This 31-part series chronicles why each team is going to be trash in the 2018-2019 NHL season. Progressing alphabetically, three teams will be featured weekly during the off-season. A compendium 31-part series will be published by Hockey Doc (@RealHockeyDoc) on www.BeerLeagueTalk.com on why your team is good in the 2018-2019 NHL season.
Oh boy. The Columbus Blue Jackets. Been a team since 2000, been to the playoffs 4 times, got booted in the first round each time.
If you take a look at the past few seasons, you can see the impact John Tortorella has made on this team. He’s 2 for 3 on playoff appearances, even though they didn’t get past the first round, losing to powerhouse teams Pittsburgh and Washington in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Both of the teams they’ve played in the first round in the past 2 years have gone on to win the Cup. So, some shitty luck… But also they could have probably done better in the regular season for a better playoff spot, no? Granted the Blue Jackets are in one of the best divisions in hockey, but that’s no fucking excuse is it Torts?
In all seriousness, I think Tortorella is a good coach. One of the few coaches to win a Cup. Who cares if it happened in 2004? The effect he has on a team once taking over is unquestionable. Plus, his treatment of the press can be described as nothing more than purely professional… And I love it. The guy wears his emotions on his sleeve (or is just a fucking Masshole to the core) and to watch him say what everyone else is thinking about the Pittsburgh Penguins is great.
Columbus is on the cusp of getting over the hump, but they need their roster to stay healthy, and to have some career years to go deep in the playoffs next year. Cam Atkinson had a shit year. I know this because I drafted him in fantasy last year and he FUCKED me. He and Wennberg definitely need to stay healthy and return to form. Dubinsky and Jenner need to show some #leadership and fucking put up 50 points each. Milano needs to bust out and drop some real numbers; make a name for yourself kid! Basically, everyone except Panarin needs to do better. Seth Jones is the Dman they’ve chosen to build around, so he’ll need to have another standout year, and more. A lot of roster spots need to “over perform” to get this team to be a real threat.
One move I think will pay off next season is the addition of Anthony Duclair. Having bounced around to 4 different teams in 5 years, Duclair is looking for a home. He has to be excited to leave Arizona for a team who has been in the playoffs the last 2 years. You can bet he wants to make a statement in Columbus, lock a long term deal, and win. The kid is hungry. The Jackets got him for a the $650k it cost for him to play this season, which is a great deal for a player who has potential to crack the top 6 and can still grind and score down the line up.
One glaring question for the Blue Jackets is goaltending. Bobrovsky is a 2 time Vezina winner who holds every important goaltending record for the Jackets (Wins, GAA, Save %). Unfortunately, he’s a chronic bed shitter when it comes to the playoffs. At the very least you can say Bobrovsky does not perform as well in the playoffs as he does in the regular season. Even he has acknowledged it, as he has been open about seeing a sports psychologist after the early out in the 2017 playoffs. There is no doubt that Bob is an elite goaltender, but putting in a full season plus performing in the playoffs could be the difference between another 1st round bounce or a Stanley Cup. An interesting caveat of this upcoming year is that it’s a contract year for the $7.5 mill per year goalie. If he can’t string together a great season plus a deep run, you can expect him to get a pay cut next season. Time will tell what actually happens, but it’s safe to say that if Bobrovsky keeps doing what he has been, the Jackets may never have what it takes to play till May.
This is actually going to be a great season to become a Blue Jackets fan, though. Ohio State is with out head coach Urban Meyer who apparently swept some domestic abuse accusations under the rug when his wide receiver coach Zach Smith had to “defensively restrain” his ex-wife Courtney, several times. Yeah, nice try bro. Zach Smith may bring down the whole organization for the entire season if not for years to come. The NBA team that plays in Cleveland lost some dude who was really good, right? And since basketball is weak as fuck and only 2 teams are competitive, looks like losing one of the best players in the game probably means you’re gonna suck. The Bengals may entertain you temporarily, but they’re always disappointing, cool helmets and all. I mean, do I have to even mention the Browns at this point? I’d say 80% of Blue Jacket’s fans are fairweather at best anyway. If you hop on the full time bandwagon now, you can still lie and claim you’ve been a fan since 2000. You never know, Hell could freeze over, and the Blue Jackets could even make it out of the first round this season, A FRANCHISE FIRST. Imagine, you’d be there experiencing new franchise highs only months after claiming them as your favorite team! Plus, the Jackets are bringing back some pretty sweet jerseys next year, so you could buy one of those!
Be like this guy, Ohioans
With large portions of the roster needing to over perform, especially in the goaltending position come playoff time, look for many more angry Torts interviews in the 2018-2019 season. But hey, the Blue Jackets could still be the best professional sports team in Ohio…
That’s why the Columbus Blue Jackets are trash in 2018-2019.
While you’re here, check out our Chel-A-Thon 2018 where we raise money for Skate For The 22, helping to increase awareness for military veteran suicide.