The Fuse: While the Blue Jackets Keep Humming Along, Their Approach Can't Change When They Get Reinforcements

By Rob Mixer on November 27, 2017 at 6:00 am
Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson
Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

These are good times for the Blue Jackets.

They own the NHL’s longest active winning streak, which currently sits at six games.

They’re back in Montreal tonight seeking a seventh straight win.

They’re 15-7-1 and eerily close to the 23-game pace they opened with a season ago.

Oh, their goaltender is the best in the world.

And their power play abjectly stinks.

That last point is probably the only legitimate hole you can poke in the Blue Jackets to this point; despite not having the full complement of their depth and, further, their No. 1 center in Alexander Wennberg, they’ve won 15 of their first 23 games. Entering tonight’s game in Montreal, the Blue Jackets are one point back of the New Jersey Devils for the division lead and they have one of the best 5-on-5 teams in the league.

So, when Wennberg returns (and it sounds like it’s on the horizon), the Blue Jackets will be challenged to maintain the habits that have kept them without a loss in his absence.

Yes, they’ll have more options. Their lines will probably change, but that hasn’t stopped them lately. Their power play might still struggle and their offense could continue to be inconsistent. But what’s fed their success lately – a balanced lineup that skates and owns the puck – has to continue to be their bread and butter.

Why are we bringing this up? Because it’s human nature to let off the pedal when you know you’re about to get help. The Blue Jackets aren’t yet among the league’s elite, and every win they pocket is the product of a considerable amount of work.

Their style suits them well, and it’s proven to be successful when you consider their 65-31-9 regular season record since the start of 2016-17. Only one team, the Washington Capitals, has been better over that time frame.


Lucasfilm – with the assistance of JJ Abrams and now Rian Johnson – have created the most intriguing villain in Star Wars lore with Kylo Ren, or the artist formerly known as Ben Solo. 

With The Last Jedi only a few weeks away and the internet going nuts about potential plot points, character arcs and wild theories, I keep coming back to Kylo Ren. Why did they write him as this vulnerable kid who keeps having to prove to himself that he's truly evil? There's a lot of meat on the bone with him, and I get the feeling we're not going to know what hit us after seeing what happens to him in this movie. 

The alliance with Rey, or the notion of one, has been the most popular suggestion. But it's kind of forced (no pun intended), isn't it? He's infatuated with her, and she's repulsed by him and the murder of Han Solo. Naturally, a writer would bring those two together. They could well end up like that, but the reasoning behind it is what fascinates me.

Thankfully, the wait shortens each day. Can't wait. 


  • Kyle Morrison wraps up a productive week in his latest "What We Learned" column. It's a good one.
  • Coverage from Friday's win over the Senators includes a recap, analysis, and post-game quotes.
  • Thanksgiving is a huge benchmark for NHL observers – how do the Blue Jackets stack up?

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