The Tuesday Blues: Blue Jackets Struggle with Midweek Match-ups

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Just when you thought Mondays were the worst day of the week.

Not even the Columbus Blue Jackets can escape the lull of a Tuesday at the office. However, even after five chances, the Jackets cannot find the secret formula for mid-week success.

Since beginning the season, Columbus has played every Tuesday with the exception of Oct. 21, facing off against Dallas, Ottawa, Carolina, Washington and Detroit in that order. Columbus has two days to rest prior to each game with the exception of the Ottawa match-up.

These clubs currently sit between third and seventh in their respective divisions and aside from all having played Columbus on a Tuesday this season, there seemingly seems to be no statistical correlation between these clubs. The Stars lead the bunch in goals per game (2.86), good for eighth in the league, while Carolina ranks 25th in the category with a 2.40 goals per game average, representing a substantial range in the category.

Much like the variety of teams Columbus has faced, the losses have come in many forms. The team’s losses to Dallas and Carolina were not sealed into last-minute empty-netters put the game on ice, but Columbus never lead at any point during either contest. Columbus registered only 26 shots in its loss to Washington while falling to Detroit and Ottawa by a combined score of 10-2.


David Savard, Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno have each accumulated two goals over the five games, but with the exception of Foligno’s close-proximity score against Carolina, Columbus has failed to score in the third period. The Jackets were outshot in four of the third periods, a grand total of 58-46, which could be partially attributed to eight penalties during the span. Creating offensive opportunities can be a struggle when the puck remains in the defensive zone.

It can also be tough on the goaltenders.

Between the pipes, goaltenders Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney split the match-ups with Bobrovsky starting the team’s first Tuesday game against Dallas and the most recent match-up against Detroit after returning from a finger injury. Whether it was the starter or the back-up, neither goaltender posted a save percentage greater than .917, that being McElhinney’s percentage from the club’s 4-2 loss to Carolina. That was also the only Tuesday game in which either goaltender did not allow a third period goal.

Bobrovsky will get the start against Winnipeg as Columbus seeks to snap its streak. Should Columbus lose to the Jets, the next opportunity for a Tuesday win will come against Philadelphia on Dec. 9.