Road Map: At the U.S. Thanksgiving Break, the Blue Jackets Are in Position To Make Some Noise

By Dan Dukart on November 24, 2017 at 10:15 am
Sergei Bobrovsky and Nick Foligno embrace after a 1-0 overtime win over the Calgary Flames.
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports
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In August, we wrote a theoretical piece about how the Columbus Blue Jackets would need to fare in the standings to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

It's no secret: This fan base has never seen its team make the playoffs in consecutive years. After last year's magical season that featured a 16-game winning streak and 108 points, we knew that this year could have a few more bumps in the road.

To make the long and grueling season more manageable, we broke the season into five parts (some dates arbitrary, others not), and now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we've hit our first milestone.

Game 22 saw the Blue Jackets defeat the Calgary Flames, 1-0 in overtime, The win gave the team their fifth straight victory. Sergei Bobrovsky has been otherworldly in recent games, and the offensive production is starting to come from their top guys, most notably Artemi Panarin.

The Jackets' 29 points are four points more than the 25 points we suggested they tally to keep them in line for a playoff berth. Similarly, their 14-7-1 record aligns closely with our advised road map of 11-8-3. 

Assuming that last season is a fair indicator for points required to make the playoffs, the Blue Jackets would need in the 95-point neighborhood to secure a spot. Their 29 points ties them for third in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets and just behind the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning for the league lead.

The next milestone we'll hit is New Year's Eve, or Game 40. To stay on pace with their (our) 95 point pace, they'll need just 47 points. The math here is pretty easy, here, folks: With 18 points needed in 18 games, the Blue Jackets can "afford" to go 6-6-6 to hit our 20-13-7 benchmark. Obviously they'll have loftier expectations (and rightly so), but it gives you an idea of how well they've set themselves up for success with a strong first quarter of the season.  

The Blue Jackets are trending in the right direction. Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror, we can say that they've emphatically passed their first test. 

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