The Curious Case of The Columbus Blue Jackets' Best Players

By Chris Pennington on March 8, 2019 at 11:15 am
Though he's had five assists in the time frame, Artemi Panarin only has one goal in the last nine game for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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There's been some cloud-cover over the Columbus Blue Jackets' best players as of late.

And it hasn't come at the most opportune time.

When the NHL trade deadline finished, the Blue Jackets proudly possessed the most current 20-goal scorers in the league at six players. Their names? Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Josh Anderson, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel.

In the six games since the deadline, the Blue Jackets have scored just eight regulation goals. Of those eight goals, these six 20-goal scorers have only tacked on three of them. And two of them have been from Atkinson. 

And on the back end, Seth Jones, Zach Werenski and Sergei Bobrovsky haven't been up to their normal par, either. Werenski hasn't scored in the year 2019, and Jones *only* has 39 points, 18 back of his career-high in points a season ago.

Let's take a little dive into what the past six games have looked like for the Blue Jackets' top-end talent. More specifically, their top-six goal scorers, their top defensive pairing, and their top goaltender: 


Top Blue Jackets' Scorers (Since Feb. 26)
  Goals Assists Points +/- Shooting % CF%
Artemi Panarin 1 5 6 -7 5.6 58.6
Cam Atkinson 2 1 3 -7 11.8 55.4
Pierre-Luc Dubois 0 1 1 -3 0 49.1
Matt Duchene 0 1 1 -4 0 60.5
Josh Anderson 0 1 1 -2 0 54.5
Ryan Dzingel 0 2 2 0 0 49.2
 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Jackets' Top Defensive Pairing (Since Feb. 26)
  Goals Assists Points +/- CF%
Seth Jones 2 0 2 -5 53.6
Zach Werenski 0 3 3 -5 58.6

 

 

 

 

Sergei Bobrovsky Statistics (Since Feb. 26)
  Wins Losses SV% GAA
Sergei Bobrovsky 2 3 .878 3.2

When you take a look at the scoring statistics above, it makes sense that the Blue Jackets are in the slump that they are in. Their top-six scorers have three goals combined in six games, the defense isn't contributing a whole lot either offensively, and Sergei Bobrovsky was not at his best.

But looking at the Corsi For % of all the skaters is...interesting. It seems that the Blue Jackets' best players are dictating pace and controlling the puck when they are on the ice. They just don't seem to be doing much with that control.

At that point, you wonder if it could be a multiple of factors:

Is the team melting under "all-in" pressure from the organization, fan base and themselves to the point where they're overthinking every chance they get? Surely everyone has noticed a little too much passing in the offensive zone lately, and timidity when a scoring chance arrises.

Could it be the constant line combination switches from the coaching staff? Building chemistry with line mates is no easy task, and when they're changing before nearly every other game, and multiple times in-game, you have to question if it's affecting players' ability to get into a rhythm.

Whatever is causing the scoring drought, it would be good to figure it out quickly - especially with how tough a schedule is remaining for the Blue Jackets.

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