Success Against Divisional Opponents Must Improve for the Blue Jackets to Make the Playoffs

By Coby Maeir on September 14, 2022 at 1:45 pm
Adam Fox & Andrew Peeke
Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports

Nine wins in 26 games.

That was the Blue Jackets' performance against their Metro division foes in the 2021-22 season. Going into the 2022-23 season, the Blue Jackets have an improved roster, at least on paper, which brings with it higher expectations. While finishing just below 500 at 37-38-7 last season, they missed the playoffs by 19 points. However, it's unlikely that the top three teams in the Metro plus the two wild card teams will all have 100 points again. If the Jackets can go from 9-17-0 in the Metro last year to around 13-10-3, their chances of making the playoffs improve drastically. Yes, that may sound obvious, but the 26 games within the division are nearly a third of their 82-game schedule. 

NOTE: The Devils and Hurricanes are the only two teams the Jackets won't play four times this season. They'll play every other team in the division four times, with both teams hosting two of the matchups.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Jackets went 1-3-0 against Carolina last season and were outscored 16-11 by the reigning division champs. This season, they'll play three times, with two of the clashes being in Columbus. 

New Jersey Devils

Columbus found success against the Devils, going 3-1-0 against New Jersey while outscoring them 13-12. The Jackets will need to repeat their success against the Devils again this season in their three matchups, with one being at Nationwide Arena. 

New York Islanders

The Isles dominated Columbus last season with a record of 3-0-1 while outscoring the Jackets 17-8. Following a tough year, the Islanders should be a force to be reckoned with in the Metro.

New York Rangers

The Rangers won the season series against the Jackets last year with a record of 2-1-0 while outscoring Columbus 12-8. Will the Rangers be able to repeat last year's success in 2022-23?

Philadelphia Flyers

The Jackets went 2-1-0 against the Flyers last year, with both teams scoring seven goals. This season, they'll battle former Jackets head coach John Tortorella, which will make for some interesting hockey games, both on and off the ice.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens dominated the Jackets last season, winning all four games in regulation by a combined score of 18-8. The Penguins decided to extend veterans Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, do they have one last cup run in them?

Washington Capitals

The Jackets went 1-3-0 against the Caps last season and were outscored 22-11. How will the absence of center Nicklas Backstrom affect Washington throughout the season?

The Metro is arguably the toughest of the NHL's four divisions and the Jackets have their work cut out for them.

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