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Now Is The Time For The Columbus Blue Jackets To Make A Playoff Push

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

The Jackets won at least 45 games in each of the previous three seasons. The consensus three months ago, then, was that they had built something that was greater than the sum of their parts. As their hype video says, “From out of our blue, we rise.”

The new season is one-third gone now. The Jackets (11-12-4, 26 points) are in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Their 68 goals scored and minus-16 differential through 27 games put them among the most anemic teams in the league.

Old rule of thumb: The earlier a team can get into playoff position, the better. Over the previous six years, 74 of 96 teams in a playoff spot on Thanksgiving Day went on to clinch. On Thursday past, the Jackets were in seventh place in the wild-card standings. (Insert turkey joke here.)...

Although there is a lot of hockey yet to play, you will in the coming days get as good a gauge on these Jackets as you’re going to get. Remember all that talk about proving doubters wrong? About how the team would respond after losing Panarin, Bobrovsky, et al.? About how a strong locker room would coalesce in defiance? Now is the time.

The Jackets host Panarin and the New York Rangers on Thursday. The Jackets play at Florida on Saturday and will probably see Bobrovsky in net. The Jackets play the Ovechkins in Washington on Monday.

If they have an emotional response — if they rise — you will see what has largely been missing so far.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com