Columbus Blue Jackets Minding the Metro: Still Jersey

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 25: Nick Foligno
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 25: Nick Foligno /

The Columbus Blue Jackets lost some ground in the Metropolitan Division this week. New Jersey still is atop the division somehow.

So it wasn’t the greatest week for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They lose two consecutive games to end the week at home. But both losses were to very good teams; the two best in the NHL so far.

But only gaining two points last week hurt the Jackets in the standings. The New Jersey Devils continued their surprise start to the season going 2-1-0 last week. That includes handing Tampa Bay only their second loss of the season.

The Devils now have a two point advantage in the Metro over the Columbus Blue Jackets with the same games played. The Devils are off until Friday, giving time for Cory Schneider to recover from a lower body injury. NJD will play on Friday and Saturday this week against the Ottawa Senators and the winless Arizona Coyotes.

Just ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets are the Pittsburgh Penguins with 11 points. The Pens have played one more game than the Jackets though.

The Pens went 2-1-0 as well last week over taking the Jackets in the Metro standings. The defending Stanley Cup Champs face Edmonton and Winnipeg at home this week before traveling for two weekend games. They visit Minnesota and Winnipeg on the road on Saturday and Sunday.

Then we find the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers tied with 10 points in eight games. The Flyers have a better goal differential giving them the tie breaker at the moment. Philadelphia also went 2-1-0 last week, gaining ground on the CBJ.

The “Bottom” Half

It feels as though there really is no bottom half in the Metro division, just a bottom team. The Capitals and the Islanders both have a respectable nine points and sit just one overtime loss behind the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Carolina Hurricanes only have seven points but have played six games thus far; the fewest in the NHL. They have a very tough schedule this week though playing four very good teams in Tampa, Toronto, St. Louis and Anaheim.

Then we have the true bottom of the division and a team that looks like they are already done for the year. The New York Rangers have only amassed six points in 10 games played. They are by far the worst team in the division thus far and show no signs of improvement. In the toughest division in hockey, a start like this could be a nail in the coffin already.

Next: CBJ To-Do List for Week 4

We knew this division would be tough coming into the season and the resurgence of New Jersey and Philaldelphia have made it that much more difficult. The Columbus Blue Jackets can’t afford too many more weeks like last if they expect to stay competitive.