The Fuse: Let's Hope Boone Jenner Gets Going, Because the Blue Jackets Need Him

By Rob Mixer on December 5, 2017 at 6:00 am
Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner

Aaron Doster - USA TODAY Sports

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Man, what the hell has gone wrong with Boone Jenner?

This is a tough one. I love the guy.

He’s a genuine, good dude and is passionate as can be about the Blue Jackets. There’s a reason Todd Richards put a letter on his sweater a few years ago – people follow his lead. It’s been that way since he captained the Oshawa Generals in the OHL (and even back farther than that) and even when he broke into the NHL as a young kid…the guys around him are drawn into the fight because of him.

And this isn’t a propaganda piece for Jenner. The truth is that the Blue Jackets need him.

On his best day, he’s a 15-20 goal scorer who plays hard and pisses people off. He’s a guy who bangs around the front of the net and keeps offensive zone possession alive with his work along the walls. Doesn’t that sound a lot like what the Blue Jackets need more of?

Jenner hasn’t been the aforementioned player yet this season. And to be fair to him, he missed all of training camp with a “middle body” injury (what on earth?) and didn’t make his season debut until late October. He missed a good chunk of time and it took him a bit to get up to speed, but since he’s come back, there’s been something missing.

Whatever it is, the Blue Jackets could sure benefit from him finding it. He’s got 20 games under his belt so far in 2017-18, and the results have not been encouraging.

Jenner’s 5-on-5 Corsi (CF%) is a staggering 44.9% – worst on the Blue Jackets. Regular line mate Brandon Dubinsky isn’t far off at 47.63%, and part of the story here is that those two have played the bulk of their minutes together. Is one’s play affecting the other? Dubinsky went a long time between goals and Jenner’s got a handful, but it’s not early anymore. It’s December, and two guys making a combined $8.7 million have combined for six goals.

Six.

Sonny Milano has five on his own, and he’s in Cleveland.

It’s easy for some to sit back and say the Blue Jackets can get by without Jenner, and in the short term, perhaps they can. But that’s also suggesting they don’t need 15-20 goals (they do) from a player who, when at the top of his game, can ignite his team. I don’t want to sound overly old-school here, but I believe there’s something to be said for that.

For now it appears John Tortorella will give Jenner a chance to play through this funk, albeit in a limited role starting tonight. The funk has contained some odd stuff, too, particularly for Jenner: two straight offensive zone penalties last Saturday in Washington? Can’t recall that, ever.

It’s a test, a challenge, whatever you want to call it – Tortorella is waiting for Jenner to respond and earn his way back up the depth chart. His play will determine whether the message was received.


THE SUPERCUT

I'm generally not into fan-created trailers and videos, but I thought this compilation of footage from The Last Jedi teasers and trailers was pretty badass. 

Yo, guys...nine days.

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