When the Blue Jackets started to get ready for last season, John Tortorella had a new direction in mind for his team. It was time to change the way the Jackets were going to play, starting in the defensive end of the ice.
"It's a speed game now," head coach John Tortorella said during training camp. "It's not 15-20 years ago (where you are) worrying about if your D is going to be able to handle the physical play. It's about moving the puck and getting going. The game has completely changed. It's about tempo and skill, and getting out of your end zone as quickly as possible."
With that in mind, the 2016-17 Jackets rolled out a younger, new look defensive group, and they helped bring about immediate results. After losing their first two games, the Jackets won six of their next nine and, of course, strung together that 16-game winning streak.