L 0-4 @ OTT
L 2-6 vs. WSH
W 4-3 (SO) vs. CAR
L 0-1 @ WSH
L 3-6 @ TBL
L 2-6 vs. CAR
W 4-3 @ DET
L 1-3 vs. NYR
L 1-2 @ NSH
L 3-5 vs. ANA
W 5-3 vs. SJS
L 3-4 (OT) @ CGY
W 3-2 (OT) @ EDM
L 2-5 @ VAN
L 1-3 @ SEA
L 3-4 (OT) vs. WSH
4-10-2. Basically the same record as December, but with a couple of OT losses thrown in. A couple of road wins, however, after just two wins away from Nationwide in the first three months.
In the Metro, seventh place Philadelphia (51) is as many points ahead of Columbus (34, 17 points behind) as they are behind second place New Jersey (68).
But we don’t care about the divisional standings, do we? In the race for the best odds of receiving the top pick, the Blue Jackets are the leader at the All Star break with a league-worst points percentage of .333. Chicago is tied in points with 34, but has three games in hand and one more regulation win.
CBJ stats through January 2023
|5v5 CF%||45.41 (29th)||46.53 (27th)||44.21 (31st)||46.6 (25th)||45.5 (26th)|
|5v5 FF%||45.00 (29th)||45.90 (27th)||44.91 (31st)||46.3 (26th)||45.1 (27th)|
|5v5 Save %||91.24 (16th)||91.18 (21st)||90.72 (26th)||89.0 (30th)||91.5 (26th)|
|5v5 Shooting %||7.27 (26th)||6.71 (25th)||7.75 (18th)||9.3 (6th)||8.5 (8th)|
|5v5 xGF%||44.81 (28th)||43.40 (27th)||45.62 (27th)||45.5 (23rd)||45.5 (24rd)|
|GPG||2.25 (30th)||2.43 (28th)||3.09 (16th)||2.78 (27th)||3.14 (14th)|
|GAPG||3.75 (28th)||3.64 (24th)||3.82 (27th)||4.11 (30th)||3.62 (28th)|
|PP%||18.0 (18th)||16.3 (30th)||29.6 (6th)||0.0 (32nd)||18.64 (24th)|
|PK%||72.9 (29th)||78.0 (14th)||76.7 (19th)||82.76 (9th)||78.57 (20th)|
The only positive to take away from these numbers is the goaltending rose to “average.” The offense dried up, however. Can’t score if you don’t shoot. Penalty kill got a lot worse as well. That’s a problem when you take the sixth most penalties.
Third Star: Patrik Laine
Last month in this spot, I had the quietly productive Jack Roslovic. This month, it’s Laine in that role. Did you know he led the team in points this month? Did it feel like he did? 5/10/15 in 16 games, including 1/4/5 on the power play. I’ll take it.
Second Star: Adam Boqvist
Another player that has been quietly effective since returning from injury. He has nine points (all assists) in 12 games in January. At 5v5, he’s second in CF%, first in FF%, second in GF%, and second in xGF%. He’s still sheltered — five defensemen averaged more ice time than he did this month — but if it helps him develop confidence in his game, that’s a good thing. Now, let’s see what he can do with a bigger role.
First Star: Kirill Mrchenko
Still no assists for the Russian rookie, so we can’t spell his name out fully. But we’ll happily take him leading the team in goals in his first full month in the league. The eight goals included a hat trick in a shootout win over Carolina. Only Laine and Johnny Gaudreau had more shots on goal, and that was while playing five minutes more per game than Mrchenko. He’s not afraid to shoot, he shoots well, and uses his large frame well. In addition, he has a great attitude and infectious personality. How can you not love this kid?
Who says you should never meet your heroes?
— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) January 31, 2023
Obviously there’s still a lot that can improve on this roster, but nothing that we haven’t already talked about, so why dwell on that?
Instead, I’ll give one more set of jeers to Vox Media for their cuts to SB Nation. They’re abandoning hockey coverage from dozens of great sites, and they’re going to regret it in the long run.
On the flip side, cheers to this great community for your amazing outpouring of support. You’re the reason we do this, and the reason that we will keep doing this. This season will mark a low point for the season and this site’s fortunes, but exciting possibilities lay ahead of us.