Strong Overall Play by the Blue Jackets is Being Overshadowed by a Lack of Scoring

By Chris Pennington on March 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm
Matt Duchene has only one goal in his first ten games for the Columbus Blue Jackets, after having nearly a goal every other game for the Ottawa Senators

© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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The Columbus Blue Jackets can't seem to find the back of the net.

And if the team's strong play despite that isn't comforting enough for you, you're not alone.

"It's frustrating," said forward Matt Duchene after a 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday night. "You beat him (Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss) three times and the puck doesn't go in...it's frustrating. I thought we did a lot of really good things."

Duchene referring to Greiss getting beat three times was actually three shots by the Blue Jackets hitting the post throughout the night - just barely missing an opportunity for a goal.

Which, seems to be a theme lately for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus has been shutout three times in the last six games - and have scored only 14 goals since the NHL trade deadline, where they aimed to load up their offense for more firepower with Duchene and Ryan Dzingel.

Their overall offensive play has been good, though, which makes the scoring drought even more staggering. In these past six games, the Blue Jackets have averaged a 54.1 CF%, and only trail in high-danger scoring chances 44-50. 

This is an encouraging sign, but just one month away from the beginning of the playoffs, these silver linings won't be anything to coast on.

Duchene then offered his thoughts on what could be plaguing the scoring, even during strong offensive play:

"I think there's times where on the rush we could create a little bit more. We're maybe a little tight sometimes with the puck, instead of making a play and taking a chance. But our offensive-zone is outstanding."

But at the end of his interview, even Duchene had to let out a sigh of confusion (certainly not relief). Sometimes, this is just a part of a year that teams battle through:

"I can't put a finger on it man, the puck's just not going in for us right now. It's something we gotta work through and continue to keep chances and shot against done until we can work through this."

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