With smiles on their faces and razors in their hands, members of the Columbus Blue Jackets participating in Movember will shave their mustaches at the end of the month.
League-wide, teams took part in the annual event to raise awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers afflicting men.
Of the teams growing cookie dusters, 16 of them will grow facial hair again this season. The Blue Jackets are on track to be left out of this prestigious group for the tenth time. Each year, players grow “playoff beards” as a symbol of their time in the post-season.
If Columbus players wish to stow away their shavers once again, the team needs production from its top players and consistency from the third and fourth line.
The first quarter of the season is in the books and the following players round out my top unit.
Derek Dorsett – Dorsett has been the spark plug to the team this year, bringing tenacity and grit to every game. He is among the league leaders in penalty minutes and fighting majors, though he has not taken many “bad” penalties. The feisty winger has consistently used his strength and intelligence to avoid checks, anticipate plays, and correctly position himself.
Vinny Prospal – With 19 points, Prospal has been the most productive forward on the Blue Jackets’ roster. The veteran has six goals and 13 assists this year. Playing alongside Jeff Carter and Rick Nash, Prospal’s decision making has provided a solid foundation for the first line. His quick feet have helped Columbus make fluid transitions through the neutral zone.
Ryan Johansen – With the number to match his age, the nineteen year-old prodigy has proven he can play on the highest level. Johansen has five goals and five assists through 20 games this season. While he has shown he is lethal with the puck on his stick, his play off the puck has been the most impressive part of his rookie year.
Fedor Tyutin – Tyutin has 10 assists and a pair of goals this season. His ability to throw around the body has made him a dominant force in the Blue Jackets’ defensive zone. The defender’s active stick has also created crucial turnovers thus generating up-ice rushes. Tyutin’s has led the defense with a focused and hard working mentality.
James Wisniewski – The addition of Wisniewski to the blue line has been one of the best off-season deals Columbus has ever made. His powerful slap shot from the point has yielded a goal and nine assists in 16 games. Wisniewski has taken charge of the Blue Jackets’ notoriously bad power play and has provided stability to the team’s back line.
*Information taken from bluejackets.com and hockeyfights.com