With their 3-2 loss in Minnesota, the Columbus Blue Jackets are now 0-8-0, setting the record for the longest pointless streak to start a season in the NHL’s expansion era. But things are looking up! They were in this one the whole time.
You have to go all the way back to 1943 for a worse start, when the New York Rangers started off 0-11-0 before managing a tie. (Those Rangers, who allowed 6.2 goals per game, finished the season 6-39-5. This is not company the Blue Jackets would like to keep.)
The one-goal loss to the Wild was entirely respectable, even as new coach John Tortorella played around with lines and started to get to know his team. His most notable move was bumping old buddy Brandon Dubinsky up to his first-line center, and demoting Ryan Johansen to the second line, and benching him altogether for the final six-plus minutes of the game.
Dubinsky and Alexander Wennberg scored in the first period, and CBJ looked decent. The goaltending still wasn’t up to par: Nino Niederreiter’s tying score was soft as hell. But no one was blocking Thomas Vanek’s power-play deflection:
No shame in losing on that goal. Still, a loss is a loss, even if they’re all starting to run together.
“We’re 0-8,” Tortorella said. “Moral victories aren’t going to help us right now.”