The arrival of Jeff Carter in a blockbuster trade this summer was expected to give Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash an All-Star caliber linemate. It was supposed to give the Jackets a 1-2 punch that could rival Datsyuk-Zetterberg in Detroit and Thornton-Marleau in San Jose.
But like so many other of the Blue Jackets' plans heading into this season, the Carter-Nash coupling has been an utter failure.
Fed up with their lack of production, or their inability to make each other more dangerous offensively, Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel has split the two up for the last two games, both losses.
Nash has been paired with center Derick Brassard and right winger R.J. Umberg the last two games, while Carter has skated with Vinny Prospal and Mark Letestu on the No. 2 line.
"Sometimes changing things around like that, as big as that, it helps spur people on," Arniel said. "Lots of good things happened with them together. But the chemistry is going to take a while to build."
The struggles were most glaring on the road, when opponents can get their preferred matchups. Nash and Carter combined for three goals, seven assists and a minus-21 rating in 24 road games.
Neither Nash nor Carter met the news with any sense of surprise or urgency.
"You had to figure we weren't going to go through a full year play together," Carter said. "I think we were playing pretty well together as a line. We were starting to get some goals and opportunities."
--Even a 4-1 lead wasn't safe for the woeful Blue Jackets. Not in Nashville. The Predators stunned the Blue Jackets -- winning for the 18th time in the last 19 meetings in Nashville -- by roaring back for a 6-5 win in Bridgestone Arena. Afterward, coach Scott Arniel was irate. "We make plays like we've never played the game," Arniel said.
--The Blue Jackets power play scored four goals on six attempts in Thursday's 6-5 loss in Nashville. The four goals is a season high, and the most for the franchise since they put up five against Ottawa on Dec. 10, 2005.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know what it is. We get to the third period and we lose confidence that we can close it out." -- Blue Jackets rookie Ryan Johansen, after his club blew a 4-1 first-period lead and lost 6-5 on Thursday in Nashville.
ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES:
--C Jeff Carter had his third career hat trick, all in the first period, in Thursday's 6-5 loss to Nashville. Carter now has 10 goals on the season, five of them against the Predators.
--C Ryan Johansen snapped a 20-game streak without a goal by scoring twice in Thursday's 6-5 loss to Nashville. Despite the slump, Johansen has seven goals, tied for third on the club.
--G Curtis Sanford returned to the lineup on Thursday in Nashville after missing a start because of back spasms. Sanford stopped 32 of 38 shots and fought off a recurrence of spasms in the third period.
--LW Kristian Huselius (lower body) is out until February.
--G Mark Dekanich (groin) came up lame during warm-ups of a minor-league game on Nov. 11 and is out indefinitely.
--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out indefinitely.