What you say is undoubtedly true, things only get more intense from here on out. What I think plays in the Jackets' favor is that their schedule was front-loaded w/ solid playoff teams. There weren't many "gimme" games in the 1st half of the season. The slate going forward is much more favorable, with 3xNJD, 3xNYR, 2xMIN, DET, OTT; plus several games against teams that are roughly on the same level as CBJ: MTL, BUF, WPG, NSH. There are also multiple "4pt" games w/ a chance to gain ground on teams currently ahead in the division standings: PHI, CAR, NYI. They still need to win the games they should, and probably steal some points here and there, but they're in a pretty good position to control their destiny, at least as far as qualifying for the playoffs.
You have to think that the team should see a boost with at least Cam, Bjork, Andy, and Peake looking like they'll return in the near future. The team needed something to change the direction of the season, and strangely it seems that suffering a ton of injuries is what did the trick. With the return of some of the better offensive players, and the possibility that they might have two solid goaltenders to close out the season, I think the team could settle in to a >.500 record in the 2nd half. I don't expect them to sustain their current pace, but they are getting to a place where they can stake a claim to either of the wild card spots, and even head into the postseason with a good amount of momentum.
Whatever happens, this team is a lot of fun to watch when they play with a chip on their collective shoulders. It looks like they're starting to figure out some things to increase the offensive output. I think the increased playing time for the young pups is going to pay dividends down the stretch; there will be some real depth in all four lines when everyone is healthy (knock on wood). There's still a good chance they'll be fighting for the last spot until the last few games, but the outlook is a far cry from where it was before Thanksgiving. It's a good time to be a Blue Jackets fan!