The Blue Jackets Have Scoring Problems Once Again

By Jacob Nitzberg on January 15, 2021 at 10:32 am
Jan 14, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson (13) attempts a shot during the second period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I don't blame you if you've scrubbed last night's game from your memory.

It was downright ugly. They were undisciplined, twice giving up odd-man rushes that led to goals and taking two penalties in the last ten minutes of the third period. 

However, the worst part about last night's contest was the Blue Jackets' complete inability to generate anything offensively. Their one goal last night came from one man making a play, and to be fair, it was a great one. Boone Jenner created his goal by himself. The rest of the team created absolutely nothing. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Blue Jackets created one high-danger scoring chance in the second and third period combined, and had two shot attempts at 5v5 in the third period. Sure, the Blue Jackets miss Gustav Nyquist. He's definitely a top-six contributor when he's healthy. They're not able to rely on him coming back this season, though.

If you decided to take a copy of this game, go back in time, and show it to someone last season, it wouldn't look out of place. That's an issue. Before the season started, John Tortorella noted that the Blue Jackets would have to be stronger offensively this season. After the first game, it's not clear how that will happen. After the Blue Jackets went down in the third period, the game was practically over. As it stands right now, they're not a team that's built to come back from deficits. Tortorella threw his lines in a blender in the third period, but it was to no avail.

Yes, it is just one game. But last night's game (and all of them this season) mean more than a game from any other season because of the shortened schedule. With only 55 games left, the Blue Jackets need to right the ship, and quickly. Forwards with one shot on goal last night include Cam Atkinson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexandre Texier, Emil Bemstrom, Eric Robinson, Max Domi, Nick Foligno, and Riley Nash. Liam Foudy had zero. Only three forwards had two or more shots on goal: Boone Jenner (two), Oliver Bjorkstrand (three), and Mikhail Grigorenko (three). Michael Del Zotto and Zach Werenski led the team with four shots apiece. That's not exactly a recipe for success. 

You can expect to see different lines when the Blue Jackets take on Nashville in a rematch tomorrow night. The question is if they'll be enough to overcome the offensive ineptitude that the Blue Jackets have been prone to recently. They were chasing for most of the game last night. They can't afford to do that for this whole season.