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Columbus’ big guns doing all the work in a bad start

Rick Nash, Jeff Carter, Roman Hamrlik

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2011 file photo shows Columbus Blue Jackets’ Jeff Carter (7), Blue Jackets’ Rick Nash (61) and Washington Capitals’ Roman Hamrlik (44) chasing after a loose puck during an overtime period of an NHL preseason hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. A year after doing almost nothing to strengthen his team, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager went out this offseason and picked up a star center in Jeff Carter and a point man on the power play, filling two gaping holes which have plagued the franchise throughout its first 11 years. No wonder so many expect big things in the fast-approaching season. (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam, File)


Things aren’t going very well for the Columbus Blue Jackets to start the new season. Through five games they have just one point, getting that in a shootout loss against Colorado. The combination of poor defense and goaltending as well as a lack of supporting offense are helping turn what was a hopeful offseason for the Jackets into yet another season of misery.

If you want to find a silver lining through all this, however, there’s the play of their top line. Jeff Carter, Rick Nash, and Vaclav Prospal have combined for 13 points through their first five games, a total that accounts for half of the team’s points overall. While most teams have two scoring lines, the Jackets are rolling with only one that’s doing it consistently.

Their second line is off to a brutal start with Antoine Vermette having no points and R.J. Umberger scoring just an assist in Columbus’ loss last night. The second line has already seen Cam Atkinson sent back to the AHL scoring just one goal while Alexandre Giroux has taken over adding a goal of his own in his first game.

While Steve Mason is going to take a lot of the heat in goal for his poor play, the Blue Jackets are going to need everyone to step up their offense if they want to win. Otherwise, the losses will pile up and the cannon the team shoots off for goals will stay as quiet as the ones left on Civil War battlefields.