Columbus Blue Jackets Minding the Metro: Sliding Start to December

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 08: Washington Capitals center Travis Boyd (72) scores over the shoulder of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) in a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals on December 08, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.(Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 08: Washington Capitals center Travis Boyd (72) scores over the shoulder of Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) in a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals on December 08, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.(Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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The Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t won in regulation in four games to start December including two losses to Metro teams.

The 82 game season marches on with the Columbus Blue Jackets missing out on some big opportunities to make waves in the Metropolitan Division. Through four games in December, the Jackets have lost three in regulation, including two games to division rivals.

The Jackets started the month with a tough 3-2 loss on Long Island to the Islanders. The Jackets gave up a 2-0 lead to New York and dropped a prime opportunity to gain two points on the road against a division foe.

A week later, the Jackets laid another egg, this time at home against the division leading Washington Capitals. At this point, the Jackets are only a point behind the Caps in the standings and have a chance to not only get revenge on the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season, but to take the division lead.

Instead, the team came out flat and was pounced upon. The Caps scored three in the first period and never looked back. In front of a sold out crowd, the Jackets were shut out by a division rival and took a step back in their drive to become the top dog in the Metro. The Jackets are now three points back and seemingly in a rut as they are 1-3-0 in their last four.

The Islanders and Rangers are just three points back of the Jackets in the Metro with the Penguins lurking four points behind. The Carolina Hurricanes are tied with the Penguins with 30 points in 28 games.

The division is almost certainly only going to get three teams in the playoffs this year after putting five in just a season ago. The fifth place team in the Atlantic, the Montreal Canadiens, would be in second place in the Metro with their 35 points. The Jackets are going to need to step it up and continue to stay towards the top of the division if they hope to make the playoffs again.

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The Jackets will not play another Metro game until next Thursday. In a scheduling oddity, there is only one Metro matchup this entire week. Carolina and Washington will play on Friday night in the nation’s capital.