Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/07/13 at 09:51 AM ET
from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,
Let's play a round of 12 questions and see if we can figure it out.
- Just how bad is the Metropolitan?
Pretty bad. The overall record of the division's eight teams is 49-58-11, for 109 points in 118 games. That's a points percentage of .462, which would average out to 76 points over a full season.
To put that in perspective, in 2011-12,2 not a single Eastern Conference team had fewer than 78 points. This year, an entire division is looking up at that total....
- Wasn't this supposed to be the year that the Blue Jackets finally made some noise?
There was good reason to think it could happen. After years of being a punch line,9 the Blue Jackets emerged as one of the better stories of last year's shortened season. New GM Jarmo Kekalainen was an inspired choice, Sergei Bobrovsky emerged as the most unexpected Vezina winner in a decade, and a team that was used to being a seller instead went out and acquired big-name players like Marian Gaborik and Nathan Horton. Factor in the team's move to the traditionally weaker Eastern Conference and you could forgive long-suffering Blue Jackets fans for allowing themselves a little optimism for once.
Which makes the team's 5-9-0 start all the more disappointing. Columbus began the season 2-5-0, climbed back to .500 with a three-game win streak, and have since dropped four straight. The stars have been OK, with Bobrovsky mostly solid and Gaborik leading the team in scoring.10 But the effort level has been questionable at times, a frustrating turn for a fan base that knows all too well that a slow start can torpedo a team's playoff chances. Today, the Blue Jackets sit five points back of the Islanders for the final spot.
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