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Should the Blue Jackets be in panic mode already?

Oct 19, 2011, 10:53 AM EDT

Steve Mason AP

Things are bad in Columbus. They’re the last NHL team without a win (0-5-1), James Wisniewski is still suspended (he’ll be back next Tuesday), and Jeff Carter is on IR with a hairline fracture in his foot.

Add that to the talk that teams are calling on players like Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard for trades and the glut of backup goalie injuries (Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford are out for a few weeks with separate ailments while Allen York has a gimpy shoulder) as well as Steve Mason‘s shaky play and you’ve got a major quagmire in Columbus.

The Jackets are just six games into the season but should they be hitting the panic button already? History shows that teams that go winless in their first six games can bounce back from bad starts to make the playoffs. Blue Jackets PR man Ryan Holtmann points out that the 2008-2009 Flyers made the postseason after starting in similar horrible fashion, but it’s not a hole teams want to get into right from the start.

For Columbus, getting Wisniewski back in the lineup as well as getting Carter healthy will make differences. Getting everyone else figured out and put in the right place, however, will be tricky. We’ve already seen Cam Atkinson get his shot to be their next scoring winger only to be sent back to the AHL. Alexandre Giroux is getting his chance to do the same now, but no one on Columbus can score regularly.Meanwhile, guys like Brassard, Vermette, and R.J. Umberger are struggling horribly.Add their woes on top of Mason’s in goal and you’ve got a situation that has to change fast. Rick Nash can’t do everything.

This season is a crucial one for the Blue Jackets. After so many years of losing tons of cash, making the postseason this year is viewed as a must. Starting off like this, however, will keep the crowds away in droves. It might not fully be panic time GM Scott Howson and coach Scott Arniel, but it’s inching closer to DEFCON-1 as long as the losses keep coming.

  1. mmuzia - Oct 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    I still can’t comprehend this team has a top 5 payroll. What a disaster.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 19, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      It makes no sense at all. They should be more focused on drafting then trying to trade and plug in players. You need a legitimate core before you start adding to the roster.

    • brucewaynewins - Oct 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Do you have a link to the rankings of team payrolls for the season?

    • brucewaynewins - Oct 19, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      I dunno how accurate this list is but its the only one I found and didn’t show them in the top 5.

      http://capgeek.com/

      • mmuzia - Oct 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        Recent demotions in the past couple of days have cleared about $300k from active payroll. They were top 5 earlier this week, and still only $100k from top 5 status as it is.

  2. donttouchthedirtypenny - Oct 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Yes.

  3. east96st - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Is there a pool for what game Nationwide will have less than 3000 people in the seats to watch this horror show?

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