The Blue Jackets finally gelled last year, finishing with the most wins and most points since joining the league in 2000. With one of the youngest rosters in the league, the future looks bright in Columbus.
Some teams make blockbuster trades to shakeup their spot in the standings but all Columbus had to do was swap conferences. Suddenly the Jackets are a team to be reckoned with and look poised to finish with back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in their 15-year history.
Columbus Blue Jackets 2014 Preview
Projected Season Win Total: 41 (Pinnacle Sports)
Lead by monster center Ryan Johansen (who is currently unsigned), this squad will work hard every night and win games by committee. Nathan Horton will be healthy to start the year, a huge boost, and off-season pickup Scott Hartnell will be a nice fit as the 32-year-old senior member of the team. With a plethora of young talent up front they could easily have 10 or more players on the roster scoring 15-plus goals.
The Jackets may be a little more suspect on D, as they are a young group there as well. First pair Jack Johnson and Fedor Tyutin will have to eat up the bulk of the minutes. Wisniewski consistently brings the O but sometimes forgets about the D. Ryan Murray will try to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx and several other talented but inexperienced youngsters will battle it out for the remaining spots. Luckily they will have Sergei Bobrovsky as the safety net and a competent backup in Curtis McElhinney.
Pick Sixty Betting Tips: Will Books Ever Learn?
Columbus has a solid 10-3 fave record in the month of October, shown in this SDQL hockey trend from SportsDatabase.com. I loved cashing in on these guys early season (3-0) the last couple years as the books had little faith, but I imagine they will be a little sharper after last year’s breakout. Still, look for soft lines against better teams, especially early season as the young legs will pay off. Note: The 2012 season was shortened from a lockout; adjust your SDQL code to ‘season=2012 and month=3’ to see early season trends
Key SDQL Trend: team = Blue Jackets and season>=2008 and month = 10 and F and -155<=line<-125