No Blue Jackets fan wanted to experience the misery that Columbus displayed last season. But the beginning of this year is not much better, and the players who should be leading the team are struggling.
Blue Jackets defenseman Damon Severson was even left on the bench for the entire third period of the game, which Columbus ended up losing 0-4.
Seconds before the Red Wings’ second goal, Severson had the puck deep in his own zone and tried to find Patrik Laine with a pass. Detroit forward J.T. Compher intercepted Severson’s attempt and found Michael Rasmussen to celebrate the goal.
“I don’t know if I wanted to impress my new teammates or the fans or the management. … It’s stupid because obviously they brought me here for a reason,” he said of the bitter moment. “I’m well aware that I can’t do that. I have to play simple.”
No wonder Severson feels like he has to come up with big things. His eight-year, fifty-million-dollar contract obliges him to do so. His $6.25 million salary cap hit is the second highest of any Columbus defenseman, behind only Zach Werenski.
Patrik Laine looks completely out of shape. At least according to Finn himself. He has 1+1 in three games so far, but it’s his performance that bothers him.
“Pretty terrible so far,” he said after the last game when asked how his performances were. “I can’t hit a goal if my life depended on it, I can’t make a pass, I can’t win a faceoff. Basically, I can’t help anything right now.”
It may be related to the change, which is certainly not small. After spending the first seven years of his career as a wing, Laine is playing center this season. “I’m going to keep working, keep pushing myself, try to fix it all and try to get back to the level I should be at,” he said.
Laine currently leads a line with Adam Fantilli and Alexandre Texier after trying it with Johnny Gaudreau earlier in the season.