A classic line from the 1959 song “Charlie Brown” by The Coasters. And if there is someone who that line could describe, it’s Steve Mason. With an 0-3 start, the one who’s head is gonna be called for, it’s the goaltender. Before we all grab our pitch forks and torches in a rage to find somebody to tear apart, lets look at a couple things:
The first thing to look at is the defense, and right now, with the exceptions of maybe 1 or 2 players, has been downright awful. Turnovers, bad passes, many missed assignments, and just being out of place is killing this team. Against The Canucks, The Blue Jackets allowed them to crash the crease, no resistance whatsoever, allowing them to bang in any rebounds after Mason would make the first save. Normally, a team would be able to clear the crease in that situation. Also allowing teams to use their sticks to deflect pucks in without any resistance, they have to do a better job of battling, because they are losing on all fronts right now.
The second major factor to look at is offense. Everyone expected Rick Nash and Jeff Carter to produce, and so far, those two along with Vaclav Prospal are leading the team in points. And that is fine, but this team used to have a few offensive threats to score, many who’s cannons have fell silent thus far in the season. RJ Umberger, Antoine Vermette, Derick Brassard, Sammy Pahlsson all have 0 points, and a combined 17 shots on goal. All of these players have to pick up their offensive game. (Albeit Vermette did a great job on defense against The Canucks to stop a empty net goal against). Another major factor in the bad offense is the powerplay. The powerplay is 0 for 16, that is absolutely unacceptable for this team, you will not win games if you cannot score on the powerplay.
The last thing that everyone has to remember, it is 3 games into this season. Step off the cliff edge, and breathe. This is a brand new team, and they will require a bit of patience to work well together. It has been tough to see and im sure the team is as frustrated as most fans are with the slow start. Don’t scapegoat Mason on this, it isn’t his fault, the team in front of him is very shaky defensively at the moment. When the defense is confident again, the goaltender will be confident and playing very well. We have to move on from the past 3 and go forward (thank you captain obvious, I know). We move on to Colorado next, and it should be a great game, hopefully with a different outcome than the first 3.
LETS GO JACKETS!!!!