Columbus Blue Jackets End 2014 By Hosting Minnesota Wild on New Year’s Eve


I can’t think of a more fitting way to bring the calender year of 2014 to come to an end. It was a crazy year. It saw some insane highs; the birth of the 5th Line, two franchise playoff firsts – first playoff win ever (coming in Pittsburgh) and first playoff win inside Nationwide Arena – that ended in a playoff series much more memorable than Detroit, and a reintroduction of the team not only to the league, but a rebirth of the team in Columbus as well.

It also was a year of some super lows; losing streaks of six and nine games, the IR monster claiming anyone and everyone, losing to the Penguins in the playoffs (of all the mo…nevermind. Also, we totally could have taken the Rangers, you know, that team who made the Stanley Cup Finals?), and the growing fear that Nathan Horton might never play again (that’s more of a bummer for his sake, but still a low no matter how you look at it).

So, how fitting to bring an end to a wild year than hosting the, you guessed it, Minnesota Wild, to not only bring the calender year to an end, but also bring a long five game home stand to a close before starting 2015 with four in a row on the road.

Minneosta has had an interesting year up to this point, getting out to a 13-9-0 start (not bad, right?) but have gone 4-4-3 in December, and are currently in the middle of 2-2-3 stretch, losing five games in a row – either in regulation or in overtime/shootout – until they broke the streak by defeating Winnipeg on Monday.

The Wild are averaging 2.9 goals per game, good enough for 11th in the league, but have scored no fewer than three goals over the 2-2-3 time span I talked about earlier. This will also be a battle between two teams who are very good on special teams – the Wild are sixth in penalty kill percentage while Columbus is fourth on the power play. Personally, I’m hoping for a lot of man-advantages for the Blue Jackets to see this back and forth.

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, they’ll once again carry over into a game with a specific goal in mind. From Nashville to Boston, it was “don’t play this poorly again.” Now, coming off the win against the Bruins, the challenge will be to continue the ability to find the back of the net with ease. Sergei Bobrovsky should be over his sickness, which means Columbus will have their backbone in net.

So, as we celebrate endings and beginnings, lets celebrate the end of the year and homestand with the official beginning of a new win streak to ring in the beginning of a new year.

Stay safe everyone, and for the first time this season, I’ll see you at Nationwide. I’m making my annual pilgrimage and couldn’t be more excited. Puck drops at seven, just in time to head over to Boston’s Pizza to see the Ball Drop.

Next: Cam Atkinson Will Not Be On The Ice For A Couple of Games, But He Should Be Back Soon