In the first part of this 2 week plan, I focused on the first 2 week period after the Olympics. Now lets look at the rest of the season, broken down into 2 2-week periods.
Period #2 – March 16th through March 29th. The Blue Jackets will play 7 games during this time frame, 4 of which are home contests. So, there are a total of 14 points up for grabs this time. I believe the Jackets will need to reap at least 10 out of the 14 points to keep this playoff push going. As I’ve stated before, the Jackets defend Nationwide Arena very well, so I have to count the 4 home games as wins. There’s 8 points, but only if the Jackets can beat the hated Penguins, who have had the Blue Jacket’s number this year, winning all 4 games played by a total goal difference of 14 to 6.
Of the 3 away games, the only extremely difficult game I see is in Montreal. I sincerely think the Jackets can beat the Islanders and the Hurricanes on enemy ice. So, with 8 points at home and 4 points from the away games, I see the Jackets getting a total of 12 points during this 2 week period, allowing for 1 hiccup along the way.
Ok, lets move on to the final 2 week period of the season, March 30 to the end of the regular season on April 12. Another 7 game stretch, with a total of 14 points available. I believe the Jackets will have to get 10 out of the possible 14 points to guarantee a playoff spot, but of course this depends on how well the other teams in the top of the standings play as well. But, I digress.
Any team worth its salt wants to earn its way into the playoffs, and to do that I think the Jackets will need the 10 points I just mentioned. To do this, they will have to win all 4 home games and at least 1 of the away games. I feel this is doable, as the only tough (in my opinion) away game is in Chicago against the Blackhawks. The games against the Lightning and the Panthers could well be victories, as the Jackets have beaten both teams at Nationwide already this year.
If the Blue Jackets follow this recipe for success, I sincerely believe that 95 points will get them into the playoffs. The Jackets will have to play nearly flawless hockey at home, and solid hockey on the road to accomplish their goal.
Man it’s gonna be fun watching this play out, isn’t it?