A shortened hockey season can freak people out. After all, each game has much more importance. This isn’t 100% correct, but I’ve heard individuals say that each game is the equivalent of two. So, when the Jackets lost four games in a row, it was like an eight game losing streak right? WRONG.
The fact of the matter is, if Columbus lost eight consecutive games, they would be multiple points out of a playoff spot. As of last night, the Blue Jackets are tied for the seventh spot in the Western Conference. Granted, the Jackets have played more games than most of the teams that they are tied with, they are still in a legitimate tie with Dallas, Nashville, and Phoenix (who have all played six contests). Two of the three teams I just mentioned experienced great success last season, while Dallas is still considered a better club than Columbus, especially after their offseason additions.
Last night’s victory against Dallas was big. Not only were the Stars coming off a loss, but they were also playing their first game with recently signed forward, Jamie Benn. You can bet Dallas was a hungry team, but Columbus shut them down.
The Jackets played a good defensive game, while getting timely scoring from the players that need to score goals for this club to win. Sergei Bobrovsky also played a strong game. He now has two victories, a 2.40 GAA, and a .922 SV%.
Fedor Tyutin (pictured) now leads the team in points (1G, 4A) as a defensemen. Jack Johnson is settling in; he created a few great scoring chances last night, and really should have had a goal. If you haven’t seen Kari Lehtonen’s glove save on Johnson yet, go to NHL.comΒ and view it. It’s pretty ridiculous, for a lack of a better word.
Now Columbus is one win away from being a .500 team. The better news is that they have played back-to-back strong games. They outplayed the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks a few nights ago, but came one goal short of a victory. I don’t like to dwell on the past, but the “incidental contact” call that disallowed a Derick Brassard goal in the second period was absolutely horrible, and it unfortunately affected the outcome of that game.
Tonight, Columbus visits the Minnesota Wild, who have a record of 2-2-1. If the Blue Jackets can spring a few wins together, they could gain confidence. For a team that most predicted to miss the 2013 postseason, confidence is very important. You don’t need skill to be confident, you do need confidence in order to succeed though.
More to come,