Final predictions and projections for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 18-19 season.
Offseason is long gone. Training camp and preseason games finished. All that’s left for the Columbus Blue Jackets is to drop the puck and start the 82 game marathon.
We have laid out player expectations and prospect expectations. We’ve tackled the schedule and analyzed every week the Jackets face this season. The Jackets’ division has been broken down and predicted. The Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky situations have been discussed and its finally time to get the final predictions of how this team will preform this year.
The Jackets will make the playoffs with, or without Bread and Bob.
Columbus Blue Jackets
No matter what happens this year with the Bread and Bob situations, this team will make the playoffs this year. The Jackets set a franchise record for points in the 2016-2017 season without bread and with a much weaker center corps. They have better scoring options on the wing as well. Putting the puck in net won’t be a problem without Artemi here.
And the Jackets D-corps, when healthy is one of the best in the league. It will greatly help Joonas as he assumes full time responsibility if Bob leaves. Korpi has the talent to get this team in the playoffs if he has to assume a full time load for half the year.
The Jackets would have to scrap and claw their way to an eight seed, but they will sneak in even without those two guns on the roster. With them, they are threats to win the division.
Eight Players will score 20 or more goals
Last year the Jackets only had three players break the 20 goal mark. This year, that number will more than double to seven.
The top line of Panarin, PLD, and Cam Atkinson will all repeat the feat this year. They will all get top unit power play time and should blow by 20 goals.
Joining them will be Oliver Bjorkstrand, Boone Jenner, Josh Anderson and free agent pickup Anthony Duclair. Bjork has an incredible shot and should get more looks as a permeant fixture on the second line. Boone has scored 30 before and 18 in another season and has looked fantastic in camp. He will score a ton of greasy goals. The same can be said about Josh Anderson.
And Duclair looks ready to repeat his 20 goal season from three seasons ago. Duclair is a prime candidate to climb out of his fourth line role early in the year if any players above him don’t play to the high standard Coach John Tortorella sets.
The eight and final member of the 20 goal club will be Zach Werenski. With a torn labrum last year the defenseman still managed to break the franchise record with 16 goals. A fully healthy Z will start the year running the power play and continuing to be a rover in the offensive end. Since the lockout, defenseman have broke the 20 goal mark only 11 times. Werenski is about to make it 12.
Final Point Prediction: 101
After going through each week of the season and predicting how the Jackets would do, my projected point total was 95. For my final prediction ahead of the season I juiced that number up. This team has too much depth and talent to not break triple digits in my mind.
The bottom of the Metro is bad and is ripe for some easy points. As is the bottom of the Atlantic which the Jackets get a healthy amount of on the schedule. There are no crazy road trips on the schedule and the power play will be drastically improved from last season.
I have the Jackets finishing second in the division with 101 points and, if Bob and Bread are still on the team, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to take home their first playoff series win in franchise history.