Grading the Columbus Blue Jackets Performance vs NHL’s Elite Teams

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 13: Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning watches the puck fly into the net against goalie Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Amalie Arena on October 13, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 13: Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning watches the puck fly into the net against goalie Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Amalie Arena on October 13, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Columbus Blue Jackets
PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 24: Jake Guentzel #59 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his hat trick in the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at PPG Paints Arena on November 24, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Against true Stanley Cup Contenders, the Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t performed well enough.

The 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh was the Columbus Blue Jackets sixth game against a true Stanley Cup Contender this season. These games against the league’s elite teams are excellent measuring sticks for a franchise that is a clear playoff team, but may or may not be a Stanley Cup Contender.

In my eyes there are seven true Stanley Cup contenders in the NHL. In the Western Conference the San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, and Nashville Predators are the cream of the crop. In the East it’s the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.

You can nitpick and add some teams to that list but everyone else, including the Jackets right now, are fringe contenders. The Jackets have played six games against the team’s above and haven’t exactly passed the test with flying colors.

With a decent sample size of games, let’s grade the team’s performance in each game and their overall output against the NHL’s elite teams.