Turning things around in Columbus

10/27/13 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Blog Photo - Turning things around in ColumbusIt has been a rough go of it for the Columbus Blue Jackets since joining the league in the 2000-01 season.

In their 13 seasons, the Blue Jackets have made the postseason just once and not only that, but this is a franchise that usually finishes close to the bottom of the league (except for last season and 2008-09).

This all changed last year. While the team failed to make the postseason due to a tie-breaker, they took tremendous strides in becoming a better franchise last season, one that is on the right track to make the playoffs this time around.

At 5-5 to start the season, the Blue Jackets are ninth in the Eastern Conference and just two points out of the sixth spot. With that said, the team has won three straight games heading into today’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

There is still a ton of hockey left to be played but here is why we think the Blue Jackets have what it takes to make the postseason this upcoming campaign:

Hockey-Smart Executive Management
The Blue Jackets are now being run by smart and shrewd hockey minds.

The brain behind the organization is John Davidson. It was not too long ago that Davidson took the St. Louis Blues from the cellar to the penthouse as one of the league’s top clubs and right now, he is making similar moves to do the same exact thing in Columbus.

Second, the Blue Jackets have a smart general manager in Jarmo Kekalainen. Kekalainen was shrewd enough to acquire Marian Gaborik at the trade deadline last season and retain Vezina Trophy winning netminder Sergei Bobrovsky for the next two seasons.

With Davidson and Kekalainen at the helm, the Blue Jackets are headed in the right direction as a franchise for the first time in a long time.

Offensive Depth
Last season, the Blue Jackets were 25th in the league in goals scored.

Through the team’s first 10 games this season, the Blue Jackets have scored 28 goals, which has them 19th in the league in that category. For the Blue Jackets, finding the back of the net should start with Gaborik, as he is someone who is more than capable of notching upwards of at least 40 goals.

In nine games this season, Gaborik already has five goals and five assists for ten points. Those numbers should increase as the team’s power play continues to get better (12th in the league as of this writing).

The team is also getting solid production from Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky has seven points (three goals and four assists) and has been a solid contributor on special teams as he has one power play goal and one shorthanded goal.

This team also has Nathan Horton. Out with a shoulder injury, Horton might be the missing piece to the Blue Jackets’ offense as this is a player who can score close to 30 goals year in and year out when healthy.  
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