Johnny Gaudreau’s Second-Half Surge

Johnny Gaudreau races down the ice towards the Buffalo Sabres goal.

In the NHL, many players often experience ups and downs in their performance throughout a season. Columbus Blue Jackets forward Johnny Gaudreau is no exception, but recently it’s his surge in point production during the second half of this season has been noteworthy. With 10 points so far in February and being the Jacket’s current point leader (42), Gaudreau is showing signs that he has found his stride.

The Beginning of the Season

For Johnny Gaudreau, the 2023-24 season started slowly, as he produced 11 points in the Blue Jackets’ first 25 games. He averaged 0.44 points per game in October and 0.46 in November. Both months were hard for the Blue Jackets to find some wins as well as they won eight out of their first 25 games. In November, there was also a nine-game losing streak. Getting goals and assists is still possible when the team is in a rut, but it can make production harder.

There are some things to keep in mind when looking at this slow start. The Blue Jackets are a very young team overall. While they showcase some top-tier talent, their inexperience comes with some occasional hiccups. Another thing is that the coaching controversy before the season threw a wrench in the works, and current head coach Pascal Vincent was put on the spot. Plans that may have been laid out for weeks and months had to be changed at the last minute. Lastly, in addition to being young, there are also a few new faces on the team this season. Johnny Gaudreau is only in his second season with the Blue Jackets, and adjusting to a new team can be difficult. Combine that with the number of injuries last year and this year, and there seems to be a constant rotation of ever-changing line combinations due to the fault of no one. Only 10 out of the 23 players currently rostered have played on the Blue Jackets for more than the last two consecutive seasons. (I excluded three who were absent or missed more than 90% of games last season.)

Mid-Season Improvements

There have been several factors that have contributed to Johnny Gaudreau’s recent upswing in points, but first, let’s look at how much the stats have improved. In December, Gaudreau averaged a point a game, and the Blue Jackets won six out of 14 games. Those stats dropped some in January to 0.58 points per game with four wins out of 12 games. That brings us to the current month of February, and with seven games played, Gaudreau has averaged 1.42 points per game so far. The Blue Jackets have been able to win three of those seven games, and there are two games left in this month.

Some may attribute Gaudreau’s recent success to him improving on his own by creating more chances for goals and assisting on many of those goals. While he has improved on a personal level, some of Johnny Gaudreau’s recent success may also be attributed to the team getting better as a whole. With 25 games left to play, the Blue Jackets are about 3/4 of the way through their season. At this point in the season, it would make sense that a team would start playing more cohesively and for some of the younger players to have developed and become more comfortable in the NHL. The Blue Jackets are not perfect, but improvements have been made.

The Future

In the past few weeks, Gaudreau has had a consistent linemate in Boone Jenner. The third person in the first line varies from occasionally. Currently, Jack Roslovic is slotted into that spot, and with his NHL experience, as well as playing last season with Gaudreau and a few seasons with Jenner, he seems like a good fit for now.

The end of the season is getting closer, and many are wondering if the Blue Jackets will finish strong. Recent games might make one think this is a good possibility. In my personal opinion, I think that the Blue Jackets will showcase some of their young stars and how the team may look in the future. When the team is focused and able to gel with each other, you can see some glimpses into the possibly bright future of this franchise. Win or lose, the improvement is noticeable, and with Johnny Hockey himself leading in team points, a strong finish may be what’s in store.

218. Two Thorns, No Rose CBJectively Speaking

Jeremy welcomes Kyle to the show as we talk about the news and notes for all things Columbus Blue Jackets this week. Did we get some GM news? Gavin Brindley back to Ann Arbor? You won't want to miss it!Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Thread, and Twitter: @CBJectivelyPodCheck us out on Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube: CBJectively SpeakingGive Kyle a follow on Twitter: @KylesArtilleryRate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen!Check out our website: www.cbjectivelyspeaking.comCheck out our merchandise: www.cbjectivelymerch.comJeremy's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/jpaul/Laura's Stories: https://insidetherink.com/author/lnorman/
  1. 218. Two Thorns, No Rose
  2. 217. Jeff Rimer, The G.O.A.T.
  3. 216. Future Reality TV Stars?
  4. 215. Blue Jackets Breakdown
  5. 214. Deadline Delusion

Lance Schrock

Credentialed Writer covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Host of the BrewJackets Podcast.

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