The Columbus Blue Jackets Have Had a Lack of Finish This Season As Past Clutch Goal-Scorers Have Been Unlucky

By Max Steele on December 14, 2019 at 10:15 am
Dec 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) shoots the puck as Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny (6) defends in the first period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

"Snake bitten" (adjective) - a colloquial phrase denoting one who has been unlucky

Much has been said about the Blue Jackets' abysmal shooting percentage this season.  They're out-shooting, they're out-chancing, but very rarely are they out-scoring.

Many have attributed this result to a lack of finishing talent on the teams roster.  It's great to have players that can create opportunities for scoring, but a team needs clutch players to finish those expected goals.

Often lost in the discussion is the fact that the Columbus Blue Jackets roster does boast some finishing talent, at least players who have been proclaimed as goal scorers in the past.  However, these players have failed to score at the same rate this season.  This article will take a look at the players on the Blue Jackets roster who are under performing compared to past goal totals, but may rebound as luck turns their way.

Josh Anderson

It's been a rough season so far for Anderson.  After missing time at the beginning of the season with what was believed to be a re-irritation of a lingering playoff injury, he has struggled to produce with only 1 goal in 25 games played.  However, they are signs he will bounce back.  Anderson's career shooting percentage hovers around 10.5% (league average is 9.11%), but this season he's hitting the back of the net on only 1.6% of his shots.  He may not get back up to his career average this year, but if regression to mean means anything, Anderson should finish the season with more than the 3 goals he is on pace for.

Cam Atkinson

It's a similar story for Atkinson.  However, he's had a little more success, scoring 7 goals in 31 games.  But it's different narrative for Cam Atkinson.  Atkinson's charge for the year was to prove he could score without the help of former line-mate Artemi Panarin and, so far this season, he has not helped himself in that discussion.  Nevertheless, he may also be suffering from an unlucky streak that may end if the numbers regress.  Atkinson currently has a 6.9% shooting percentage that will most likely improve closer to his 11.5% career percentage.

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Though Bjorkstrand has been performing (arguably) better than the two previous wingers, he may be the most "snake bitten."  He may be one of the best forwards on the team right now and should have more goals to show for it.  Over the course of Dec. 5-9's stretch of New York, Florida, and Washington, Bjorkstrand had a tremendous amount of high-danger chances and though he did score one goal (bouncing off the shaft of his stick) in those games, he probably could have had at least 3 or 4 scores in that stretch.  Bjorkstrand's percentage is also lower than his average.  If his 6.8% this season, regresses to his career 10.1%, perhaps he'll have stretches where those chances do fall.

Everyone on the Blue Jackets roster can be considering struggling right now, at least in terms of consistency.  However, in terms of finishing talent, the Columbus club has goal scorers who are under-performing and unlucky.