If it seems like it's been forever since we've had Blue Jacket hockey in Columbus, well, it really has. The last time the Jackets played at home was on January 19th, a 4-1 loss to New Jersey.
By the time the team takes the ice for practice on Thursday, it will be nearly 3 weeks to the day since that game.
The Jackets play one home game on Saturday, then hit the road again. They'll face the Senators in Ottawa on Tuesday (2/13) ... then promptly head out west for another 3-game road trip with late night starts.
Their next home start after this Saturday, isn't until February 23. Which means that a roughly one-month stretch (January 20-February 22) has this team playing just two games in the eastern time zone - and only one of those at home.
Their schedule this year splits up two long west-coast road trips with the All-Star break. If you wanted a break from the day-to-day struggles of the Blue Jackets, you might be loving it. Or, maybe you're like me, and miss watching some prime-time hockey.
Either way you look at it, this is an odd twist to the NHL schedule. For me, it harkens back memories of the early days of this franchise, when they were stuck in the Western Conference.
With nearly half of their games starting after 8:00 eastern, it's no wonder this team struggled to build a massive following in the early years. Or, perhaps part of that is because they were terrible.