Total Team Effort: The Blue Jackets Are Finding Ways to Win

By Jacob Nitzberg on October 25, 2019 at 1:45 pm
Oct 24, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Sonny Milano (22) celebrates a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

It looked like the Blue Jackets' point streak was in jeopardy last night at Nationwide Arena.

Alexandre Texier scored to make it 1-0, but then an odd-man rush and two turnovers later, it was quickly 3-1 Hurricanes.

The Blue Jackets had no intention of letting it stay that way. Ryan Murray, whose turnover made it 2-1 Hurricanes, scored to make it 3-2. Then, Sonny Milano, whose turnover made it 3-1 Hurricanes, scored to knot the game up at 3 apiece. Head coach John Tortorella preaches a culture of accountability, and there's no better example of it in action than Murray and Milano owning their mistakes and getting the Blue Jackets back into the game.

In overtime, Pierre-Luc Dubois beat his man and fed Cam Atkinson for the game-winner, and the Blue Jackets now have a six-game point streak.

They've gotten it done by committee, as we saw last night. Dubois is the Blue Jackets' leading scorer through ten games with four goals and two assists. Typically, when a team's top scorer is operating at just over a .5 point-per-game pace, it's not a good sign. In the Blue Jackets' case, it hasn't been a problem. 

Columbus has scored 26 goals in ten games, courtesy of fourteen different skaters. During the offseason, GM Jarmo Kekalainen made it clear that the plan to replace the scoring lost by free agent departures was to find it internally. So far, so good.

While the Blue Jackets would certainly like to be scoring more than 2.6 goals a game (which is 23rd in the NHL), they've been able to get by. They've been cutting it close, though. Last night was their eighth straight one-goal game and fourth straight game that went to overtime, which hasn't been ideal for the heart rate of Blue Jackets fans everywhere.

No matter the adversity or challenge, these Blue Jackets just won't quit. Thanks to the media, there's no pressure on them to be good this season, but they're starting to prove the doubters wrong.

"We're supposed to suck this year," said Tortorella after defeating the Maple Leafs 4-3 on Monday night.

"We're just gonna worry about our own business and take it a day at a time."

It seems like a good plan so far.