2015 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets young roster played competitively throughout last season, but fell short of reaching a second straight playoffs. In the offseason the Blue Jackets made one of the biggest moves of the year, prying away Brandon Saad from the Blackhawks. The 22 year old Saad instantly bolsters the young Blue Jackets front line, and should be a move that pays dividends for Columbus for years to come. Maybe the biggest question for the 2015 Columbus Blue Jackets team will be on the defensive end of the ice. If Columbus is able to improve their defensive effort from a season ago, there is a good chance that the Blue Jackets will be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again.
2014 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The 2013-14 NHL season was one of great accomplishment for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets finished the season with a 43-32 record and qualified for the NHL postseason for just the 2nd time in franchise history. The Blue Jackets went on to play a tough series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and finished 1 goal away from sending the series to 7 games. In 2014 the excitement and buzz around Columbus is as good as it has been in the history of the team. The offseason addition of winger Scott Hartnell should see the Columbus scoring attack greatly from a year ago. Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is back in 2014 and gives the Blue Jackets the stability in the net that the Blue Jackets will need to make a deeper run in the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs. Ryan Johansen returns for his 3rd NHL season as probably the Columbus Blue Jackets top player and could transition into one of the NHL’s elite players in 2014. The Blue Jackets should be right in the thick of the NHL playoff hunt again in 2014 and look for Columbus to try to push forward to the franchise’s 1st playoff series victory.
2013 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The Blue Jackets had a great end to the season in 2013, but couldn’t close the big gap they left themselves and still missed the playoffs. This year, they’ll have Marian Gaborik for the entire season and hope to see goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky continue his stellar play behind goal. Nathan Horton was brought in to help on offense, and was a big get on the free agent market for the Blue Jackets. Columbus now has to battle the Penguins, Capitals and Rangers in the same division, so it won’t be easy, but another good year from Bobrovsky and anything can happen. The Blue Jackets have big games against the Jets, Wild and Penguins in December, but will be on the road in Colorado for a game against the Avalanche on New Year’s Eve. Columbus will have a match up with the Capitals on Jan. 17, and then a three-game home stand against the Kings, Flyers and Sabres from Jan. 21 to Jan 25.
2011 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The beginning of the 2010-2011 season for the Blue Jackets was remarkable, losing only five times. However it wouldn’t last, and a slump in the middle of the season turned into losing streaks that Columbus couldn’t shake. That stuck with the team this offseason as it made moves for a proven scorer and help for a blue line that proved to be its downfall. That scorer, Jeff Carter, is the one piece the Blue Jackets have never had. The former Philadelphia Flyer first round draft pick scored knocked in 36 goals and 66 points overall, stats that would have helped Columbus take the next step in 2010-11. CBJ’s leading scorer last season, Rick Nash, is hoping that Carter is the center he’s been looking for to feed him the puck to increase the 32-goal tally he reached last year. Columbus’ defense holds the second-biggest free agent offseason signing, James Wisniewski. The former Canadien and Islander was a controversial pick-up because many believe Columbus overpaid. However, it was Wisniewski’s offensive push, as well as his defense, that many believe justify his contract. His 23 assists would have ranked him sixth on the team last year.
2010 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets have not given their fans much to cheer about since their inaugural season in 2000. In nine seasons, the team has made the postseason just once, in 2009, when they were quickly swept by the Detroit Red Wings. While Columbus has several talented goal scorers, their defense may keep them from making the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. The offense is led by one of the most dynamic scorers in the NHL, Rick Nash. Although he led the team in goals and total points, with 33 and 67 respectively, he had very little help. This season he will be joined by Antoine Vermette and R.J. Umberger on the wing, so Columbus may have several more scoring options to turn to. The team's assist leader from a year ago, Kristian Huselius, is returning as well, and he has the potential to be one of the best offensive players in the league. While the offense may have several potential superstars, the defense does not have a standout player. Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda and Grant Clitsome all have experience, but none have first line pedigree. A porous defense will make it tough for goaltender Steve Mason, who has the skills to be one of the top netminders in the NHL.
2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Season Preview
The Columbus Blue Jackets hope to reach higher heights in the 2009-2010 NHL season. The Blue Jackets finished 4th in the Central division, but still made the playoffs. Although Columbus' playoff visit was short because they got swept out by division rival, the Detroit Red Wings. The Blue Jackets head into the new season led by team captain Rick Nash, rookie Steve Mason and Head Coach Ken Hitchcock. Look for those three to get things rolling in Ohio and take the Blue Jackets deeper into the 2010 NHL playoffs.