The Five: Five Unique Statistics In Columbus Blue Jackets History

By Ed Francis on October 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm
Lancaster Gazette

The Columbus Blue Jackets should be about ten games into the 2020-21 season.

But they're not, and compliments of COVID-19, they likely won't hit the ten game mark until January at the earliest.

So while we wait, let's have a little fun and look at five numbers for the Columbus Blue Jackets that are some combination of fun, interesting, informative, and just plain cool.

#5: 11

What is it? The number of different players to be named to the NHL All-Star Team.

From Espen Knutsen in 2001 to Joonas Korpisalo and Seth Jones last season, the Blue Jackets have had 11 different players named to the All-Star team in franchise history. No one in Columbus has made it more than Rick Nash; who was the only Blue Jacket selected between 2004 and 2012 and has been to the game five teams in all. 

Nick Foligno, Ryan Johansen, and Sergei Bobrovsky made the team when the game was at Nationwide Arena in 2015, though Bobrovsky was injured and did not play. Jones and Zach Werenski are the only two blue liners to make it.

Other Blue Jackets to represent Columbus in the game are Ray Whitney, Brandon Saad, and Cam Atkinson. 

#4: .727

What is it? The Blue Jackets all-time point percentage against the Florida Panthers; the highest over any team.

Columbus and Florida have met 33 times, and Columbus has walked away without a point in only eight of those games. They're 23-8-2. Extrapolated over a full season, that would be a 119-point season for the Blue Jackets. 

One of those 23 wins came to end the 2019 calendar year and was delightful. A win over Sergei Bobrovsky, a hat trick for Zach Werenski, and the first career win for Elviz Merzlikins.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Blue Jackets worst point percentage checks in at .377. They've got a 20-35-1-5 all-time record against the Colorado Avalanche - which would be 62 points over a full season. Ouch. 

#3: 23

What is it? The jersey number that has been worn by the highest number of players. 

Despite being a franchise for just 19 seasons thus far, jersey #23 has been worn by TWELVE different players. Most recently, Stefan Matteau wore it for nine games last season and looked good doing it. Before Matteau, Ian Cole wore it for the limited time he was a Blue Jacket in 2018 and David Clarkson wore it for 26 games over two seasons in 2015. 

Before that, though? Alex Selivanov, Kevin Dahl, Derrick Walser, Dick Tarnstrom, Tom Sestito, Milan Jurcina, Brett Lebda, Matt Frattin, and Brian Gibbons. Between those nine players, #23 was played 292 games and had 22 goals. More than half of those games (150) and goals (16) came from Selivanov and Walser. 

(This does not bode well for Stefan Matteau.)

#2: 24:42

What is it? Seth Jones career average for time on ice; the highest in franchise history.

Seth Jones is the man. We all know it. But over nearly two decades of blue liners fighting for ice time, no one has averaged more time on ice per game than Jonesy. His 24:42 average beats out Adam Foote by 16 seconds and Jaroslav Spacek by :33, and he's more than two minutes ahead of any other current Blue Jacket (Zach Werenski, at 22:31). This stat is a testament to the faith that head coach John Tortorella (rightfully) has in him. 

One other noteworthy number here is 20:38; it's the leading average for ice time for a forward, and is owned by Ray Whitney.

#1: +43

What is it? David Savard's career plus/minus, the best in team history. 

I have a love/hate for the plus/minus. It can be valuable in telling how productive a player is against his opposition on the ice, but worthless without knowing all of the story; who's on the ice, what's the situation, etc.

When it comes down to it though, I lean towards loving the stat, and in almost two decades of Blue Jackets hockey, no one has a higher +/- than Savard. That's tricky to do as a defenseman - he's the only blue liner to appear in the top five, though Zach Werenski (+22) is making a slow but steady run up the ladder. 

We're talking regular season here, so playoff games aren't factored in. But I don't care. I look for any opportunity to show David Savard deking Victor Hedman in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, so here it is again:

Behind Savard, former Blue Jacket Artemi Panarin is +37 and ranks second in franchise history. Behind him are Cam Atkison at +33 and Oliver Bjorkstrand at +30. Rounding out the top five at +27 is (newly) former Blue Jacket Josh Anderson.

Which of those did you find most interesting? Shout it out below. 

View 2 Comments