…but Nashville passed Columbus in the standings. And the Jackets are also sinking into the murky waters of eighth place in the Conference standings. You can either say thank goodness for the great start or it would be a lot worse. Or you can say the good start was merely a mask over some troubling issues. It’s up to you, fans.
I’m concerned about the defense because it is the same group as last season. Not a stronger group, but definitely not weaker. Do we really miss Aaron Rome and Christian Backman that much? I don’t know about you, but I miss last season’s Mike Commodore and Jan Hedja. I sure wish they would re-join the team.
As for the offense, the lost Jason Williams, Michael Peca, and Manny Malhotra. To fill in for them, the team now has Mike Blunden and Nikita Filatov. Well, at least Rick Nash is putting up enough numbers to make up for the loss of Williams. I guess you could say that this area needs more work.
And then there is Steve Mason. Goalies are different and back when I played my goalies would always confirm that statement by shutting out the best teams and then not be able to stop a beach ball the next night. Columbus has a history of being fooled by goaltenders, from Marc Denis to Pascal Leclaire to Freddy Norrena. They all got off to solid starts in the net for the Jackets and then forgot how to play the position within a short period of time. I’m no goalie expert (but I have seen them on TV) so I don’t have any ideas here. Rest him up? Send him down for a few games? Ride the storm out? Trade him? You tell me. But if his GAA doesn’t start moving down to the number three neighborhood and his SV% stays below .900, then the season for him is lost.