The Columbus Blue Jackets Are A Staggering 2-14-1 On The Road

By Dan Dukart on January 12, 2023 at 1:45 pm
Andrew Peeke yells in pain after blocking a shot from Steven Stamkos
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There's an old sports adage that 'if you're going to bed bad, be bad on the road'.

For the Columbus Blue Jackets, well... let's just say they've taken that mantra to a whole new level. When the Blue Jackets play later today against the Carolina Hurricanes, the season will officially be half-finished. Win or lose, the club has disappointed, especially when compared to preseason expectations. Many of us have already embraced this season as a painful but necessary bottoming out, but even I will admit that humiliating losses are a bridge too far. Somehow lost in the shuffle of incessant injuries, disappointing goalie play, ice-time catastrophes, etc. have been the team's almost unfathomably bad 2-14-1 record on the road. They’ve lost 10 straight games on the road, a franchise record. Ten straight! 

With 42 games left in the season, there is little reprieve on the horizon. Just 18 of those 42 are home games, meaning 24 will be on the road, where teams historically underperform.   

Worst NHL Road Records 2022-23
Rank Team Record
32 CBJ 2-14-1
31 CHI 3-11-2
30 ANA 4-14-3
29 ARI 6-17-3

On the one hand, that is a completely inexcusable statistic. The club's 10-12-1 home record ranks 23rd in the NHL and is notable given the team's disastrous start and injuries. Why, and how, are they so bad on the road? Is it the inability to gain (and hold) momentum? Is it something that resembles intimidation? Are other teams' head coaches doing an incredible job of matching lines against the Blue Jackets? Who can say for certain, but whatever it is, it's bad.

On the other hand, that old adage of being bad as a visitor is apt in a lost season. Home fans don't want to pay good money (and/or waste time) to watch a bad team be bad. It's a bit more tolerable when the games are on TV. And, as I've confessed already, I believe that being anywhere in the mid-20s in a year with Connor Bedard and other elite players headlining a draft is a borderline criminal offense. 

Per, the Blue Jackets have the fourth most difficult remaining strength of schedule in the NHL, having to play the Boston Bruins (1x), the Toronto Maple Leafs (3x), Carolina Hurricanes (1x), New Jersey Devils (2x), Vegas Golden Knights (1x), etc. In fact, if their point percentage holds, they'll finish with 49 points, one of the worst seasons in the salary cap era. 

And if they continue this level of play on the road, they'll remain in the basement of the NHL standings. It's up to you if you think that's good or bad.