Jan 24, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT
The Columbus Blue Jackets have won eight straight and are the NHL’s hottest team, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single individual responsible for that success.
According to head coach Todd Richards, that’s all part of the plan.
“That’s what makes this team,” Richards said, per the Columbus Dispatch. “We get contributions from everyone, but it’s the depth of the team, being able to play everyone really at any time of the game.”
Columbus has utilized this balanced attack to grab a playoff spot and emerge as one of the NHL’s top scoring teams. The Jackets sit sixth in goals per game (2.88) despite not having a single 40-point scorer.
Here’s more, from the Dispatch:
Six different players have had game-winning goals during the eight-game streak. Overall the Jackets have scored 33 goals in those eight games, giving the goaltenders an insurance policy they’ve not enjoyed previously.
Here’s the list of players who are on pace for career highs in points: Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen, Mark Letestu and James Wisniewski. Nick Foligno and Fedor Tyutin are on pace to match career-highs.
The Jackets do have some key individual performers. We’ve written about Ryan Johnansen’s breakthrough campaign earlier this season, Sergei Bobrovsky is the reigning Vezina winner and Nathan Horton has been great since returning from injury. But it’s the “glue guys” like Atkinson, Letestu and Matt Calvert that seem to be upping their levels, to the point where Richards didn’t even need a matchup for the Claude Giroux line in Thursday’s win over Philly. He rolled all four throughout the game, and Giroux finished with no points.
“I’m not worried about matchups that much,” Richards said. “There’s somebody stepping up … in these eight games, we’ve had different guys stepping up.”
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 10
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 14
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 15
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 49
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 57
- Wilson signs with Preds, leaving just four arbitration cases to go 5
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million 62
- Deal with the Devils: New Jersey re-signs Larsson to six-year contract 14
- Stepan seeks $7.25M in arbitration, Rangers counter at $5.2M 24
- Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal 21
- Post expansion, could NHL realign with eight divisions? (138)
- NHL to ‘focus exclusively’ on expansion bids for Las Vegas and Quebec City (89)
- He’s baaaaaack: Leafs pull a stunner, hire Lamoriello as GM (Updated) (84)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (61)