Just Have Fun With It: The Columbus Blue Jackets' Fan Guide To Watching A Young Team Grow

By Will Chase on January 28, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine celebrates his goal with Andrew Peeke and Boone Jenner against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets aren't necessarily a fun team right now. So here's a guide on how to have fun with the rest of the season.

After Wednesday's ugly 6-0, 62 shot, record-setting display from the Calgary Flames — most shots in one game all-time versus the Blue Jackets — and a performance that left many a Blue Jackets fan a little disheveled, it's time to reiterate the message:

This is a rebuild.

It's not a fun word. A lot of the fanbase knows this and recognizes that. But while some truly understand what that word entails, one has to remember there's a great possibility of there being more clunkers than not throughout the season. 

Not necessarily historic blowouts like on Wednesday against the Flames. And the 9-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Jan. 15. But really, just losses piling up. That's the cold, hard, unfortunate reality. More so than games like the 6-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 13.

All three of those games are extremes. The blowout losses are embarrassing, but not all too out of the ordinary for a team learning to find their way.

Some might be saying to fire this guy and emphatically typing out and tweeting sell, sell, sell! into the webiverse. We'll know in due time if the people in charge are the right people in place, while Jarmo Kekalainen is undoubtedly looking to make trades.

This 2021-22 season is all about getting better for the future.

That means playing one of 82 and trying to be better than the game before. Case in point, Thursday's 5-3 win over the Rangers on Thursday, just 24 hours after their loss to the Flames.

As a young team learning what it takes to win in the NHL against the best teams every night, these games aren't necessarily going to look pretty. In the third period against the Rangers, Joonas Korpisalo made 19 saves on 20 shots to fend off a furious Rangers rally.

The Flames came into Columbus off a 7-1 win over St. Louis Blues just two nights before. What exactly did you expect from a team who's 4th in the Pacific and top 10 in the league in GF/GP (3.26)?!

Maybe not 6-0 but probably a loss.

Another thing to point out ... we're not excusing terrible losses like 9-2 and 6-0. The Blue Jackets got fed by those teams, and now it's time to see how they respond as they did on Thursday. You hope they learn from the bad ones.

People, myself included, got a little giddy with the 7-3 and 12-6 start to the season. It's not that easy, and it wasn't going to get any easier. The going got a little tougher and now we're witnessing that on a daily basis. We got into it yesterday.

So, let's just have a little fun with it. Below is our guide for all the fun players and storylines to keep an eye on. Because when you watch this team, you should also be watching with a future lens.

  • More of this from Yegor Chinakhov 
  • Watch your favorite Michigan Wolverine, Kent Johnson, in the Olympics! 
  • Elvis Merzlikins may not win the f**king Vezina, but he's having the type of season you'd hope for from a guy taking over as the No. 1 (2.32 GSAA). Goalies don't typically walk away from 6-0 losses and live to tell about a plus-.900 save percentage.
  • Cole Sillinger could have been sent to play for Team Canada in the World Juniors (good thing they didn't send him) and yet, the 18-year-old kid has stuck around to show what he can do. The dude's only getting better! Ryan Reaves is a fan. 
  • Get ready for the NHL trade deadline on March 21. Kekalainen is going to be making some big moves with the idea of helping out the team for the future. Who knows who could be on their way out, but it's always an interesting time.
  • Take a break! Check out the other NHL games, or even just take a night off. It's good for the soul.

Just remember, it's not that serious. This is a light-hearted guide to having fun with the Blue Jackets for the rest of the season!