Without a Stanley Cup, Blue Jackets Defenseman Zach Werenski Says It Was a "Failed Season"

By Paul Berthelot on April 27, 2018 at 8:20 am
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Zach Werenski has been with the Blue Jackets for just two seasons, and has already experienced two disappointing first-round exits.

He knows what this team is capable of and is keeping expectations high.

“I think we expected more out of ourselves this year, go up 2-0 on the road, coming back home we don’t get a win and I think we just had higher expectations and we should we’re a good hockey team and fell short of our goals this year," Werenski said. "At the end of the day if you are not holding the Stanley Cup, I think all hockey players would say it’s kind of a failed season.”

From an individual standpoint, Werenski had a fine playoffs with three points in six games. However, he didn’t look like his usual dynamic self on the ice which led to speculation that he was dealing with an injury. When asked about a potential injury, Werenski didn’t want to divulge too much.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now," he said. "I still gotta talk with management and the training staff here, try and figure out a plan.”

There was never any consideration on Werenski's part to consider shutting it down for the season.

“No, I mean obviously I want to play and I missed a little bit of time at Christmas there and I think that’s all I needed to feel good enough to play, but it definitely sucked for sure,” he said.

Werenski had a much larger role this season, seeing his average time one ice increase by close to two minutes. He played on the top pair with Seth Jones and faced the opposition’s best players most nights. He didn’t think defensive responsibility affected his offensive game.

“I had a pretty good year goal scoring, I didn’t get as many assists as last year, but just try and go out there and help this team and whatever that that was, scoring goals or trying to be good defensively I just try to do my job," he said. "It wasn’t good enough this year, myself personally, and obviously as a team we’re sitting here on a first round exit. I think we have work to do this summer myself included.”

His point production fell from 47 points in 78 games to 37 points in 77 games. We tend to forget how young Werenski is, he’s only 20, and that growth is not always linear. Werenski had an up and down season, but he feels this season way more than last year helped him grow as a player.

“I think it makes you a better hockey player, makes you a little bit more mentally stronger, I think last year was pretty smooth sailing for me and I don’t think I learned as much as I did this year," he said. "I think this year will make me a way better hockey player than last year did.”

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