Columbus Blue Jackets: How To Stop the Bleeding

December 21st, 2010 by Ed Cmar Leave a reply »
During the 2009-2010 regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets opened the season with a franchise-best record of 12-6-2.  However, what followed was a horrible 3-14-7 tailspin which not only took the Blue Jackets out of any chance of returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it also cost their head coach, Ken Hitchcock, his job.

After last season’s terrific start, the next 12 games set the tempo for what was to follow, as the Blue Jackets posted a 2-6-4 record.  Analyzing how this could have happened really wasn’t that difficult, as the Blue Jackets, while winning, were doing so by the narrowest of margins.  When they lost, it was usually of the blowout variety. 

Specifically, the Blue Jackets abandoned Hitchcock’s tight-checking, defense-first, attack the neutral zone only when a fail-safe situation occurred.  This resulted in the Blue Jackets giving up several odd-man rushes on defense.  And although their morbid power play rate skyrocketed from one of the worst in the NHL, it also resulted in giving up an inordinate amount of shorthanded goals.

There were other issues as well, most notably Stev ...

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