Let's face it, we have all been wondering if Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard was ever going to be able to return to the form of the player who put up 10 goals, 15 assists, for 25 points in his first 31 games of the 2008-09 season. When his promising start was cut short after he suffered a dislocated shoulder fighting the Dallas Stars' James Neal, there were concerns regarding his future. Last year, Brassard largely had a season to forget about.
The good news: He's back.
Brassard started slow again this year, but soon after he lined up between Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek, it all started to come together. He's set new career bests for assists in a game (3), and had a nice 8-game point streak, by far his best since hitting the NHL.
And let's not forget face-offs, another soft spot in Brass' resume, which he's been able to turn around with some hard work. Ryan Holtmann, Blue Jackets Manager of Communication tweeted:
After opening the season winning 40-of-85 face-offs (47.1%) the 1st 8 gms, #CBJ C Derick Brassard has won 66-of-115 (57.4%) the past 7 gms.
Oh yeah, that on-fire pace of 10-15-25 in 31 games? He's right on schedule to match that, starting with 5-7-12 in 15 games played.
With Nash missing the Colorado game with a groin injury, it's important that he quickly returns not only for the team's benefit, but to keep Brassard on track. Growing confidence with these youngsters, Brassard, Voracek, Kyle Wilson, and company, is just what the team needs to stay in playoff contention throughout the season. A team full of confident, heart and soul players like R.J. Umberger is how Columbus will make its mark.
Things are looking good.