The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline recently sat down with the Columbus Blue Jackets’ President of Hockey Operations, John Davidson, to discuss the team’s early season woes. But despite the nine-game losing streak, which has seen Johnny Gaudreau get benched and Patrik Laine get scratched, Davidson says no rash changes are inbound for the Blue Jackets. “Woe is me does not work. It’s an emotional game, a hard game,” Davidson told Portzline, “but we need the improvements we’re seeing with some of our younger players — Alexandre Texier, Kirill Marchenko, Adam Fantilli, these guys — to continue, and we need our best players to start playing like they’re capable of playing.”
Davidson went on to support the hard decisions being made by first-time NHL head coach Pascal Vincent, who has benched and scratched players at will through his first two months on the job. Davidson said, “Coach is the coach. Coach works tightly with Jarmo. They discuss things daily, and Jarmo fills me in. The bold moves that Pazzy has made … you have to make bold moves sometimes.”
The topic of Columbus’ slide was also discussed by Elliotte Friedman in the most recent episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast. Friedman disagreed with the decision to scratch Laine but did speak optimism about the impact that significant struggles can have on a young star like Fantilli, calling back to his days covering former NBA rookie of the year Damon Stoudamire. The 32 Thoughts team closed the conversation by acknowledging that, while no rash decisions were inbound, heavy losing can still weigh on the team’s veterans. Columbus will be looking to avoid their 10th loss in a row on Wednesday. If they can’t, they could change their tune on what decisions are looming.
Other morning notes:
- The Department of Player Safety will be reviewing a slewfoot from Vancouver’s Nils Hoglander and some form of discipline is expected. Hoglander was kicked out of the team’s Monday night matchup against the San Jose Sharks after tripping Kevin Labanc in front of the team’s bench. Whether he will be receiving a fine, or a suspension, for the incident is the looming question. Hoglander has no prior history with the DOPS.
- Utica Comets head coach Kevin Dineen shared that Nolan Foote and Brian Halonen are going to continue missing time and that the team is hoping to have a clearer timetable around American Thanksgiving. Neither player has made an appearance in the 2023-24 season so far.