It was by design that coach Todd Richards had the Blue Jackets spending much of the week working on ways to keep pucks out of their net.
But don't get the wrong idea.
"I don't want to turn people off with that," Richards said. "I still want to score. I love to score. I like to see nice goals."
But who will provide them? For the past eight seasons, the answer was easy: Rick Nash, who averaged 34 goals and 64 points since his breakout season in 2003-04. But Nash was traded to the New York Rangers in June.
In his stead are 37-year-old Vinny Prospal, who had 33 goals for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia in 2007-08, along with many players who haven't come close to a 30-goal season.
That list includes three forwards on their top three lines who played for other NHL teams last season.
"There are guys in here who can score," right winger Derek Dorsett said. "We're just going to have to do it by committee."
The Blue Jackets will spread their threats over three — and possibly four — forward lines. When they score, they likely will do so because of hustle and grit. That's not a slight. It's reality — and it's the company line.
"I think it's going to have to be that way in order for us to be successful," said right winger Nick Foligno, who signed as a free agent this summer after a career season for Ottawa in which he had 15 goals and 32 assists."
It's going to take going to the nasty areas for us to get goals. We're going to get rebound goals, ugly goals. You start doing that and then other teams start respecting you and you get more chances.
There is a lot of skill on this team, and it's going to come out through working hard.
Offense will rely on speed and tenacity to score
Columbus Dispatch | Jan 19