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November: Month In Review

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Some ups and downs, but the CBJ keep pace at the top of the Metro

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Previously: October

RESULTS

W 7-3 @ FLA
L(SO) 4-5 @ TBL
L 3-5 @ NYR
L 1-3 vs. NSH
L 1-3 vs. CAR
W(SO) 2-1 @ DET
W(OT) 2-1 @ MTL
W 2-0 vs. NYR
W 3-2 @ BUF
W(OT) vs. CGY
W 5-2 vs. OTT
L 1-3 @ MTL
W(SO) 3-2 vs. CAR

Remember how last November was the best November in franchise history? That month was 9-3-1. This month was 8-4-1, and yet the mood is much worse. November featured both a 4 game losing streak and a 6 game winning streak.

STANDINGS

Through November 28 (the end of the month for the Jackets), they sat in sole possession of first place in the Metro Division with 33 points, one ahead of the Islanders and the surprising Devils. They are tied for the third most points in the league. The Metro is the tightest division, with the last place Flyers just 10 points back. The Rangers are the last team out of a playoff spot and they’re just 5 points behind the Jackets.

STATS

(through November 28)

November Stats

Stat Nov. Rank Oct. Rank
Stat Nov. Rank Oct. Rank
Goals For 31 21 36 t-13
Goals Allowed 27 5 30 t-6
Power Play % 9.4 30 8.6 31
Penalty Kill % 82.8 t-9 84.4 6
5v5 Shooting % 7.5 15 7.7 18
5v5 Save % 94.1 t-3 92.8 t-8
5v5 PDO 101.6 t-6 100.6 16
5v5 Corsi For % 51.54 11 53.75 4

The offensive numbers went down, but the defensive numbers improved. It’s been that lack of offense that has caused the most frustration among the fanbase. Even the wins have been tight, low-scoring affairs. Can we get some more comfortable 5-2 type wins?

Fortunately the expected goals picture tells a brighter story:

Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey)

THREE STARS

Third Star: Pierre-Luc Dubois

At the beginning of the month, I sang the praises of the rookie winger. At the end of the month, he has moved to center (the position he was drafted to play) and has found chemistry with Josh Anderson and Artemi Panarin. At just 19 years old, PLD shows a confidence and comfort beyond his years. He’s not afraid to throw his large frame around and make plays happen.

Second Star: Josh Anderson

Andy missed all of training camp and preseason before finally signing his new contract, with an average salary of $1.85 million. Turns out the team got a steal, because he has by far been the best forward for Columbus this season. In November, he led the team with 6 goals and 8 points. On the season he leads with 9 goals and is second in points with 14. Like PLD, he has elevated every teammate he has played with. I’m excited to see those two continue to play together.

hockeyviz.com

First Star: Sergei Bobrovsky

When you’re not scoring as often, you rely more on great goaltending. The Jackets certainly got that in November. Bob was 7-3-1 this month with a .936 save percentage and a GAA of 1.88. This included two highlight-reel game-saving saves in back-to-back games against Detroit and Montreal.

Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey)

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Power Play

Like Torts, I’m not going to talk about it anymore.

David Savard

It’s been a bad year for Savard. Among CBJ defensemen, he has the lowest CF% of the season with 48.03. He looks slower than last year, when he and Jack Johnson were a reliable shut down pairing. By the end of the month, that pair saw their minutes continue to drop as Ryan Murray and Markus Nutivaara played better. Also he saved his beard and while it was for a good cause it just looks wrong.

Nick Foligno

The captain also has a negative Corgi on the season, at 48.88. November featured a 12 game stretch where he failed to record a point. With the return of Lukas Sedlak and Alexander Wennberg from injury and the emergence of PLD as a center, it means Foligno can finally move back to wing. If that alone does not raise his game then he may end up getting scratched.