It’s safe to say no one would have predicted the Columbus Blue Jackets would start the season as poorly as they have.
After winning 16 of their final 17 games last season, expectations were high heading into the 2015-16 campaign. However, they’ve come out flat, dropping a home-and-home with the New York Rangers and lost to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday by a combined score of 13-6.
The 0-3 start has taken general manager Jarmo Kekalainen aback.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of the The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game…it’s off the rails right now. There’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo. No excuse. Every team in this league is a good team, but there’s no excuse to come out with an effort like that, to go off the rails, so far from the way we’re supposed to be playing.”
Kekalainen said everyone in the organization has to be more accountable moving forward, but ultimately that the onus is on the players.
“We’re all accountable, from front office to coaches to players. Todd Richards is a good coach. The guys in the room have to play better,” Kekalainen added. “There aren’t a lot of guys in that group that have played up to their expectations, right? We have many guys playing below expectations, below the bar. Well, it’s hard to be good as a team when you’re not playing well as individuals.”
Columbus hosts the Ottawa Senators Wednesday and follows that up with a Friday matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs.