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The Columbus Blue Jackets are not the worst team in the league


Let's take a look at Columbus' top-line stats over the last three seasons:

5v5 5v5 5v5 5v5 5v4 5v4 4v5 4v5 5v5 5v4/4v5
SF/60 Sh% SA/60 Sv% SF/60 Sh% SA/60 Sv% PDO PDO
2011-12 28.9 7.6 28.4 886 54.7 6.5 58 779 962 844
2010-11 29.5 8.1 28.9 909 53.7 8.9 53.4 869 990 958
2009-10 27.7 8.4 29.4 909 51.8 11.9 52.3 872 993 991

Their underlying numbers aren't any worse than they were the last two seasons. The problem, as usual in these situations, is absurdly low shooting percentage and absurdly low save percentage. Let's be uncharitable: call them a 991 PDO team at 5v5 and a 960 PDO team at 5v4. If I use those numbers to reconstruct their season, I get a team that's 28-30 at 5v5 (vs 25-37 in reality) and 10-9 on PP goals for vs against (as opposed to 7-15 in reality.) Even a Columbus team with weak shooting talent and poor goaltending ends up 38-39 so far and not 32-52.

Nothing will save the Blue Jackets' season after this brutal start, but it's important to keep in mind that they're a vastly better team than Minnesota and Anaheim, both of which were awful last year too.