Three Players That Need to Step Up for the Blue Jackets to Get into Contention

By Sam Blazer on March 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets center Emil Bemstrom (52) moves the puck past Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm (43) during the first period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

Whether it is the fact that the Blue Jackets have actually won a game after a five-game losing streak or the fact that fans are back in Nationwide Arena, it feels like there is a little buzz around the team.

If they want to right the ship and ensure that they make the playoffs once again, they need these three players to become a bigger part of the team. That can be doing anything from scoring goals to just overall eating more minutes for the club.

Alexandre Texier

After a strong start that at one point nearly saw him at a point per game pace, Texier's contributions have cooled off significantly. There are a lot of factors that go into that but the one main concern is the ice time he is or isn't getting.

He has been played all throughout the lineup and the ice time he gets on a nightly basis isn't consistent. On top of that, he is also playing with anyone and everyone. It could be down on the fourth line or he could see some elevation from there. The lack of consistency is beginning to hurt the player. 

If they can find a lineup they like and stick to it, that will help the young player develop and hopefully continue to ascend to the level they need.

Max Domi

This definitely wasn't the start to the season that Domi was looking for. He came over in a trade for Josh Anderson and with it, the hope was that he would be a top-six center that would get the opportunity to steady the ship behind Pierre-Luc Dubois. Well, obviously, that has not been what has played out in front of us. Domi was been seeing time in the bottom-six and has been playing on the wing more than anywhere else.

The key to his turnaround is going to be consistency and not overthinking his play. He has been caved in a lot of nights and he has not been able to exit the zone as easily as you would hope. Getting pucks on the net and allowing the hockey gods to give you the right bounces is going to be a more effective strategy than passing around the zone with little to show for it. Simplicity will be key in his turnaround.

Emil Bemstrom

It doesn't have to be Emil Bemstrom in this spot. It really could be any young Blue Jackets player. They desperately need a forward outside of the marquee players to step up and contribute offensively.

Bemstrom provides the most interesting solution of the entire bunch given his skillset. He has one of the better shots on the team and can use his passing skills to open up other players. There is never going to be an exact moment where a player "needs" to break out but Bemstrom is beginning to teeter on that line. Is he all potential or is there a way to unlock his skillset on the North American ice. If he can contribute, then the Blue Jackets are on the right track.

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