2022-2023 CBJ Recap

Anthony Perkins Avatar

2022-2023 Season Recap

                This was my third season as a Season Ticket Holder for the Columbus Blue Jackets, my third season of them being my favorite NHL squad. This was also the most difficult season. This season was the worst season in my memory of being even a casual Blue Jackets fan.

                The Blue Jackets came into this season with a lot of buzz. Johnny “freaking” Hockey, chose to sign in Columbus during the off-season, much to the dismay of Flames AND Devils fans everywhere. Johnny came here to win hockey games. Spoiler Alert: we didn’t win many, but we did win.  So, let’s break it down by the numbers.

  • 563: The number of Games lost to injury.
  • 13.5%: Chance to secure the #1 overall pick.
  • 21: Goals by Kirill Marchenko
  • 47: The number of players who wore a Blue Jackets Sweater.
  • 4: The number of Rookies playing their first ever NHL game, when the Jackets beat Pittsburgh for the first time since 2019.
  • 7: The number of games won by the team’s winningest goalie, Elvis.

563 games lost to injury is arguably the biggest stat here. It wasn’t just a few here and there either, it was big ones, for extended periods of time. Zach Werenski, Jake Bean, Adam Boqivst, Jake Voracek, Gus Nyquist, Boone Jenner, Nick Blankenburg, Mathieu Olivier, Yegor Chinakov, Jonas Korpisalo, Elvis Merzlikins, Daniil Tarasov: all spend extended time on the IR. Jake Voracek may have even played his last NHL game ever. This team just couldn’t overcome the injury bug.

The Blue Jackets heading into the final stretch of the season, for the most part, held their destiny in their own hands. Lose and win Conner Bedard. Finishing 32nd overall would have given Jarmo and the team a 25.5% chance to pick #1 overall, and snag Bedard. Although, as Jarmo put it in his exit interview, its also a 74.5% chance to NOT pick #1 overall, I guess he’s glass full kind of guy. By beating the Penguins on 4/13, combined with the Ducks losing, Columbus ruined any shot at finishing 32nd, however, all isn’t lost. The Blue Jackets finished 31st, securing the second worst record. 13.5% chance at picking #1 overall, but a 100% chance to pick in the top 4. We will likely see either Bedard, Fantilli, Carlsson, or Michkov in Union Blue come draft night, all these players are top talent, and all of them could go #1 if they weren’t in the same draft class.

                47 different players donned the Union Blue for Columbus this season, many of them being first timers or rookies. Four of them played their first NHL ever, against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and helped them beat them for the first time since 2019. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Penguins but REALLLY? NOW you had to beat them now.

Elvis Merzlikins was both, the Blue Jackets worst (.876%SV; 4.23GAA) goalie, and their “best goalie (Most wins: 7). This has been a very trying year for the 4th year goal tender. He knows he must be better. He knows his contract states he should be performing better; we can hope he can be better next season.

                Blue Jackets closed out the season Friday with a home loss to the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2. Finishing 25-48-9. Saturday morning, the team announced the firing of Brad Larsen, (62-85-16), and the dismissal of Goalie coach, Manny Legace. Jarmo, the Team, and the fans are tired of watching the playoffs from our couches. We are expecting a turnaround next season. The tools are there. We have the 3rd best prospect pool in the NHL. Two of our rookies were in the running for the Calder Trophy until the very end.

Kirill Marchenko broke the rookie scoring record, previously held by Pierre Luc- Dubious. Scoring 21 goals, with only 4 assists. Marchenko achieved this feat in 59 games compared to PLD’s full 82 game season. Personally, I love Kirill. I hope he makes Columbus his home for a long time. He’s a media darling. Exhibit A and B below.


Kent Johnson is the future of this team. Johnson had 40 points in his rookie campaign, 16 goals and 24 assists. Placing third behind PLD (48) and Z (47) for the most points by a rookie in CBJ history.  He pulled off the “Michigan” on the 27th Anniversary of it. He is just the 6th player in the NHL to accomplish this type of goal. He is very aware of his potential, and the fact that he will be the future of this team. I can’t wait to see him score more goals this next season.


Sean Kuraly was another bright spot of a dismal season. Kuraly (11-9-20) played center in 71 games this season, going 49% on the dot. Kuraly is no stranger to adversity, but this season was something different for him. Kuraly, who played his first 6 seasons for the Boston Bruins, has played in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, he’s tasted victory, he knows what it takes to build a team that can go to the Stanley Cup finals, and he believes Columbus has the beginning foundation to do just that.

Johnny Gaudreau (21-53-74) chose to come to Columbus. Johnny came here to win hockey games. Gaudreau finished the season with 20 multi-point games, including a 5-point game March 14th @ San Jose. Finishing the season with 4 game winning goals, 3 coming in overtime, he led the team in game winning goals. He is confident that this team is going to come back next year and be a lot better.


With all this said, we can only sit aside and wait for May 8th, when the draft lottery will be decided, and Jackets fans will know for sure where our future lies. Until then, sit back, and watch some playoff hockey!

This off-season is sure to be an exciting one, I for one, cannot wait to see what kind of moves Jarmo makes this off-season, starting with who is our next head coach?






Photo Credit: Anthony Perkins, Perkins Photography, 4/13/2023 @ Nationwide Arena

Tagged in :

Anthony Perkins Avatar

One response to “2022-2023 CBJ Recap”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Articles & Posts