EDITOR'S NOTE: You've arrived at the CBJ Power Rankings, our weekly breakdown of the top-five players, statistics, trends and many other Blue Jackets-related categories. If you're looking for the traditional power rankings, you've come to the wrong place. We'll go in-depth and outside the box, and hopefully give you something to think about.
For this week's rankings, we're going in-depth to look at five Blue Jackets leaders in the plus/minus department. With two victories last week and two shutouts to top it off, it's safe to assume there were some solid two-way performances. Forwards, defensemen...everyone chipped in during wins over Tampa Bay and Minnesota. Who has stepped up, who has more to give and who has been consistent so far?
First, a quick bit of background on plus/minus ratings: when an even-strength goal is scored, the players on the ice at the time their team scored a goal recieve a plus-1 (+1). If you are a player on the ice for the team that was just scored on at even-strength, you receive a minus-1 (-1). Power play goals do not count for a player's plus-minus rating. Bascially, if a player is in the plus at the end of a game or the end of the week, it means that he's shutting down the opposition and played a central role in generating offense--from an initial pass out of the defensive zone to scoring a goal.
So who were the Blue Jackets' plus/minus leaders during the past week of play, and what else did they contribute? Let's have a look. RYAN MURRAY (+4)
JAMES WISNIEWSKI (+4)
It's disappointing that Wisniewski is now going to miss a week of action with an upper body injury, because he and his rookie defense partner have really gelled and formed a second top-four pairing for the Blue Jackets. Todd Richards assembled the duo during training camp and they've steadily gotten better throughout the season, and they had a terrific week during the club's two victories over the Lightning and Wild. With last change on home ice, Richards and associate coach Craig Hartsburg (who manages the defensemen) were able to get Wisniewski and Murray on the ice in preferable match-up situations, and recently, they've assumed top-pair duties on the Blue Jackets' No. 1 power play unit.