The Columbus Blue Jackets are scoring goals in bunches.
Just on the surface, they're putting up over three goals per game (3.29 per NHL.com) and that's good for ninth overall in the league.
Diving deeper under the hood, they are 15th in the league during 5v5 scoring with 30 goals on the season (32 goals against, per Natural Stat Trick). The club's power play is 10th in the league (22.5%).
They've already had two games this season in which they didn't even have a power-play opportunity, but started the year with power-play goals in the first four games with which they had the man-advantage.
Then there are games like Monday against the Detroit Red Wings in which they whiffed on four opportunities, but generated quality chances and were buzzing as a result, spilling over into the rest of their game and eventual 5-3 win.
This stat is both random and also probably means something -- the Blue Jackets have had 16 different players record goals this season in 13 games, while 21 of 24 skaters have recorded at least one point (and one of two goalies as well). #CBJ— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) November 18, 2021
Just think how this team's offense takes shape once a healthy Max Domi and Patrik Laine are back in the lineup.
Domi has looked impressive with four points (one goal, three assists) but has only been able to play in four of the Blue Jackets' 13 games due to his fractured rib injury and then bout with Covid-19. He's since cleared protocols and could be back on the ice for the team soon.
#CBJ coach Brad Larsen said he knows Max Domi is itching to get back after his Covid absence, but the team is playing well enough that there's no need to rush him.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) November 18, 2021
"The smart move here is to wait and give him some more ice time and help him get his legs and his lungs back.
Laine has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and is currently on IR for 4-6 weeks recovering from his oblique injury.
With the absences of Domi and Laine, this has opened opportunities for guys like Yegor Chinakhov, who delivered his first-career goal against the Red Wings and then won the game, 5-4, Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes in a seven-round shootout.
First career goal for Yegor Chinakhov... and WHAT A CELLY, TOO! pic.twitter.com/7xqombdW17— NHL (@NHL) November 16, 2021
Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen knows he might have another secret weapon for the most opportune time. “We all know his shot is lethal," said Larsen. “If you give him time and space — if you can calm his mind down enough, which he did tonight — there was no question, it was huge.
“He gets on the (shootout) list for me.”
Even goaltender Elvis Merzlikins is contributing to the offense. Literally.
It's only a matter of time before Merzlikins scores an empty-net goal at the rate the offense is clicking. And it's something the goaltender specifically wants to check off the list. He does have an assist, which came on Alexandre Texier's goal in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Nov. 6.
We haven't even talked about the resurgence of Boone Jenner.
The first-year captain has 11 points (nine goals, two assists) after scoring eight goals all of last season. Jenner had the near hat trick Thursday night against the Coyotes with two more goals to give him a two-game goal streak.
Over the last seven games since Oct. 31, Jenner has recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) going only one game without a point in that span.
Is the 'C' on the sweater giving him an added boost?
The added array of talent around him and his mates on the ice sure help. The Blue Jackets have had four players already this season net their first-career goals: Chinakhov, Justin Danforth, Gregory Hofmann, and Cole Sillinger. Zach Werenski (four goals, six assists) is one to be counted upon, and his next point will be career No. 200. He's riding a three-game point steak (2-2) and two-game goal streak.
Despite only having one goal, Jake Voracek is a point-per-game player (30th in league) due in large part to his 14 assists. He's enjoying a seven-game point streak (one goal, nine assists) after two more assists on Thursday night.
Cole Sillinger on Jake Voracek: "Hes always talking on the bench. Hes always finding ways to expose the other team and creating little plays that he thinks that will work out there."— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) November 11, 2021
Voracek is having an early impact on #CBJ both on and off the ice. https://t.co/h4dc1wEmAN
Oliver Bjorkstrand is continuing a strong start at 1.21 points-per-game (five goals, 12 assists).
The elevated offense has been a lot of fun, and it's this kind of scoring identity we've needed to see from this team. Specifically after how dreadful that area was for the club last year.
It's a big, big part why this resilient bunch is 9-5-0 and can never be counted out of games.
Columbus is 6-3-0 when the opposition scores first and 4-3-0 when trailing after two periods. They lead the league with five come-from-behind third period wins, and have outscored teams in the final frame 19-17 (13-8 on home ice).
While you don't want to have to rely on the nightly comeback, it's nice to know the team has been capable of doing just that.
As we approach Thanksgiving, the Blue Jackets are a really fun and interesting team and the offense is a huge element to be thankful for.