Should Columbus stick with Steve Mason?

Updated: October 13, 2011, 1:14 PM ET
By Craig Custance

By Michael Arace's count, there were 27 scouts in attendance for the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. Twenty-seven.

It might be the best external evidence that Columbus GM Scott Howson may not sit quietly while his team starts slowly. This is arguably the most crucial season in the history of the franchise -- at the very least, it's the most crucial of Howson's tenure. So far, it's not going well.

Wednesday's shootout loss dropped the Blue Jackets to 0-3-1. A win by the Nashville Predators or Detroit Red Wings tonight would put Columbus five points back of first place in the division, and they've played more than anybody in the Central. Opposing teams are starting to circle.