January started out as one of the most exciting months in Columbus Blue Jackets (26-23-4) history. The team won eight straight, beating the franchise record by two games. They also had an amazing 5-2 win the night of their 1000th game over the Philadelphia Flyers. But all good things must come to an end.
Sadly, after that awesome streak the team has lost their last three games. As they are preparing to take the ice tomorrow night against the Washington Capitals (24-21-8) what needs to be done for them to end the month on a positive note?
First, I fear that the Blue Jackets are falling back into their old ways. They are able to play strong at the beginning and end of games, but somewhat fall apart during the second period, giving the opposing team ample time to take advantage of the puck and score. If they are able to come together tomorrow night and play strong during all three periods, it should be a successful game.
Second, the Blue Jackets have been down some key players recently. They have called up players from their AHL team, the Springfield Falcons, but those players were not enough. These last few games have been tiresome on players who have been drastically overplayed. We can only hope that as the team gets back together, they will find their strength as a team once again. The team had today to rest, hopefully when they regroup tomorrow night they will be rested and ready to play.
Finally, the team relied heavily on their goalies during their win streak. That being said, when their goalies finally were not playing at their best, the defense was not ready to pick up the slack. But, the defense was the least of the Blue Jackets problems. Overall, defensively the team has been strong. They have allowed for minimal goals even when the offense fell apart.
Tomorrow night it going to be difficult for the Blue Jackets. The Capitals have been strong scorers recently and they are going to play on the Blue Jackets exhaustion. Overall though, they have struggled during the month of January. I expect that if the Blue Jackets are able to come out aggressively from the beginning and have a strong goalie, they should be able to win the game.
What do you think the Columbus Blue Jackets need improve on?
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