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.
Due to the very short February schedule, the last edition of Examining the schedule was for January. I predicted in January that the Blue Jackets would go 7-5-2 for 16 points. I am extremely happy to announce that I was very wrong, and as all the readers know, the Jackets had a record setting month going 10-4-0 and picking up 20 points.
March is a playoff-pushing month that is extremely important, and the schedule is loaded with 16 games. Would you like some more good news? Good! Marian Gaborik is now activated off of IR, and scored a goal in his first game back against New Jersey on Thursday night.
The month starts off hot with a matinee game against a struggling Florida team on Saturday. The longest road trip of the month comes just a few games later when the Jackets hit the road for 3 in a row. The trip will also find Columbus playing an always hot Chicago team before travelling to Nashville, and then to Dallas to take on the Stars.
The Blue Jackets will face the Red Wings and Hurricanes two times each in March, which is a prime opportunity for them to gain points from fellow Eastern Conference teams.
The toughest match of the month is going to be on the 28th, when they take on the Penguins at Nationwide Arena. Columbus is yet to have success this year against Pittsburgh, but they are going to have to start turning that around if they want to have success in the post-season.
This is going to be a tough month for several teams, since the playoffs are looming directly ahead. In this packed schedule of 16 games, I think that the Jackets will finish the month 8-6-2, picking up 18 points in the standings.