Archive for Columbus Blue Jackets
Last year: 43-32-7, fourth in the Metro Division. Eliminated by the Penguins in the first round.
Key additions: Scott Hartnell, Brian Gibbons
Key subtractions: R.J. Umberger, Jack Skille, Derek MacKenzie, Blake Comeau, Nikita Nikitin
Franchise direction: The Jackets are happy as clams with the way things are going after they made a surprise postseason appearance and gave Pittsburgh all it could handle in the first round of the playoffs. Columbus had to let go of a few spare parts to provide flexibility and allow the team to lock up key long-term pillars like Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky, but the team has quality reinforcements. Read More→
On Monday, Dave pointed out that though things have seemed a little hairy lately, the team’s playoff chances were still at 94.4% according to SportsClubStats. Those odds improved to 97.9% after New York beat Phoenix in overtime and Philadelphia lost in regulation to Los Angeles on Monday night, and St. Louis beat Toronto, the Capitals lost to the Kings in a shootout and the Blue Jackets beat the Red Wings on Tuesday.
In other words, barring a monumental collapse, the Rangers will be in the postseason. Of course, we’re still inclined to worry about the supposed 2.1% chance that does happen, so I figured we ought to check in on the teams that could ruin New York’s spring.
If you thought the Rangers had a bad start to the year, then what would you say about the Flyers, who fired their coach after just three games? But the Flyers have really been among the league’s better teams for several months. Claude Giroux leads the way for Philly, averaging over a point per game, but the Flyers also have six other players with 15+ goals on the year. As always, Philly has a high-powered offense, but – and this won’t surprise you – the Flyers’ Achilles heel is their goaltending and team defense. Steve Mason and Ray Emery have combined to give up an average over 2.8 goals per game. Philadelphia will visit the Blueshirts tonight in a game with huge implications, and the Flyers still have tough games left against Boston (twice), St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
Points: 83 Games remaining: 11 Home/road split: 5/6