Looking Ahead: Seven Games That Will Serve As A Litmus Test For the Blue Jackets' Playoff Aspirations

By Jacob Nitzberg on October 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm
Sep 22, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) handles the puck as St. Louis Blues left wing Mackenzie MacEachern (28) defends during the second period at Enterprise Center.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of question marks surrounding the Blue Jackets.

During the offseason, the media has made it clear that they don't think the Blue Jackets are a playoff team. Luckily, the Blue Jackets have the opportunity to prove them wrong on the ice. Every game is important, but here are seven games that serve as a good indication of where the club is.

Game 1- 10/5 at Pittsburgh

This will be a big test for the Blue Jackets for a few reasons. Pittsburgh is a Metropolitan Division rival, and the Blue Jackets haven't fared well against them as of late. It's also the second game of a back-to-back, and while the flight from Columbus to Pittsburgh is short, the Blue Jackets will have to fight on tired legs as they try to take an important two points.

Game 2 - 11/15 vs. St. Louis

Friday night hockey at Nationwide. The defending Stanley Cup champions coming to town. No game Saturday. There's not a better opportunity to defend home ice while making a statement than against the Blues.

Game 3 - 12/7 at Florida

The Blue Jackets won a lot of games behind Sergei Bobrovsky. Now, they have to beat him. The Panthers are an exciting team, and now that they have excellent goaltending, they should be a force to be reckoned with.

Game 4 - 1/11 at Vegas

It'll be the fourth and final game of the Blue Jackets' trip out west. They'll conclude the trip against the Golden Knights after games against the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks. The Knights are a good team, and it'll be important to fight hard for two points before boarding the plane back to Columbus.

Game 5 - 2/10 vs. Tampa Bay

Remember when the Blue Jackets swept the President's Trophy winners in the first round of the playoffs last season? We're sure you do. And we're sure Tampa Bay does too. The Lightning won't be happy with that, and they'll come into Columbus guns blazing, eager for a bit of revenge. Many have picked the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup this year, so it will be a tough test.

Game 6 - 3/24 at New York Rangers

Good teams find ways to get points on the road, but great teams find ways to get points on the road in the second game of a back-to-back. The Blue Jackets play in New Jersey the night prior, then they'll head to Madison Square Garden to take on Artemi Panarin and the Rangers in what will be a crucial two-game stretch.

Game 7 - 4/3 at Carolina

The final game of the Blue Jackets' season will be in Carolina, and it's the second half of a brutal back-to-back as Columbus will take on Tampa Bay the night before. Carolina surprised a lot of people last year, and they should replicate their success this year. Hopefully, this game will have playoff implications.

View 8 Comments