With eight of their next nine games being played at Nationwide Arena, will the Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-0) be able to pick up some of the steam they had at the end of last season? It seems hopeful.
While the Blue Jackets have only won one out of their three homes games this season, this upcoming home stand should give them an opportunity to get back on their feet and continue a successful season.
This week the Blue Jackets face off against the New Jersey Devils (1-4-3) on Tuesday night and the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-3-0) on Friday. These matchups should hopefully lead to two more wins for the Blue Jackets.
So what should we expect in the games? This year the Devils have been looking for chances to score, and have repeatedly fallen short. That being said, they won their first game last Saturday against the New York Rangers (2-5-0) in a 4-0 shutout and are hoping to keep the ball rolling. They also have found a strong goalie in Cory Schneider and are hoping to rely more on him during Tuesday’s game.
The Maple Leafs on the other hand have had a successful season so far. But, they are coming off of a 6-3 loss on Saturday to the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks (4-1-2) and have to face the tough Anaheim Ducks (7-1-0) prior to the game Friday against the Blue Jackets. If they can successfully pull off a win during their game against the Ducks, they will be a tough opponent for the Blue Jackets. However, the physicality of the Ducks may wear on the Leafs, making them a step slower on Friday.
Finally, the Blue Jackets are in need of some scoring out of their veterans. The team has to start utilizing the chances that they are given to score, only then will they become more successful.
With Fedor Tyutin, Marian Gaborik, and Nick Foligno all back on this week’s roster, things are beginning to look better when it comes to injuries and the team will rely on them during this week’s games. Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal on Tuesday night and is expected to continue on with his strong season.
After such an exciting end to last year’s season, the fans are left wanting more early this year. With so many home games coming up the team needs to pull together and score some goals.
If this is accomplished, maybe they could find themselves a Metropolitan Division playoff spot. There’s a lot of hockey still to be played though, and only time will tell if the team can pull it off.