Three Things: Defense Is Optional, What About Bob, and Who Are The Blue Jackets?

By Sam Blazer on December 4, 2018 at 10:08 pm
Alexander Wennberg tries to put the puck on net with Mark Giordano trying to track him down

Russel LaBounty-USA Today Sports

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The Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the Calgary Flames, 9-6. At first glance, that is a lot of goals, but when looking at the box score (or after watching the game), it's clear that the Blue Jackets had an epic meltdown. It was not their first meltdown of the year and is problematic for a team that hopes to be a Stanley, Cup contender.

Here are your three things for the evening:


D-d-d-defense

The Blue Jackets defense is widely considered to be one of the best groups in the entire league. When you go down each pairing, you see a player that could easily play up in another lineup. The issue with them? On certain nights they can find themselves sticking in the offensive zone too long, struggling to make crisp passes and making poor decisions.

This was one of those nights, and because of it, the Blue Jackets blew a three-goal lead, giving up an astounding nine goals in the loss. Sergei Bobrovsky was not good, but he didn't get any help from a defense that allowed the Flames to do anything they damn well pleased offensively. That needs to change.

Bobrovsky Problems?

Speaking of Bobrovsky, he is in the last year of his contract with the Blue Jackets – and hasn't been playing exceedingly well. He isn't exactly a problem, but he also isn't a solution for anything the Blue Jackets are trying to do in net. The crossroads for the two sides isn't here just yet, but with more performances like this, a separation won't be too heartbreaking for either side.

So what should Columbus do with Bobrovsky from here? He doesn't need to be a world-beater to keep them in games. They need consistent saves in net. Not being able to provide that has been his playoff modus operandi and now it is leaking into the regular season.

Deciding Who The Blue Jackets Want To Be

The Blue Jackets are punishing their offensive players for not playing good enough defense. For some reason, the defensive players that aren't good enough offensively get a pass. 

If Columbus is intent on going all-in on an offensive approach, they should go for it. Don't feed a line that certain players don't meet a standard that half of the forwards don't meet anyway. Play a different style or utilize the offensive weapons you have. Those are your options and playing in the gray area is hurting them.

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