The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2023-24 has been a disaster. After parting with head coach Mike Babcock before he even stepped on the ice for training camp, his replacement Pascal Vincent is losing the plot, with the Blue Jackets losing nine straight games and 13 of their last 14. They have a 4-11-4 record so far, sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference.
On Monday’s episode of Daily Faceoff LIVE, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk discuss the Blue Jackets’ struggles and what Vincent needs to do if he wants to find a solution.
Tyler Yaremchuk: In Columbus, they’re not just struggling on the ice, but also off it; the stories and the quotes are going viral. Patrik Laine was a healthy scratch for the Blue Jackets over the weekend, he’s a guy who’s making $8.75 million, someone who’s scored 40 goals multiple times in his NHL career, but just two this season. Perhaps more concerning than the goals is the lack of effort, how engaged he looks on the ice. Head coach Pascal Vincent had enough. Was it the right call to scratch Laine?
Frank Seravalli: On the surface, we can agree Laine hasn’t met expectations, and Johnny Gaudreau has been a ghost. But I think some of this comes back on Vincent. Look at some of his quotes from over the weekend. “It’s getting old. I’ve had enough and it’s getting (expletive) old.” You’re 19 games into your NHL head coaching experience. What makes you think you can sit here and say it’s getting old? I know you’re talking about the players’ effort, but this is a league where you need to coach with both a carrot and a stick, it can’t just be the stick. I think he’s got to show more leadership, to begin finding solutions, instead of using the hammer day in and day out.
Kent Johnson was a healthy scratch on opening night. You want to make a statement? Alright, message delivered. Kent Johnson is now in the AHL after a 40-point rookie season as a teenager. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. David Jiricek, their 2022 sixth-overall pick, better than most of the guys in your lineup, he’s a healthy scratch and also sent to the AHL. Now you’ve got Gaudreau benched, Laine healthy scratched: at what point does this just become an entirely toxic environment?
You can watch the full segment here…