Although there has been much exciting hockey happening recently, there seems to be something missing. NHL arenas all over the country sit empty, and the vast majority of players have not played a game in 10 days, and will not see action again for at least 6 days.
Of course, I am talking about the NHL Olympic break. I love watching NHL players represent their countries, but it still isn’t the same as having the Blue Jackets on the ice. Nine days from now, the Blue Jackets will finally return to action in New Jersey.
Currently, the Blue Jackets are 4th in the Metropolitan Division (4 points out of 2nd place) and they are 1 point removed from a wild card position. My point? The standings couldn’t be closer, and Columbus is right in the thick of it. So close to a record season, yet here we sit…idle.
Columbus had a record January, finishing the month 10-4-0, which also included a franchise record 8-game winning streak. If the Jackets can beat New Jersey on the 27th, they will finish the shortened February schedule 3-1-1.
Hopefully this break means time for the team to heal, catch their breath and move forward, rather than a removal of the wind from the sails. The Olympic break only happens every 4 years, so it is definitely an interesting twist when thrown right into the heart of the season. Obviously, every team has to worry about what the break means, whether it be good or bad.
There are 24 games left for the Jackets. That means there are 48 points lying out on the ice, waiting for someone to pick them up.
Although it started out rough, this season has truly been a special one. Records have been broken, and the team is living up to its true potential. The time to focus is now. No one knows what the rest of this regular season holds, but it is guaranteed to be exciting as the Jackets march on, in seek of Lord Stanley.