The anticipation for hockey season is slowly amping up. Whether the Blue Jackets make it to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year or struggle next season, there will be some games that will undoubtedly raise more eyebrows than others.
The Blue Jackets were 22-17-2 when playing in Columbus, Ohio last season. It actually wouldn't be a shock if that record slightly improves this year.
Looking into the future, here's the best home game from each month:
Oct. 4, 2019: Vs Toronto Maple Leafs
The first Friday of October will mark opening night for the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team with plenty of questions to be answered.
How will the lines shake out? Who will start in net? Who will be on the power-play unit?
One thing's certain. Nationwide Arena will be sold out with when the Maple Leafs come to Columbus, Ohio to start 2019-20 NHL Regular Season.
Nov. 2, 2019: Vs Calgary Flames
The highest-scoring game in CBJ history occurred when these two teams faced of on the same rink this past December. Despite the Blue Jackets taking 4-1 lead early in the second period, Calgary answered with five consecutive goals of their own and ended up winning the contest by a final score of 9-6. The result was shocking.
Forward Cam Atkinson had a hat trick that night for Columbus, but in a losing effort.
The Flames were the highest-scoring team in the Western Conference last season. Forward Johnny Gaudreau led the way with 99 points (36 goals and 63 assists). You better believe this matchup is worth checking out.
Dec. 31, 2019: Vs Florida Panthers
Life after Sergei Bobrovsky has begun for the Blue Jackets, but on this night, he'll be starting between the pipes for the opposition. To add a more flare, the game will be played on New Year's Eve. When the clock strikes midnight, fans toast to celebrate the team's future moving forward–or–worst case–to drown the their sorrows remembering who once was the starting goaltender.
Jan. 14, 2020: Vs Boston Bruins
After sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Columbus Blue Jackets were defeated by the Boston Bruins in six games to eliminate them from playoff contention.
At this point next season, Columbus will be past the halfway mark and should have a better idea of whether they're contenders or pretenders. Either way, a matchup with the defending Eastern Conference Champions will be a stiff test and worth the price of admission.
Feb. 14, 2020: Vs New York Rangers
Artemi Panarin teased Blue Jackets fans just enough to make some believe he could re-sign during free agency. Of course, one of the best offensive playmakers in the league will be back at Nationwide Arena in a Rangers uniform on Valentine's Day. My heart's beating fast just thinking about it.
Mar. 14, 2020: Vs Nashville Predators
Center Matt Duchene was a big addition for the Blue Jackets at the trade deadline last season; helping the club finally advance past the first round of the playoffs. Despite the playoff success and camaraderie, Duchene decided to sign with the Nashville Predators.
Next March, Duchenne will be back to face his former team and it's highly likely he'll also reminisce about some unforgettable moments in the process.
Apr. 2, 2020: Vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a 128-point season that was completely overshadowed when they lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Jackets are contending during their last home game of the season, the Lightning will pose a difficult test. If the Jackets are out of the playoff mix, a matchup with the Bolts at Nationwide Arena will be a friendly reminder of what was one of the greatest upsets this city has ever witnessed.
Follow 1st Ohio Battery