directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Blue Biscuits

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Blue Biscuits also has a nice article up regarding Hitch and his thoughts about the playoffs not being that far off for this team:

"We look at it from this standpoint: With the coaching change, we were a .500 hockey club, which is 85 points," said Hitchcock, whose team was 28-29-5 after he took over Columbus from the fired Gerard Gallant last year. "To get in the playoffs, we need a win a month more. That gets us in."

That must seem laughable to the 10 Western Conference teams that had more points than the Blue Jackets' 71 last year. Columbus, the only current NHL franchise to not make the playoffs, was a distant 25 points behind the eighth and final team to make the playoffs, the Calgary Flames.

And Hitchcock think it could be even harder to make the playoffs this season.

"This might be the first time in the history of hockey that - and I really believe this - you might need 100 points to get in the playoffs," Hitchcock said. "There's so many competitive teams now."

Howson also chimes in:

Howson makes no bold predictions. He's in for the long haul. You can't scare him into saying the "p" word.

"The fan base here has a reputation of being pretty passionate and they've been pretty patient with the team," he said. "We're just hoping to provide them with a product that they can be proud of. If we build it the right way, then the wins take care of them itself. We're focused on being a competitive, hard-to-play-against team."

Finally Dan Fritsche has some real strong words regarding this fan base:

"That's all I think about," he said. "I've been here for about four years now and I live here in the summer, and I know what kind of fans we have. These fans have been here for seven or eight years now and we've had seven or eight not-so-good seasons. It just gives you the chills thinking about how this place would explode once we make the playoffs."

That's a pretty exciting quote from Fritsche.

So now that I've got you all pumped up here is another no-so-good prediction for you:

14. Columbus Blue Jackets: Despite the optimism emanating from Columbus, it's going to be more of the same for loyal 'Jackets' fans. Rick Nash is a franchise player, obviously, but after that, the depth and talent level falls sharply. They simply can not match up favorably against most of the teams in this conference.

Scott Burnside of makes some predictions - here is the one involving the CBJ:

Hottest trade rumors you'll hearWatch for Wade Redden to continue to be the subject of trade rumors out of Ottawa. Redden will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and the Sens tried to deal him in the offseason. Sergei Fedorov, Adam Foote, Marian Hossa, Dany Heatley are among the group of players who could become unrestricted free agents next summer. Another interesting possibility, Sharks captain Patrick Marleau, who signed a contract extension last summer but could be had for the right price, especially if the Sharks struggle early.


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