The Columbus Blue Jackets could be an interesting team to watch at the trade deadline. Predicted by some at the start of the season to win the Metropolitan Division and challenge for the East crown, the Blue Jackets have battled inconsistency all season. After losing five in a row, Columbus has now won back-to-back games heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. After finishing as the sixth-highest scoring team last season and returning the same firepower in 2017-18, Columbus’s meagre 2.59 goals-per-game average ranks 28th in the NHL, better than only Montreal, Buffalo and Arizona. The Blue Jackets have 14 goals in their past six games and their power play is dead-last in the NHL. So is that lack of offence going to spur GM Jarmo Kekalainen to be active by the NHL trade deadline? “I always try to look for the positives,” Kekalainen said Wednesday on Hockey Central at Noon. “It’s so easy to point out the negatives … I believe in our players. I’ve seen them play well and work together well. I’ve seen them succeed on the power play, I’ve seen them succeed on the penalty kill and put together a lot of wins. We got 108 points last year with pretty much the same group. I believe in these guys.” Injuries can be partly blamed for the Blue Jackets’s struggles. While they haven’t felt the wrath of the injury bug more than playoff hopefuls Anaheim, St. Louis or Colorado, the Jackets have been without top players for extended periods, including Alexander Wennberg, Cam Atkinson, and Brandon Dubinsky.
Blue Jackets GM talks trade deadline and if he needs to be active
Sportsnet | Feb 14