Zach Werenski Scored His 42nd Goal As a Blue Jacket in the Team's 4-2 Loss to the Colorado Avalanche and Now Holds the Team Record for Goals by a Defenseman

By Max Steele on November 10, 2019 at 8:01 am
Oct 12, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) stops with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't a pretty goal, but it's an important one.

With 50 seconds to go in the first period game last night against the Colorado Avalanche, Zach Werenski fired a shot from above the left circle.  The heavy shot snuck under the right pad of Avalanche goaltender, Pavel Francouz, and barely trickled passed the goal line.

It's not how you draw it up, but its a goal that is both important for Werenski and the Blue Jackets franchise.

The goal was Zach Werenski's 42nd goal as a Blue Jacket, the most all-time for a Columbus defenseman.

The long-standing record of 41 had been held by Rostislav Klesla since he left the team in 2011.  Werenski has now scored more goals than the previous leader in about half as many games.  He is sure to pad the record in years to come, but he can't get too comfortable.

Just behind Werenski in the all-time defenseman goals list are two other current Blue Jackets: Seth Jones and David Savard (both have 40 goals, respectively).

While Werenski is the most offensively-inclined defenseman in the race, don't count out a hefty challenge from Jones and Savard.  Jones, though more of an all-around member of the back end, has a powerful slap shot and plays an incredible game at three-on-three in overtime.  Savard, while mostly a stay-at-home defenseman, has also shown flashes of offensive prowess.

It will continue to be a fun contest to check-in on throughout the year and seasons to come.

Although Werenski obtained the franchise mark, it came in a frustrating loss to the Colorado Avalanche where the Blue Jackets, again, outshot the opponent, but couldn't create scoring.

"The puck's got to start dropping for us here," Werenski said in his post-game comments.

The Blue Jackets defenseman didn't leave it at that.  He shared the strategy for getting some "dirty" goals, mentioning that the team has to get some "rebounds, some screens, some tips."

"We're getting the shots, but we're not getting the goals," Werenski said restating an all to familiar refrain from the Blue Jackets this season.

"We had some jump, had some chances, but just didn't finish."

While the Blue Jackets' finish continues to hold back the team, Werenski's record is a positive outcome outside the column of wins and losses.  Perhaps the mark gets the young defenseman going and the "dirty" goals will come. 

But the consistent lack of burying chances has plagued the team through 17 games and looks to continue for the foreseeable future.