An Improved Record on Home Ice Could Propel the Blue Jackets to a Fourth Consecutive Playoff Appearance

By Ben Jandrain on July 30, 2019 at 1:20 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno jumps onto his teammates to celebrate a goal scored against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster- USA TODAY Sports

Making the playoffs would be nothing new for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but after seeing Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene leave for new teams it takes a little bit of number crunching to figure out how they can muster up enough points to make it for the fourth year in a row.

One area the Jackets have a realistic chance of improving is their home record. Last season, Columbus was 22-17-2 at Nationwide Arena–a rather drastic decline from the previous two years.  

Regular Season Home Record Points
2018-19 22-17-2 46
2017-18 26-12-3 55
2016-17 28-12-1 57
2015-16 18-17-6 42

Before going 5-0-1 in the final six games in front of their fans, Columbus was only 17-16-2, registering 36 points in 35 games.

The Jackets didn't do themselves any favors when they went 0-3 at Nationwide Arena against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It felt as if the pressure may have been getting the best of them.

The lowered expectations heading into the 2019 campaign could release a few nerves and instead give the team an edge.

If you're still not convinced

The aforementioned 46 points at Nationwide Arena was only a point better than the 45 points (18-14-9) put up by New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden last year. The New Jersey Devils, who finished with 72 points, had a home record of 20-14-7, good for 47 points. 

Most people will sleep on the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season, but the fans who fill up NWA might have something to say about that.