Rick Nash made his NHL debut in 2002-03, about the time the honeymoon between the Blue Jackets and their fans began to fade. The Blue Jackets captain has played for seven coaches, seen three of them fired in midseason, and enjoyed one winning season.

Yet when asked yesterday how he's enduring the club's latest follies — a 2-11-1 start and a 5-23-8 nose dive dating to last season — Nash did not pause to measure his words.

"It's definitely been my toughest challenge as a captain, and really the toughest challenge of my career," Nash said. "Things just aren't going right.