Nov 12, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) looks to shoot against Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the second period at the Verizon Center. Dubinsky scored on the play. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Examining December: A look At The Blue Jackets Upcoming Schedule

This is the latest edition in a monthly series which examines the upcoming months schedule for the Blue Jackets, pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly. As an added bonus, I’ll even throw in my prediction for how the team will do after the month in question is completed, and take a look at my previous prediction. Please, feel free to comment or give your own predictions here or on twitter.

Last Month:

Columbus Blue Jackets center R.J. Umberger and Edmonton Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky
Photo by: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Very early this season, I posted an article talking about how the Blue Jackets seemed to be two-faced on the ice.  One of those faces can be quite good,  but the other…not so good.  Nothing proves this more than the Month of November.

November started out as “O”-vember with the Jackets starting the month 0-4 before finally getting a win.  After a few overtime losses in a row, the rest of the month quite literally finished like this: win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win…you get the idea?

I don’t think anyone involved can make heads or tails of this team.  On the 19th, they were shut out 7-0 by a woeful Edmonton team (sorry to bring that up again), and a few days later beat a very solid Maple Leafs team 6-0 in Toronto.  Like I said, your guess as to which team is going to show up is as good as mine.

I predicted the team would go 8-5-3 (19 points) in November.  In reality, they went 5-8-3 (13 points).  Considering what this season has shown us, I’d say my prediction was pretty good.

December:

Nov 27, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) skates with the puck in front of Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Photo By: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The December schedule has its share of challenges, but also presents the Blue Jackets with opportunities to shape up and get right back into the playoff fight.  There are 13 games in the month (7 home & 6 away), 9 of which are against Eastern Conference opponents.

The month includes two games against the division leading Penguins, two games against the Devils and a home and home against Philadelphia.

The first tough test is going to come early as the Jackets take on the Lightning Tuesday night.  Tampa Bay is currently 4th place in the east with 33 points.  However, most of their luck has been at home, and they are under .500 on the road.

Analysis:

I’m fully aware of how good Pittsburgh is, but even if for the sake of pride alone, the Blue Jackets really need to get a win against them this year.  I truly think that Columbus can win out the home and home against Philadelphia regardless of who the Flyers decide to start in net.  So, if they can win 1 of 2 against the Penguins and beat either Tampa Bay or Minnesota, then things will really start looking up.

The December schedule is going to be a tough one, but they are just going to have to focus and bring home the wins.

As a positive thinking Jackets fan, I think that Winnipeg, New Jersey and Colorado should be wins for the Jackets, which would be the “easier games” that I referenced earlier.

Prediction:

I say that the Jackets go 6-6-1 in the month of December for a total of 13 points.

What do you think?  Comment below, and make your own predictions for the month!

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