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Lukas Sedlak is the missing ingredient

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Czech yourselves before you wreck yourselves

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Do you remember the halcyon days of early October, when the Columbus Blue Jackets started the season with a 5-1 record? Since then they are 6-6-1. What went wrong? Some say it’s a lack of center depth. Some say it’s because they’re not rolling four lines like they did last year.

I’m here to tell you those people are WRONG. But they’re on the right track. What do those factors have in common?

LUKAS SEDLAK

Sedsy suffered an ankle injury in practice on October 23. He is expected to miss a total of six weeks, which puts him still another three weeks away, at least. At that point in the season, the Jackets were 5-3. Since then, they have been 6-4-1 with 5 of those wins coming after regulation.

The goal differential was +4 in the first 8 games, but just +2 in the 11 games since.

Look at the impact he had on his teammates’ shot suppression this season:

hockeyviz.com

This goes beyond this season. Last season the Blue Jackets lost their first two games. Who was scratched in both? Lukas Sedlak. They started winning when he started playing, and he secured his place centering the fourth line. Remember how things went south in the last two months of the season? Sedlak missed time with injury in late February, early March, and then in the final weeks of the season. He also missed the first three games of the playoff series against Pittsburgh, all losses.

Overall record for 2016-17, 2017 playoffs, and 2017-18 season with Sedlak in the lineup: 46-19-7, for an 82 game pace of 113 points.

Overall record for that same timeframe in games where Sedlak was NOT in the lineup: 16-15-2, for an 82 game pace of 84 points.

WAKE UP, SHEEPLE

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