Blue Jackets Vs. Blackhawks: Columbus Plays First Game After Firing Scott Arniel

For more on the Columbus Blue Jackets, go to The Cannon. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NHL hub at SBNation.com/NHL.

Tuesday night the Columbus Blue Jackets will begin a new era. After firing coach Scott Arniel, Todd Richards will take over as the interim coach of the Blue Jackets, and it is hoped that he can do something about getting Columbus out of the cellar of the NHL.

Columbus has the unfortunate distinction of owning the NHL's worst record at the rough halfway point in the season, and a major reason for that has been a lack of scoring. Columbus ranks 27th out of 30 teams in the league at just 2.3 goals per game. They also rate 27th in goals against at 3.2 goals per game.

Columbus' penalty killing units have also been dreadful, as they are 29th in the league in killing barely more than 75% of their penalties. it has left many Jackets fans asking the question, "What now?":

Of course, Richards is going to do everything he can to make a case that he deserves the head coaching job next year and not someone else. We've seen this before - the Blue Jackets season all but over by the end of January, then sometime after the All-Star break they start playing well and beating teams they shouldn't. Ultimately, this results in the team playing just well enough to not draft one of the elite players in the draft. Even the year they drafted Rick Nash, they had to trade for the pick.

For more on the Columbus Blue Jackets, go to The Cannon. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NHL hub at SBNation.com/NHL.

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