2014/15 Season Preview – Columbus Blue Jackets

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Fedor_Tyutin.png/640px-Fedor_Tyutin.png

2013/14 Season Record – 7th in Eastern Conference, 4th in Metropolitan Division

W

L OT PTS GOAL DIFF.
43 32 7 93 +15

2013/14 Season Recap

It was a breakout year in 2013-14 for the Blue Jackets. They shook off their bottom-feeder reputation and made it to the postseason for only the second time in their entire existence. They stole two games from the Pittsburgh Penguins in their playoff series. Both wins were thrilling ones in overtime. Despite the early exit, the fans in Columbus were excited to see playoff hockey and are now hungry for more success.

Projected Roster

LW

C

RW

Scott Hartnell

Artem Anisimov Nathan Horton

Nick Foglino

Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu

Corey Tropp

Jared Boll Brian Gibbons

Simon Hjalmarsson

LD

RD
James Wisniewski

Fedor Tyutin

Jack Johnson

David Savard
Dalton Prout

Ryan Murray

G

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

EXTRAS

Boone Jenner

Tim Erixon

Top Call-Up Options

Forward

Michael Chaput

Defense

Thomas Larkin (born in London, UK)

Goal

Anton Forsberg

Top Prospects

  1. Sonny Milano
  2. Alexander Wennberg
  3. Oscar Dansk

Key Additions

  • Scott Hartnell (trade with PHI)

Key Subtractions

  • R.J. Umberger (trade with PHI)
  • Ryan Johansen? (pending restricted free agent)

Roster Thoughts

The majority of the Blue Jackets roster remains unchanged from last year. The forwards are once again primed to perform. This team is very deep and very young. They traded for seasoned veteran Scott Hartnell in June to provide some leadership and awesome hair. However, there is one very obvious absence: Ryan Johansen. The young center has yet to re-sign with the team. In September, negotiations broke down and the public statements from the team turned nasty. Johansen had a breakout year last season, and wants to get paid accordingly. However, the Jackets don’t want to pony up until they see him do it again. Johansen clearly wants to stay with the Blue Jackets, but a deal appears to be far away. Look for this battle to drag out before the season begins.

On defense, this team is solid. James Wisniewski and Fedor Tyutin anchor a unit that needs to stay consistent if this team wants to repeat their success. They are not as deep here as they are at forward, but if the top line steps up, they should be fine.

How can you go wrong with Jay Onrait’s favourite cop in net, Sergei Bobrovsky? The former Vezina Trophy winner should be primed for another solid season. Curtis McElhinney has stepped in to a backup role. Can he win games when Bobrovsky has the night off?

Key Player

Sergei Bobrovsky: He won the Vezina Trophy back in 2013, but he missed a large chunk of last season with a strained groin. If the Blue Jackets want to repeat the success they had in 2013-14, he can’t have that happen again. If Bobrovsky can play 65-70 games this year, the Jackets will be just fine.

2014/15 Expectations

The Blue Jackets should find the same success they had last year, especially if Ryan Johansen re-signs. Their roster remains mostly unchanged, and their regular opponents didn’t improve all that much. Look for Columbus to make it back to the playoffs, and possibly win a series this time around.

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