Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash sighed, stooped his shoulders and gave a slight shake of his head. He paused, but he wasn't measuring what he was about to say, simply digesting it.

"This has definitely been the toughest season of my career," Nash said.

Think about that.

Nash has been through seven losing seasons, enjoyed one brief taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs three seasons ago and settled for personal and international success while waiting for Columbus to get up to speed.

It won't happen this season. The Blue Jackets, heading into a game tonight at the San Jose Sharks, are last in the NHL and already 20 points out of the playoffs with a 10-23-5 record.