Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Hail To The BJ

Previews of the Division That Gary Built return today with a look at our once and future rivals, the Columbus Blue Jackets.  I’m no expert on the BJ’s. In fact I wasn’t even aware of their existence until late in life.  But now that I’ve found them, I recognize their value.  I’m sure you do as well.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it now…the better the BJ’s, the better off we all are.  We, as a fan base, can only benefit from their improvement, especially if Gary Bettman plans on giving the BJ’s to us 8 times per year.

What…and you expected me to somehow mature or something?  Please.

The Neutral Zone Trap

And my unreasonable expectation? Well, if some players have break out seasons, others in contract years play to get the big bucks, there’s some better luck with injuries, and the team just all-around plays over their heads (a la the 2000-01 original Blue Jackets), they could surprise a few teams, and maybe sneak into that #8 spot. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’ in that, so we’ll call that my dream projection for 2007-08.

Unreasonable?  Not if they play the rest of the league the way they play the Wings.  Every game is tight and they’re no longer the pushovers they once were.  They hate them some Wings in Columbus and the rivalry, eventually, will be there.

End of the Bench

I don’t expect the Blue Jackets to make the playoffs, but I expect that they can pull things together and make some semblance of a run.  The Central Division will be more competitive this year, with Chicago and St. Louis both improving.  Nashville is not expected to be as dominant this year, and Detroit is Detroit.  It will be a difficult road to hoe, but with all the talk being about how much tougher this squad will be I think it should be fun to watch.

Both preview are excellent.  I pulled out the generalized statements about the possibility of overall success.  Read the the rest of both to get a better feel for what’s in store from Columbus this year.


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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com