Patience in Columbus Wearing Thin as Blue Jackets Swoon Continues

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are in full-blown “December Swoon” mode, having gone 3-9-3 since their historic 14-6-0 start.

While this is taking place once again, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson is continually preaching the same themes:

“Patience”
“The fix is from within”
“I believe in this team”
“We have an entire new coaching staff” (in response to criticism that only one roster change was made over the summer)

By Ed Cmar

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Columbus Blue Jackets: How to Guide to Stopping the Swoon

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During the 2009-2010 regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets opened the season with a franchise-best record of 12-6-2. However, what followed was a horrible 3-14-7 tailspin which not only took the Blue Jackets out of any chance of returning to the Stanley Cup playoffs, but it also cost their head coach, Ken Hitchcock, his job.

After last season’s terrific start, the next 12 games set the tempo for what was to follow, as the Blue Jackets posted a 2-6-4 record. Analyzing how this could have happened really wasn’t that difficult, as the Blue Jackets, while winning, were doing so by the narrowest of margins. When they lost, it was usually of the blowout variety.

Specifically, the Blue Jackets abandoned Hitchcock’s tight-checking, defense-first, attack the neutral zone only when a fail-safe situation occurred. This resulted in the Blue Jackets giving up several odd-man rushes on defense. And although their morbid power play rate skyrocketed from one of the worst in the NHL, it also resulted in giving up an inordinate amount of shorthanded goals.

By Ed Cmar

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NHL Power Rankings

Now that we’re into the month of December, we can now see which teams have are legitimate Stanley Cup playoff contenders and which teams have begun their descent towards the NHL draft lottery.  To coin a phrase once used to jumpstart a struggling team, “It starts now.”

With that, here are the power rankings for the week ending December 10th:

By Ed Cmar

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