Somebody in Columbus Needs to Help Johnny Gaudreau

Columbus Blue Jackets, Johnny Gaudreau #13. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Columbus Blue Jackets, Johnny Gaudreau #13. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

When Johnny Gaudreau decided to join the Columbus Blue Jackets over the summer, it was reasonable to expect that he would help turn the franchise around. But, he can’t do that alone.

After scoring 115 points last season with the Calgary Flames, Gaudreau made his move to Ohio and has enjoyed some individual success in year one with his new club. In 29 games played so far this year, the New Jersey native has recorded ten goals and 21 assists for 31 points.

While the Blue Jackets are surely thrilled with the play of their new star, he can’t be thrilled with the support, or lack thereof, from his teammates. His 31 points are ten clear of any other Columbus skater.

Johnny Gaudreau needs help turning things around for the Blue Jackets.

Now, I’ll give forward Patrik Laine a pass, as he has only been available for 16 games and has been good when in the lineup.

Aside from Laine, when healthy, and Gaudreau, no other Blue Jackets players have stepped up offensively. Captain Boone Jenner has 21 points in 29 games, which isn’t bad, but that can’t be second on the team. Kent Johnson and Jack Roslovic are tied for third with only 14 points.

The defense has also not been of any assistance to Gaudreau and the Jackets. Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins has been terrible in 14 games, posting a 4.68 goals against average (GAA) and an .864 save percentage. Joonas Korpisalo (3.53 GAA and .903 save percentage) has not been much better.

The one bright spot in goal has been 23-year-old Daniil Tarasov. Though he has only played in eight contests, his 3.14 GAA and .910 save percentage are the best marks on the team.

Thanks to the team’s lackluster play, Columbus is at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. With a record of 10-17-2, this group that started the year as a playoff dark horse is now more of a player in the sweepstakes for the top pick in next year’s draft.

For Gaudreau to be scoring over a point per game on one of the NHL’s worst teams speaks to just how great he is. The Blue Jackets know that they can count on him, but now they have to prove that he can count on them.

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It’s early in his Jackets tenure, but Johnny Gaudreau is already looking around trying to find a teammate capable of helping him keep the team afloat.