Blue Jackets continue to roll

1/24/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Jan 21, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov (42) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY SportsIf you're a Columbus Blue Jackets fan, than you know that things have not always been easy for your favorite hockey team.

Since joining the league in the 2000-01 season, the team has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs just once, which came back in the 2008-09 season. The team has not made the postseason since then but after coming extremely close last season to getting in, the Blue Jackets appear to be a team that could possibly get into the big dance this season.

This should be the case considering the way the Blue Jackets are playing right now. With their 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nationwide Arena last night, the team has won eight straight games and finds themselves more in the thick of things in the ever competitive Eastern Conference.

With the club's win last night, the Blue Jackets moved into seventh place in the Eastern Conference and now have 56 points. This puts them just one point behind the sixth place New York Rangers, and three points behind both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

The main reason why the Blue Jackets are on a roll right now is because they are playing well as a team. This means that from their goaltending on out, the team is getting positive contributions and as a result, are finding ways to win hockey games.

Blue Jackets' goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender last season, is back on top of his game after missing some time with an injury. On the season, "Bob" is 17-11-2 with a 2.53 goals against average, a .916 save percentage, and two shutouts and in this eight game winning streak, has stopped 206 of 220 shots.

The team's offense has also come alive during this franchise-record winning streak. Players such as Ryan Johansen (19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points), Brandon Dubinsky (11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points), Nick Foligno (12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points), Cam Atkinson (15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points), RJ Umberger (13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points), and Artem Anisimov (13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points) have all played a big role in the team's eight game winning streak.

Speaking of offense, the return of Nathan Horton has also played a big role on the team's current streak. In 10 games this season, Horton has four goals and three assists for seven points and has shown that when healthy, he can be one of the league's best power forwards.

Defensively, the Blue Jackets have been rock solid. During the streak, the team has allowed 17 goals and has made sure to clear loose pucks from in front of their net, make smart decisions with the puck in their own zone and help out Bobrovsky as much as they can.

There is still a lot of hockey left to be played, but if the Blue Jackets continue to play this way, they just might find themselves playing for hockey's Holy Grail come April.
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