The Ebbs And Flows Of The Columbus Blue Jackets 2021-22 Schedule

By Ed Francis on August 23, 2021 at 8:20 am
A few stretches of a few games will tell us what we need to know about the 201-22 Columbus Blue Jackets.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not the Columbus Blue Jackets will be competitive this season depends on who you ask.

Most are convinced that this is a rebuilding season for the Blue Jackets; that the playoffs are somewhere between a longshot and no chance. 

But there are a few who think this team may have just the right mix to at least make a run at a postseason spot.

In either event, the 2021-22 schedule will tell a lot about the Blue Jackets and where they're going. In the less likely scenario - where they make that postseason run - these are the spans that will prove the majority of fans and experts wrong; that the team can contend this season.

In the more likely event where Brad Larsen's crew aren't in contention, these will be the runs that will show the 5th Line which players, particularly the young ones, could have a future with the team, and which ones may soon be labeled as a bust.

Here are the key stretches that will define Columbus' season:

STRETCH ONE: The Beginning

Thursday, 10/14: vs Arizona

Saturday, 10/16: vs Seattle

Tuesday, 10/19:  @  Detroit

  • Yes, the first three games of the season are on the list. The Blue Jackets open the season with a pair at home against a relatively weak Arizona team and an expansion Seattle team that won't match the success of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights of a few years ago. Columbus heads to Detroit for the third game of the season, their first on the road. What happens if a rebuilding team starts out 3-0-0? We may find out. If the Blue Jackets are going to have a glimmer of hope this season, six points in the first three games would certainly be the way to start.


Saturday, 12/11:  @ Seattle

Tuesday, 12/14:  @ Vancouver

Thursday, 12/16:  @ Edmonton

Saturday, 12/18:  @ Calgary

  • That western Canada road trip that Columbus has struggled with in the past is one game longer this year, though against a non-Canadian opponent as the Blue Jackets make their first ever trip to Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena. Will the roster overhaul buck the trend? We'll find out if the Blue Jackets can deliver an early Christmas gift.


Sunday, 2/27:  vs Pittsburgh

Tuesday, 3/1:  vs  New Jersey

Friday, 3/4:  vs  Los Angeles

Saturday, 3/5:  vs  Boston

Monday, 3/7:  vs  Toronto

Friday, 3/11:  vs  Minnesota

Sunday, 3/13:  vs  Vegas

  • An unprecedented seven game home stand for the Blue Jackets. Games 53 through 59 are all at Nationwide Arena, with a fairly even split of quality of opponent. Five of these games are on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Are the Blue Jackets in contention at this point in the season? If they are, this group of games will be an optimal chance to rack up points heading into the final six weeks of the season. 


Tuesday, 3/29:  vs New York

Thursday, 3/31:  @  New York

Saturday, 4/2:  @ Boston

Monday, 4/4:  vs  Boston

Tuesday, 4/5:  @ Philadelphia

Thursday, 4/7  vs  Philadelphia

  • Two in a row against the same opponent are tough, as the Blue Jackets learned last season. This final month stretch of three straight home-and-homes against teams that will likely be in playoff contention, including two division rivals, will say a lot about the team. If the Blue Jackets have fallen out of contention by this point, six games in ten days could be the first chance to get a consistent look at young goalie Daniil Tarasov. One of the two starting goalies the Blue Jackets have right now will almost certainly be moved by the trade deadline, clearing the way for Tarasov - who will likely start the season in Cleveland with the AHL's Monsters - to get the call to Columbus.