Nov 23, 2011; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) makes a save during the shoot out against Columbus Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu (17) at the Prudential Center. New Jersey Devils win in shoot out against the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

A Comment To Pucks And Pitchforks: Defending The Columbus Blue Jackets

I was just perusing through some Fansided material when I came across an article from Pucks And Pitchforks, obviously the New Jersey Devils blog. The title reads “Columbus Blue Jackets Offseason: Effect On The New Jersey Devils“, so of course I open it up and read the article. While the article is well written, and makes some valid points, I think there are a couple things that need to be cleared up.

There are two statements made in the post that I would like to refute, first statement…

However, some fans believe and I include myself here, that Columbus got the worst end of the realignment changes. The Red Wings are an Original Six team with a big spending owner in a well-established hockey market and they seem to field a competitive team every season.

[Pucks And Pitchforks - Frank Maduri]

How did Columbus get the worst end of the realignment? The Blue Jackets will now play the majority of their games against Eastern conference teams who are in the same time zone, which also includes shorter travel, and Columbus will play just as tough of opponents as they would if they were in the division that the Red Wings were slotted into.

Take a look at the Atlantic division, Boston has been a contender for a few years now, and Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto are all on the upswing. Yes Columbus will now be playing the likes of Pittsburgh, Washington, and the Rangers, but as mentioned, the Atlantic division has just as tough of opponents. Which brings me to the second statement that I would like to challenge…

The Columbus Blue Jackets are heading into the new season returning a team which almost made the playoffs, and they upgraded their roster over the summer. However, they have a steep learning curve as they enter a new conference and a new division which is filled with top tier playoff caliber teams.

[Pucks And Pitchforks - Frank Maduri]

Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks players and coaches pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup after game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Blackhawks won 3-2 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

I am sorry Frank, I don’t mean to be rude, but have you heard of the former Central division? 2013 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and the Nashville Predators. That is just the Central division, not to mention all the other TOP TIER playoff caliber teams in the West.

Frank, you make it sound like the Blue Jackets have been playing JV hockey teams, and now Columbus will be playing Varsity teams. Yes, Columbus may be a small market team, but that doesn’t mean that the Blue Jackets can’t play hockey with the big boys, because that is what they have been doing since day one.

Columbus fans are welcoming the move East with open arms, I think we know it will be a tough division to play in, but no tougher than Columbus has already experienced. And Frank, start having conversations with smarter casual fans, Columbus has an NHL team, and everyone will know this season.


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