Blue Jackets Tie Franchise Record With Fifteenth Overtime or Shootout Loss

By Dan Dukart on March 5, 2020 at 1:45 pm
Joonas Korpisalo looks on in 3-2 OTL against Calgary Flames
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the good news: the Blue Jackets sure know how to get themselves an extra point.

Here's the bad news: they really struggle to find a way to get that second point once they're in the extra session.

With the brutal loss in Calgary, in which the Blue Jackets blew a third period, 2-0 lead only to see it vanish before losing in overtime, their OT record fell to 8-11. Add in their ineffective work in the shootout (0-4), and they've fallen to 8-15 with the extra point on the line. 

Those 15 losses tie a franchise mark for OT/SO losses set back in 2009-10, a season where the team went 32-35-15, fired Ken Hitchcock, hired Claude Noel, and promptly decided that Scott Arniel would be better served to lead the team the following year. The franchise has since stabilized, and frankly, it's hard to complain too much about their inability to win in OT this year (though I tried a few months ago) given their almost hilariously long laundry list of injuries. Still, it's hard not to wonder what this season would look like if they were even league average in the extra session.

Then there's this from The Athletic's Aaron Portzline:

Since the NHL started using shootouts to settle games in 2005-06, only two clubs have played in more games that were settled in overtime than the Blue Jackets (19) have this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 2016-17 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Chicago Blackhawks each had 20 games decided after regulation and before the shootout. Meanwhile, only four teams have lost more overtime games (again, since 2005-06) than the Blue Jackets’ 11 losses this season. That same 2016-17 Red Wings team lost 13 games in OT, and Colorado (2018-19), Detroit (2017-18) and Nashville (2015-16) each lost 12 OT games.

Unsurprisingly, their 15 OT/SO losses leads all NHL teams. The league median has lost in OT/SO eight times, and the seven extra points would put the Blue Jackets squarely in control of a playoff spot. It's not like OT is the only issue. In the shootout (again, they're (0-4), their failure is rivaled by only the Boston Bruins (0-7) and Los Angeles Kings (0-3).

On the other hand, the Blue Jackets have sent 23 of their 68 games (34%) of their games to overtime, a ridiculous percentage, and it's fair to say their ability to acquire the bonus point with such regularity has kept them in the playoff race.

Talk about a catch-22.