After a lackluster 2021-22 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets will be hoping to advance their game this year and could be a team to watch for fans of NHL betting. Preseason odds from most bookmakers pegged the team as one that wasn’t expected to shine, however with the team’s rebuilding process firmly underway, they have the potential to surprise if that starts to bear fruit in 2022-23.
Columbus remains a young squad, and while they don’t lack in talent or enthusiasm, whether they have the experience to make the playoffs this year remains to be seen. There are also some questions about the team defensively; Werenski should be a rock at the back, however the defense must improve for the Jackets to move out of the sixth-place position they ended in last season.
The Blue Jackets will be looking to the likes of Andrew Peake, a versatile and smart defenseman, to help shore up the rear, while captain Boone Jenner brings some stability to the team as one of the franchises all time leading goal scorers.
Patrick Laine, named the MVP at the IHF World Championship, has committed to a new four year deal which gives some assurance to the rebuild, after only signing a one-year contract extension in 2021. Exciting signings like Johnny Gaudreau, previously of the Calgary Flames, should also help Columbus move the needle in the right direction this year.
Columbus didn’t start well in 2022-23, sitting eighth in the division a few weeks in. How this will play out will depend on key players making an impact, but fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a playoff place.
This may well be the third consecutive season without playoff hockey for Columbus, after making the playoffs consecutively between 2017 and 2020.
The stats look like more of the same from last year. Seven of the eight Metropolitan Division teams had some hype going into the previous season. Then there were the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fortunately, the Jackets did not roll over or die to their credit, finishing at just under a 5.0 record.
However, their results didn’t show them to be a great team, finishing sixth in the division. With a ridiculous amount of cap space and almost an empty star, the Blue Jackets did not garner much attention during 2021-22.
The Columbus Blue Jackets started playing as an expansion team in 2000, and are currently part of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference.
The Blue Jackets struggled in their initial years, failing to win 30 games in a season until 2006-2006. Then, in 2009, the Jackets qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time, but sadly, they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
The Jackets ultimately notched their first playoff game victory in 2014. They won their playoff series in the 2019 playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning, becoming the first team in NHL history to bag a Presidents’ Trophy winner in the first round.
The Jackets play their home games at the Nationwide Arena; a multipurpose venue in Columbus, Ohio. The arena is one of the two facilities in Columbus, along with the Greater Columbus Convention Center, that hosts events during the annual Arnold Classic, a sports and fitness event hosted by the former Governor of California and famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Nationwide arena has a capacity of 18,500 for hockey, 19,500 for basketball, and up to 20,000 for concerts, and over the last two decades, has hosted a wide range of sports and entertainment events.
Since their opening in the league in 2000, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been rivals with the Detroit Red Wings in the Central Division. Although the Jackets have never really challenged the Red Wings for the division title, they both have had some aggressive battles in the past.
In the previous season, the Wings and the Jackets ranked 81 penalty minutes against each other in only 3 games. Although they had met once in the playoffs, when the Wings swept the Jackets, it would get more interesting, seeing where the rivalry goes from here.
Columbus also share a rivalry with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and 2013-14 was the first season a real competition developed between the teams. During that season, the Blue Jackets lost all four regular matchups with the Penguins. In the last two games, the Penguins defeated the Jackets with 5 and 3 points, respectively, and Jacket’s fans will be keen to see their team settle the score next time they meet.