Why has the Blue Jacket organization struggled to find any success on the ice?
The 2023-2024 NHL season is looking very familiar to CBJ fans, as the Blue Jackets are in the cellar when it comes to the NHL standings. In the 23 seasons of Blue Jackets hockey, the organization has finished 21st or lower in the standings 14 times (out of 30-32 teams). They have made the playoffs a total of six times (if you include the 2020 COVID bubble) and only made it out of the first round of the playoffs one time. That is just not good. This organization has been a proverbial loser since its inception. What has led to this perennial failure?
Could it be the training staff? The Blue Jackets have historically struggled with injuries. Take the 2022-2023 season: the Blue Jackets lost 545 man-games to injury, which was second in the league. With an 82 game schedule, one can see how missing many of your top players for a significant period can hamper your season. This has happened in multiple seasons dating back to the inaugural year. Could it just be bad luck that players are getting hurt? Perhaps.
It could also point to a poor strength and conditioning regiment set forth by the training staff. Maybe the players are not in the best shape, which leads to more injuries against players who are in shape? The off-season workout routines and in-season training needs to be examined to optimize player performance and keep our players playing. This organization has never had a team that looked bigger, faster, and stronger than the opposition and that could stay healthy for an entire season.