When the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t talking about injuries heading into this season, they were talking about getting off to a strong start.
“That’s going to be our team goal,” Fedor Tyutin said to NHL.com during the summer. We don’t want to use injuries as an excuse. We still have good players here.”
Things haven’t exactly gone to plan so far.
Jack Eichel‘s nifty goal was the highlight of Buffalo’s 4-2 win against the Blue Jackets, but it’s been almost all low-lights for Columbus. They’re off to just their second 0-3-0 start in franchise history.
That 2011-12 Blue Jackets team missed the playoffs by a wide margin, managing only 65 standings points.
Of course, the difference this season is that they came into the year with high expectations, ranking as a dark horse candidate in plenty of minds.
Between two losses to the New York Rangers and today’s defeat to Buffalo, the Blue Jackets have been outscored 13-6. Four of their six goals have come on the power play, a disturbing sign for a team that aims to be rat-level pesky.
Yes, it’s only three games. There’s plenty of time for Columbus to turn things around.
Still, this is a disturbing pattern for the Blue Jackets, as NHL.com noted how they’ve been stumbling out of the gate.
In the previous three seasons, the Blue Jackets started 2-12-1, 5-12-4 and 5-10-0.
Things could get really ugly if Columbus doesn’t work things out soon.
They’ll play three of their next four games at home, but after that, they approach a harrowing stretch of seven out of eight games on the road starting on Oct. 22.
Could their season fall apart thanks to a sluggish start once again?