Injury Riddled Blue Jackets Have Their Lack of Depth Exposed Out West

The Blue Jackets ran into two juggernaut teams over the weekend, losing both games by a combined 10-3 score.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vegas Golden Knights
Columbus Blue Jackets v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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The most difficult part of a rebuild might just be what happens when your team starts running into injury troubles. The Blue Jackets have certainly felt that sting over the last two seasons.

This team has struggled to win games all season, even when healthy - but now on a trip out west, with injuries piling up; we're again being showed their lack of quality NHL depth.

On Friday night, they took on the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. The Jackets started out pretty well, scoring the game's first goal just 4:28 in.

But the Avalanche took the game completely over. They scored 6 unanswered goals, and by the time the final buzzer sounded, out-shot the Jackets by a 51-24 margin. Those 51 shots were the most allowed by the Jackets this season.

Things didn't get any easier for the team from there. Clearly, whoever makes the NHL schedule did them no favors, as they went to Vegas to play the defending Cup Champion Golden Knights the very next night.

Again, the Jackets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead - which they carried into the first intermission. But the Knights stormed out in the second, tying the game 3:31 into the period. Then, a lapse in coverage defensively cost the Jackets dearly.

The second Vegas goal gave them the lead, and got the crowd into the game. From that point on, it felt like they were on a power-play for the rest of the second period.

It was yet another critical mental mistake by a Blue Jacket defender; something they have not been able to figure out this season. What is Erik Gudbranson doing on that play?

The Knights went on to win the game 4-2, out-shooting the Jackets 47-22 in the process. If you haven't done the math already, it wasn't pretty. Two games. 10-3 combined score. 98-46 combined shots.

A big part of this is on the coaches, in my opinion. First, why do they keep getting burned by missing simple defensive coverages? And second, let's look at ice time usage...