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.
With the exception of the Penguin curse and a very upsetting loss to Colorado on New Years Eve, the Jackets had a pretty good month. It was an especially good month if you take into account the fact that most of our top players are on injured reserve.
Some readers thought that I was being too optimistic when I predicted that the Blue Jackets would go 6-6-1 in the month of December and pick up 13 points. Turns out that we were all wrong, as the Jackets were actually 7-5-1, picking up 15 points in the standings. Again, with the list of injuries in mind, December was a good month.
The Blue Jackets January schedule is packed with 14 games (8 Home and 6 away), and although they are playing more games at home, there are a few games that could give the Jackets a tough go in Nationwide Arena in the month of January. The three toughest being Alex Ovetchkin and the Washington Capitals coming to town twice on the 17th and 30th, and when Justin Bieber fanboy (I’m not bitter) and egocentric princess (again…not bitter) Jeff Carter and the Kings make a stop on the 21st.
The longest road trip for the Jackets will be the three game series that starts tomorrow in Phoenix before heading to St. Louis on the 4th and ending in New York against former Columbus captain Rick Nash and the Rangers on the 6th.
There are a few really tough games in this months schedule, but the Jackets are due to get Sergei Bobrovsky very soon as well as (dare I say it?) Nathan Horton making his Blue Jackets debut after recovering from shoulder surgery in the offseason.
If Columbus can go 1-1 against Washington and get a win over either the Kings or the Blues (or both!), then they can set themselves up to have a very good month. I firmly believe that they can continue their dominance over Philly, and can get a few easy wins at home over Buffalo, Carolina and Ottawa.
Short and sweet, I say the Blue Jackets are 7-5-2 in the month of January, and walk away with 16 points in the standings.