Let’s be honest, it almost feels like a black cloud is hovering above the Columbus Blue Jackets, especially head coach Todd Richards.
The Blue Jackets are off to a franchise-worst (and in some ways historic) 0-7-0 start, and it’s not like every game has been close.
They likely deserve better than the 4-0 score from Tuesday’s loss to the New York Islanders, but the bottom line is that many are wondering if Richards is on the verge of being fired. Like, any moment now.
That decision is out of his players’ hands, yet at least a few of them are standing up for the embattled bench boss. The Columbus Dispatch collected quotes from the likes of Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson in Richards’ favor.
“It’s not just him,” Dubinsky said. “There’s 23 guys in here. He’s working his (butt) off. He’s trying to change things, make us a better team.”
” … I feel like we’re letting him down, and it’s unfortunate.”
Also, a sampling of what Johnson said (see the rest on Aaron Portzline’s feed):
Good on those players for taking some responsibility, and there’s always the chance that a trade could be the response many are expecting (though that’s easier said than done).
Honestly, it only means so much, not with failures so stark and expectations so high.
Really, the “players saying it’s not all on the coach” is a lot like an owner or a GM giving a coach the dreaded vote of confidence. Taylor Hall stumping for Dallas Eakins didn’t necessarily buy him a lot of time in Edmonton, for example.
Still, each situation is different, so maybe these comments will buy people some time (especially if it represents feelings that aren’t on the record).
Time will tell, though, and we may not need to wait much longer to learn of Richards’ fate and the fate of others.
Update: This is the latest bit of scuttlebutt. Maybe a trade could happen after all?
Check out Richards’ presser after Tuesday’s loss in the video at the top of this post.