Found February 01, 2012 on Red Light District Hockey:

NASHVILLE – Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Marc Methot is tired of losing, just like the rest of his teammates. Methot was drafted by Columbus in 2003 and has yet to really get a taste of winning. This season, with the Blue Jackets comfortably dead-last in the entire NHL, has been especially difficult for the franchise.

“Having your playoff hopes eliminated early isn’t an easy thing to go through as a player, especially when it happens around Christmas and you still have to play from there on out,” Methot said last week. “It’s really tough to play hockey when the games don’t mean as much as they would normally mean.”

The task for interim head coach Todd Richards, who replaced Scott Arniel on Jan. 9, is a difficult one. There hasn’t much positivity in the Blue Jackets’ room this season, and there are still two months left in their tumultuous campaign. Richards is doing his best to keep things upbeat.

“You do try some different things here and there to try to make it fun again. It’s a game,” Richards said. “Where we’re at, there haven’t been a lot of bright moments. There have been a lot of tough days. You might do some things in practice, some things in morning skates, in the locker room to lighten the mood a little bit.”

Methot said of Richards, “He’s trying to be as positive as he can and start teaching over again and get back to the basics. That’s really all we can do right now. He’s done a terrific job keeping us in a good mood and allowing us to enjoy coming to the rink.”

It’s especially tough to remain positive, as Methot mentioned, when games in the second half are meaningless in the standings. Nonetheless, the swap behind the bench from Arniel to Richards was a wake-up call to the Blue Jackets’ room.

“Any time you make a significant change like changing your head coach, it wakes everybody up,” Methot said. “It’s a new voice in the dressing room and (Richards has) really brought a positive attitude to the team. It gave us a little bit of a jolt. We’re playing a lot more responsibly and it’s made a big change in our game.”

The compete level of Richards’ club was elevated for the first handful of games after he took over behind the bench. But that has seemed to have faded away in the last three games, where the Blue Jackets have been out-scored by a combined 14-3 in Nashville, Tampa Bay and San Jose.

Among many factors, injuries have definitely had an effect on the Blue Jackets this season. In the team’s first 50 games, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski – GM Scott Howson’s prized off-season acquisitions – have played in the same game just 21 times. Other key players have been in and out of the lineup, making it hard for the Blue Jackets to have much consistency.

“Whenever you’re missing those guys, those are tough holes to fill,” Richards said of Carter and Wisniewski. “Obviously it excites you as a coach when you start getting those guys back. … If we can start to add more guys with the skill and finish, hopefully we can start putting more pucks in the net start getting more wins.”

No matter when Carter and Wisniewski return, or if the team starts winning more often, this will go down as a lost season for the Blue Jackets. They are on pace for a paltry 52 points, which would be tied for the lowest total the NHL has seen since the Atlanta Thrashers’ expansion season, when they accumulated 39 points in 1999-2000.

Those pre-season hopes of making a second playoff appearance were history before the calendar even flipped to 2012. But as Methot points out, most players in the room still have a lot to play for.

“We’re trying to stay positive and not get down on ourselves,” he said. “We have to keep that upbeat attitude. Guys are playing for contracts and trying to stay in the league. That’s a lot of incentive right there.”

Photo credit: Getty Images

Jackets' forward Jared Boll fined 2,500

COLUMBUS, OHIO Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll has been suspended 2,500 for his actions in last nights game at San Jose, the National Hockey Leagues Department of Player Safety announced today. The incident occurred at 0:20 of the first period. Boll received a minor penalty under Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head). The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

NHL investigating Blue Jackets-Kings finish

The Columbus Blue Jackets got the shaft Wednesday night. This might not be a big deal when referring to hockey sticks, but it matters when it comes to a last-second goal that eliminated overtime against the Los Angeles Kings. It matters a lot. Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson appropriately pointed this out in a Thursday blog post that was later removed from the team&...

Blue Jackets activate Carter

The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated center Jeff Carter off injured reserve.

Blue Jackets' Jeff Carter says trade reports shouldn't be a surprise

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

Columbus Blue Jackets Activate Center Jeff Carter Off Injured Reserve; Place D Nikita Nikitin on Injured Reserve

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets activated center Jeff Carter off injured reserve and placed defenseman Nikita Nikitin on injured reserve, retroactive to January 21, Blue Jackets Executive Vice President and General Manager Scott H...

Feb. 18 Start Time Change

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today a change in the start time for the Saturday, Feb. 18 game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena. The game will now start at 1 p.m. ET. ...

Game Notes: Blue Jackets vs. Kings

Game Notes (.pdf) Author: Jeremy Zager | Staff Writer

NHL fines Boulton, Boll; Blue Jackets coach makes water-bottle accusation

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

POST GAME: at Los Angeles

POST GAME ON THE ROAD presented by: The Blue Jackets picked up their game and deserved a better fate last night in Los Angeles, but this time, they were beaten by the clock. .roundedcornr_box { background: #e4e4e4; float: ri...

Post-Game Notes: Blue Jackets vs. Kings

This was the sixth time the Kings have won the game at the final buzzer (last came Feb. 11, 1999 when Josef Stumpel scored with 0.3 seconds left) The Kings have now earned points in 17 of their last 19 games (11-2-6) – 28 of 38 ...
Blue Jackets News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.