Man, what a difference a four game winning streak makes. What difference having your Vezina winning goaltender and marquee free agent signing back in the lineup. If you haven’t already noticed, everything being written about the Columbus Blue Jackets (even from sources outside the CBJ blogosphere) are filled with only positive words about the Blue Jackets and their future. Everything from the media, to Nathan Horton‘s smile are exuding an air of new found confidence in this team’s ability to win.
The team has gone 5-1-0 since Nathan Horton’s debut and are clawing their way back into the Metropolitan Division playoff picture. I’m starting to think that our next Union and Blue Song For the Game should be Bob Marley’s “Positive Vibration”.
For the first time all season, I feel like the Blue Jackets team from last March and April surge have returned. Down 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, I found myself asking “Who is going to step up?” rather than “Will someone step up?”. One word makes a big difference. Flash back to a month or two ago, if the Jackets fell behind in a game, the chances of a comeback were slim to none. Either the Jackets got out to an early lead and held on, or it was a lost cause. Now, you only expect the Jackets to claw back in a game. They are making every opponent give their best in order to stay in games.
Am I buying into a Blue Jackets turnaround? Yeah, pretty much. They certainly have shown they have the talent to compete in the division. But with a jam packed Metro, nearly every team is still in playoff contention. This is going to be a race down to the final day of the season, much like it was last year. The Jackets path to success isn’t too difficult to figure out: get as many points as possible going into the Olympic break, defeat division rivals, cross your fingers no one gets hurt at Sochi, and then come back ready to roll post-Olympic break.
Columbus has four players on team Russia (including Sergei Bobrovsky, who is now making a case to be Team Russia’s starter), so hopefully they do not come back from Sochi worn out. However, the rest of the roster should use the break to recharge and come back refreshed.
So enjoy the positive vibrations Columbus fans. It is nice to finally see this team make headlines for good things and get the recognition it deserves. John Davidson and Co are turning the Blue Jackets from laughing-stock to serious contender, and people are starting to take notice.
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