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Blues Jackets need improved power play

Friday, 09.18.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 92
(7TH WEst/16TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +12
Home Points 53
(5th WEst/12TH NHL)
Away Points 39
(9TH WEst/19TH NHL)
Advantage Margin            -24
Columbus drew a healthy 188 power plays at home while surrendering 174. But on the road, the Jackets drew a League-low 134 opportunities (and scored just 18 times) while allowing 172.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        +22

Rick Nash was fifth in the NHL with 29 goals at even strength, and the Jackets were seventh in the League with a 1.16 ratio of goals for to goals against at 5-on-5, the best mark in franchise history.
   
Special Teams Goal Margin        -25
The Blue Jackets made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with no help from their power play. Columbus was last in the NHL with 43 PPGs and a 12.7 percentage while also allowing 12 shorthanded goals.   

Goals by defensemen            26
Fedor Tyutin, acquired from the Rangers last summer for his defensive skills, turned out to have an offensive side as well -- his 9 goals and 34 points were by far the most of any Columbus defenseman.

Overtime Record            
Total: 11-3-7 (OT: 5-3, SO: 6-7)

As was the case in almost everything last season, the Jackets were much better at home than on the road. They were 4-1 in OT and 3-2 in shootouts at Nationwide Arena, but 1-2 in overtime and 3-5 in shootouts elsewhere.

Times Scored First           
41 (Record: 28-9-4)

Not surprisingly for a Ken Hitchcock-coached team, the Jackets were especially effective when getting the jump on opponents at Nationwide Arena -- they scored first 22 times in their 41 home games and went 17-5-0.

Best 08-09 Number             13-3-2
Columbus' record against Eastern Conference teams. The Jackets made the playoffs for the first time largely by beating up on the other conference. They were perfect (5-0-0) against Northeast Division teams and nearly so (5-0-1) against the Southeast.

Worst 08-09 Number          12.2
The Jackets' power-play percentage at home, by far the worst in the NHL (the Rangers were next at 13.9 percent). Columbus scored just 23 PPGs at home and surrendered six shorthanded goals, giving the Blue Jackets' power play a League-worst net of 17 goals at home.
   
Scheduling
The Jackets will be tested early and late this season. They have a pair of Western trips in the first month of the season, then play three of their five April games against the Red Wings, including two in Detroit within a week.


Quote of the Day

Fifty-five? That's shorts weather.

— New Anaheim Ducks forward, and Michigan native, Ryan Kesler on locals in Southern California considering 55 degrees to be cold
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