Before this season, Howson said the Blue Jackets might have trouble scoring but he had confidence that the defense — with the acquisition of defensemen Jack Johnson and Adrian Aucoin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky — would be vastly improved.
"We're going to have to score by committee," Howson said. "Some of our offense is going to have to come from our defense again. That's how we're going to do it. We're all focused on making sure that first and foremost we're better defensively."
The Blue Jackets won their opener, 3-2 in a shootout at Nashville, and earned another point in their second game. But they lost eight of 10 games before Monday night's victory with heavy injuries in the defensive corps.
Columbus will begin a six-game, Western trip on Friday at defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.
"We're seeing some good things," Davidson said. "I saw some good stuff with the win over San Jose; we did our jobs. Listen, we have to work hard. Other teams work hard and some of them may have more talent than us. So we have to work hard. (If) we don't, we don't have a chance. We all understand that."
The Blue Jackets have three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. The pressure will be on the scouting staff and the new GM to make the most of those selections, something the Blue Jackets have seldom done in 13 previous drafts.
"That's certainly a key part of it, there's no question," Davidson said. "We'll see where it goes, if we have more picks or we make a deal here or there or whatever. But it's really important when you get into this position to take advantage of three in the first round.
"That's a nice luxury we're going to have, and we really have to be prepared for that. We've zeroed in hard on that already."
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