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Examining the Columbus Blue Jackets numbers

Sunday, 09.23.2007 / 10:25 AM / Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


 

NHL.com's 2007-08 Blue Jackets Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Advantage Margin: -15
Columbus’ 438 power-play chances were the most in the Western Conference and second in the NHL. But the Blue Jackets allowed opponents 453 power-play chances, the most in the league — including 246 (six per game) on the road.

Even-Strength Goals Margin: -24
No Columbus player had more than Rick Nash’s 17 even-strength goals (and 37 points). Frederic Modin, brought in to provide offense, had just 22 goals — only 16 at even strength. 

Special Teams Goal Margin: - 24
Columbus’ power play connected for 41 goals at home. But the Blue Jackets scored only 24 on the road, twice as many as they gave up away from Nationwide Arena.

Category Rank
(Conference / NHL)
2006-07 Points 73
(11th West / 24th NHL)
Change From 2005-06 - 1
Home Points 40
(13th West / 26th NHL)
Road Points 33
(11th West / 24th NHL)

Goals by defensemen: 30
Ron Hainsey and Rostislav Klesla each had nine goals, though the best puck-mover defensively may be 37-year-old center Sergei Fedorov, who played D on occasion last season. The Jackets have yet to find a true offensive defenseman, and there aren’t any on the immediate horizon.

Goals by forwards: 166
If the Blue Jackets are to make the playoffs for the first time, Nikolai Zherdev will have to regain the scoring touch he had in 2005-06, when he had 27 goals before dropping to just 10 last season. Nash, who led the NHL in goals in 2003-04, had only 27 last season — but showed a much more rounded game down the stretch.

Overtime Record: 9-2-5 (OT: 4-2, SO: 5-5)
David Vyborny, who scored only 16 goals, was an ace at shootouts, connecting on 5 of 9 tries. The goaltenders were almost exactly at the league average, stopping two-thirds of the 42 shots they faced.

Times Scored First/Record: 33 (Record: 23-5-5)
The Jackets did well when they did score first. Their problem was getting the first goal — they won only 11 of the 49 games in which the opposition began the scoring.

Best 06-07 Number: 24
Wins by goaltender Fredrik Norrena, a 33-year-old NHL “rookie” who went 24-23-3 despite the worst support (2.30 goals) in the league.

Worst 06-07 Number: 12
Points for the Blue Jackets in their first 20 games, before Ken Hitchcock replaced Gerard Gallant. The Jackets played .492 hockey under Hitchcock (61 points in 62 games), but the slow start virtually eliminated them from the playoff race by Christmas.

Scheduling:
If the Blue Jackets have any playoff hopes, they’ll have to earn a berth the hard way. Columbus’ last nine games are all within the Central Division, and four of its last 11 are against Detroit. The Jackets do have a chance to get fat in December, when 11 of their last 13 games are played at Nationwide Arena.

NHL.com's 2007-08 Blue Jackets Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

 

 

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp