2013-14 Season Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets



Regular Season: The Blue Jackets played meaningful games right down to the last weekend of the season for the first time since they made the playoffs the last (and only) time, in 2008-09.  They had a major award winner as Sergei Bobrovsky took home the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender.

Playoffs:  Alas, their run at a playoff spot fell short, as they lost a tiebreaker to the Wild for the 8th playoff spot.

Apr 25, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Derek MacKenzie (24) shoots the puck in the Dallas Stars zone during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blue Jackets defeated the Stars 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Out:  F Vinny Prospal, F Colton Gillies, D Adrian Aucoin, G Michael Leighton

In:  F Nathan Horton, F Jack Skille, G Curtis McElhinny

Ready To Make The Jump:  D Ryan Murray


1.  Bring The Bob:  Was Sergei Bobrovsky’s tremendous season a fluke or is he for real?  He was THE major reason why the Blue Jackets were a factor down the stretch, and if he slides at all, Columbus is back to square 1.

2.  The Forgotten Man:  2nd overall pick in 2012, Ryan Murray would have been an NHL last season, if not for the shoulder injury he suffered while playing in junior in the lockout. He wasn’t top of mind last season, but if his recovery is complete he should be a factor on the Jackets’ blue line.

3.  Fewer Frequent Flier Miles:  The shift to the Eastern Conference will dramatically reduce the travel strains on the club, and they find themselves in the shallower of the two Eastern Divisions.

PROGNOSIS:  The Blue Jackets rely a whole lot on goaltending, and Bobrovsky wouldn’t be the first 1 year wonder (even for the Blue Jackets – hello Steve Mason).  They made a good run down the stretch, but will Horton and Murray provide enough to get them over the top?

PREDICTION: 7th Metropolitan Division.

We will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted FinishAtlanticMetropolitanCentralPacific
1Sept 9Sept 8Sept 7Sept 6
2Sept 5Sept 4Sept 3Sept 2
3Sept 1Aug 31Aug 30Aug 29
4Aug 28Aug 27Aug 26Aug 25
5Aug 24Aug 23Aug 22Aug 21
6Aug 20Aug 19Aug 18Aug 17
7Aug 16Blue JacketsStarsFlames