone cold and even been scratched on more than one occasion. Coach Torotrella has not been happy with his defensive play and after a few games of not producing offensively, Torts thought he had no choice but to sit the young winger.
Alexander Wennberg hasn’t been pushed by Nash but hasn’t performed anywhere near where the Jackets need him to be at. Wennberg has only one goal on 37 shots this year. Wennberg is a playmaker that has racked up 17 assist but there have been stretches of games where the young Swede disappears. Wennberg has to shoot more as teams don’t respect his shot and just play the pass.
Finally we’ll throw Sonny Milano in this group who just can’t figure out how to stay in a John Tortorella lineup. While part of it is Tort’s incessant on checking, Milano didn’t help his cause with his offensive performance scoring only one goal in eight appearances.
Milano was sent down to Cleveland where he has played in 19 games scoring 18 points but is -12. He has been scratched from the lineup as well. When Nick Foligno missed the game on New Years Eve to be at his daughters surgery, the Jackets didn’t even call up Milano, instead opting for Eric Robinson. I think we may have seen the last of Milano in Columbus.