Blue Jackets Remain Winless in October
Will they make the playoffs or not? That was the question surrounding the Blue Jacket's before the NHL season began for them on October 7th. Since then, the only question is, will they win a game in October? The Blue Jackets, currently 0-7-1, are last in the NHL and are not looking to catch up any time soon.
Moving on from this week, they only have four remaining games in the month of October. The opponents are not going to get much easier than the 2-5-0 Ottawa Senators that the Jackets lost to with 36 seconds remaining in the game on Saturday (no seriously, one goal lead with 36 seconds left in the 3rd, they lost by one – here's proof). From here they move on to play the 7th, 8th, and 9th ranked teams in the NHL before closing out the month with a not-so-bad 4-2 Anaheim Ducks.
At least the Jackets have Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski though right? Wrong again. Wisniewski was suspended the first eight NHL games for this hit on Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild in a preseason game that took place on September 23rd. He will make his first Blue Jackets appearance Tuesday when the Blue Jackets take on the Detroit Red Wings. Jeff Carter was placed on injured reserve 10-18 after sustaining a hairline crack on his right foot. He will be reevaluated most likely before the Buffalo Sabres game on October 27th.
There are a couple of bright spots in the Blue Jackets season thus far. Rick Nash and Vinny Prospal, who was signed by the Jackets on the off season, have three goals and five assists each in the first eight games of the season. The Nash-Carter-Prospal line remains one of the most dangerous lines in the NHL. The second chin-up stat is the fact that the Blue Jackets still have to go another 22 games before breaking the NHL record for longest winless streak (currently held by the 1980-1981 Winnipeg Jets at 30 games).
If we take a look into the eight Jackets losses, they really aren't as bad as you may think. They have lost fives games by only one goal and an additional two games by only two goals. They haven't looked terrible in their losses either. Giving up a one goal lead and losing in regulation with 36 seconds remaining in the game is something even the '74-'75 Washington Capitals wouldn't excuse.
The only sure thing is that this is exactly what Jackets general manager Scott Howson and head coach Scott Arniel did not want. Columbus has been slow at pointing fingers in the past; however, a bust on this season, and it would seem that team will have to make some moves in the corporate offices. The Blue Jackets have only made one playoff appearance since their eleven year NHL history.
Follow Frank Leppar on Twitter @dugup46 for instant NHL updates on the Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins.