A road win over Minnesota before the All-Star break is exactly what the Columbus Blue Jackets need.
The upcoming nine day break might be the most important nine days for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization this decade. Over the break general manager Jarmo Kekalainen will reportedly meet with Artemi Panarin‘s agent to have frank discussions regarding the superstar winger’s future in Columbus.
If Panarin’s team does not indicated Artemi is willing to stay in Columbus, the Jackets front office must look to move the winger for future assets. This organization has come too far to lose such a valuable player for nothing. Their prospect pool is not good enough to brace a hit like that.
A win tonight over the Minnesota Wild is exactly the positive note the franchise needs as it heads into a nine day hiatus. First off, a Columbus Blue Jackets victory would give the team 61 points in 48 games, a 104 point pace. That would be the second best finish in franchise history and good for their third straight playoff appearance.
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Secondly, it would be a much needed win for Sergei Bobrovsky who has been on a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks. Not only has his play been suspect, but the off-ice issues and distractions have been a lot to handle for the team. A nice 3-1 victory would go a long way for not only Bob’s confidence, but his trade value which should be tested over this nine day break.
Finally, the team is in a dog fight for playoff seeding. Even without Panarin or Bob, the Columbus Blue Jackets have a chance to win the Metropolitan Division. Doing that would be an amazing accomplishment for the organization and be a bright spot over the offseason which will likely be dominated by dealing with losing the two best players on the roster.
Winning the division is a real possibility as the Jackets are only one point out of first place. First would mean a better chance of advancing past the first round and also a real banner in the rafters.
Every game is a “must win” here on out but tonight is particularly important following last night’s loss and the upcoming nine game break. Puck drops at 8pm eastern in Minneapolis.